Author: Jeff Edwards

As Vice President of QIC, Jeff oversees daily operations as well as the company’s strategic marketing initiatives. He has 20+ years in the incentive and recognition industry with prior lengthy experience in retail marketing/advertising and consumer loyalty.

Cautious Optimism and COVID-19

Cautious Optimism and COVID-19This week we are thankful that many states have opened COVID-19 vaccination to all adults, and supplies of the vaccine seem to be plentiful.  The number of cases is trending down, and we are hopeful that this will continue as communities begin to relax restrictions and guidelines for family and public gatherings.  COVID-19 has touched us all in so many ways, and these are certainly positive developments!

Friday, March 26, marked 68 years since Dr. Jonas Salk announced a vaccine for polio – a crippling disease that has affected humanity throughout recorded history.  The virus that causes polio, poliomyelitis, is easily transmitted – resulting in many epidemics during the first decades of the 20th century.  Salk’s announcement in 1953 was the result of research he began in 1948 seeking a successful polio vaccine.

Preliminary testing had begun in 1952 and continued for the next two years.  This resulted in one of the largest clinical trials in medical history, in which 1.8 million children were given the vaccine.  The vaccine was approved for general use in 1955 and had dramatic results in the United States.  In 1952, there were 57,000 polio cases in the U.S., and by 1957 (the first year after the vaccine was widely available) there were less than 6,000.  A decade after Salk’s announcement, there were less than 1,000.

The number of polio cases in the 1950’s pales in comparison to COVID-19’s impact today (over 31 million cases and 560,000 deaths in the US).  The development, testing and deployment of not one, but several effective COVID-19 vaccines in such a short period of time is truly remarkable.  While Salk worked on a polio vaccine for four or five years, he was using a procedure first attempted by Maurice Brodie in the 1930’s – so the polio vaccine took several more years in total.

One major factor in the success of the polio vaccine was the willingness of so many Americans to get vaccinated.  Science and technology today have brought about mass production capabilities far superior to methods available in the 1950’s, resulting in a safe and effective supply.  By continuing to take precautions (such as masks, hygiene, and social distancing) – and getting the COVID-19 vaccine – we hope to see positive results continue throughout 2021.

2020 – Roller Coaster Ride

I recall as a young child learning that a new, enormous roller coaster – the “Great American Scream Machine” – was in operation at Six Flags over Georgia, just west of Atlanta. The Scream Machine (still in operation) is a wooden coaster which, at the time, was the tallest, longest, and fastest in the world.… Read more »

Engagement and Discretionary Energy

The link between employee engagement and stronger performance is readily apparent, especially in today’s working environment.  With Thanksgiving upon us, many (optimistically) anticipated that by now we would be experiencing a return to, if not normal, at least something closer than our present situation.  As a result, a genuine respect and appreciation for employees who… Read more »

A Positive View Toward the Future

With a positive view toward the future, there will come a time when COVID-19 and its global outbreak will not occupy every major headline and conversation.  The pandemic continues to present immense challenges, even as we approach the midpoint of 2020.  While the cost has been high, response in all areas of society has been… Read more »