Was bringt den Doktor um sein Brot?

a) die Gesundheit

b) der Tod

Drum hält der Arzt, auf das er lebe,
uns zwischen beiden in der Schwebe.“

(Eugen Roth)

The German lyricist and poet Eugen Roth (1895–1976) once wrote in humorous rhyming verse that doctors’ livelihoods are threatened by a) health and b) death. Hence, they strive to keep us hanging in the balance. After all the expert opinions on the ‘corona pandemic’ I’ve heard and read by now, some of which are contradictory, I somehow feel like I’m hanging in the balance too. There’s talk about proof of vaccination and antigen tests as prerequisites for travel. This type of proof is already required in some countries and by some airlines. Proof of previously having contracted the virus is said to be helpful too, provided the infection took place not longer than half a year ago. Vaccines are in scarce supply and when they are available the question is which of them might be the right one. Comments on this abound as well. We should take the one that we can get.

I find this situation so absurd by now that I’ve decided to finally cancel this year’s ‘PU Elastomer Industry Meeting’ that had originally been planned for September 2021 and that I had to reschedule for June 2021 due to UTECH Europe.

If you take a look at the event calendar – please use the one published in this FAPU issue (as of the last week in February 2021) – you’ll see that this autumn is going to be sheer madness. All trade fairs and conferences that should have taken place between March 2020 and June 2021 and were not held in digital formats have been shifted to autumn 2021. Considering that, I don’t even have to try and think about whether it would be realistic to shift the ‘9th PU Elastomer Industry Meeting’ back to September 2021. The original date would be available again because UTECH Europe has rescheduled their event once more – now for November – but who knows what the story will be by that time.

That’s why I’ve now taken a final decision: The ‘9th PU Elastomer Industry Meeting’ will not be held until September 2022. With the targeted herd immunity, it should be possible to finally meet again in normal ways, to engage in discussions and to also enjoy the evening of the event together – without the facial napkin, the disinfectant spray and perhaps even a masked team that prior to the conference checks if everyone has a valid antigen or PCR test or, if not, performs a rapid test before the participant is allowed to enter the conference area. Sorry, but I personally find this idea spooky.

I also hope that you’ll understand my position of refusing to hold a digital version of the ‘PU Elastomer Industry Meeting’. I’ve attended a number of webinars and web conferences as well as a virtual trade fair. Even though I enjoyed some of them, this is no viable alternative for me. After conversations with exhibitors at such digital trade shows I noticed that their enthusiasm was rather limited as well.

Birgit Harreither

P.S. I find it fascinating that the PU trade fairs in Russia and Ukraine will actually take place soon – I’d really be interested in finding out how to manage visits to these events in a fairly affordable way, considering all the quarantine and testing rules. I look forward to receiving some good tips in this context!