You have most likely heard it expressed as the battle between the irresistible force versus the immoveable object. More accurately, it is Newton’s Law, which, in part, states that a body at rest will stay at rest and a body in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by another force.

The second part of Newton’s Law expresses that an unbalanced force acting on an object will cause it to accelerate. We have experienced it in that need to pass that big truck on the highway by “stepping on the gas” or that need to increase the pace with which we are running when we become aware that something big and scary is chasing us. Acceleration can happen through conscious thought or natural reaction, it can wind up being positive or negative, and is part of a large host of things happening on our planet and in our societies.

It is evident in biology and how we and other creatures evolve. In general, our biology suggests that evolution is a slow and arduous process, taking generations for a change to become dominant and lasting. However, as said in Newton’s Law, environmental factors can influence that evolution, in essence accelerating its effect. Again, this change can be negative, such as cancer or other diseases and conditions, or positive, say humans being able to fly, but the speed and dominance of the change depends on the influence of the environment we live in.

“Respondents were less concerned about contracting COVID-19 and more concerned about the supply chain disruptions.”

“Respondents were less concerned about contracting COVID-19 and more concerned about the supply chain disruptions.”

The same can be said of the evolution of society and how we live. The emergence of COVID-19 had a huge effect on our environment and heavily influenced how we live our lives. Whether that impact is dominant as we move forward remains to be seen, but it is hard to miss its influence. We saw the way we shop begin to morph years ago. So-called online shopping became more common, more accepted. Traditional retailers began to embrace online platforms over the brick-and-mortar options just to survive. The process could have taken years. Then came COVID.

Whether you agree with the timeline for the demise of traditional retail, it is hard to argue the tremendous push COVID gave to delivery apps and the dominance of online platforms over brick-and-mortar retail—from everyday errands such as restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores to big ticket items like cars—during the pandemic.

Having plans that take these potential influences—and accelerations—into account is key. Take for instance the recent rash of COVID-related disruptions to the sports world. With the uncertainty of what might happen to players, teams, and matchups when these players test positive for COVID, a sports-betting-focused program I was watching devoted a significant amount of airtime to providing bettors with the information they needed to best handicap their wages to combat the unknowns of players and teams entering the protocols of testing positive for COVID and its effects on their potential wagers.

Quality would like to do the same for its readers with the information you can glean from our annual Spending Survey. As Quality’s Managing Editor Michelle Bangert writes, “Last year at this time, respondents were worried about family members contracting COVID-19 as well as about the current economy. Those fears have declined this year. While respondents plan to invest similar amounts across the categories of quality equipment, software and services, their concerns have changed. This survey’s respondents were less concerned about contracting COVID-19 and more concerned about the supply chain disruptions, for example.”  

So check out Michelle’s article, “Spending is Back,” and everything else we have to offer in this month’s Quality.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!