April 2, 2020

Coronavirus and our new physical, economic and philosophical normal

The pandemic has forced all of us, including me, to hit the pause button in many ways. While our communities, health systems, and businesses bear the brunt of COVID-19, the Earth itself seems on a kind of planetary staycation.

This crisis has rocked every part of our society. So what does this mean for my best bud and yours, graphite? Let’s take stock.

How am I doing? Rick Graf is feeling anxious yet confident

I’m happy-go-lucky by nature, but I’ve spent the past weeks switching between worry and hope, and from “We’ll be fine” to “What’s going to happen?” While the pandemic has us all on tenterhooks, I can see opportunities for Quebec graphite. For me, this health crisis has revealed the need for us to rethink our supply chains, from respiratory masks to everyday products and the raw materials they’re made from.

Non-stop screen time

We are all glued to our screens to closely track the global spread of the coronavirus and its curve, which we are doing our very best to flatten as we stay confined to our homes. When the news gets to be too much, we switch to the many entertainment options on our multiple digital platforms. You know what? That means that graphite is still important, as lithium-ion batteries are what power cell phones, laptops, tablets and our other electronic devices.

Where, when and how do we buy?

Public closures have forced us to buy online even more and rethink our consumption habits. Many people wonder where our winter citrus fruit will come from and whether we can keep getting them in the future. Personally, I wonder how long Asia will remain the sole exporter of graphite anode material that goes into lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

One thing is sure: measures to curb the virus’s spread, such as border closures and stay-at-home orders for millions of people around the world, have affected all areas of our lives. The health crisis shows that diverse procurement sources and resilient supply chains considerably reduce the risks for producers, consumers, investors—and our entire economy.

This means that sourcing locally is an ideal solution for the short and long term. Close-to-home is a greener, safer, and more reliable way to buy—and a way to feel local pride! We’re now at the point where we have to change our habits and our systems. #BuyLocal

We’ve slowed down to an almost stop—but we won’t go backward

The world’s economic activity is slowing, and the coronavirus has sent shock waves through the markets. No one can predict the future, but I would bet that our transportation electrification will continue as planned, as will policies to reduce greenhouse gases. In the short term, the economy will recover and the markets will adjust. But in the long term, the solution to replace fossil fuels remains the same: we have to continue our R&D efforts to responsibly accelerate our energy transition. #GotGraf

When I read in a recent Forbes article that

the EV battery supply chain faces a number of obstacles including high costs and environmental concerns associated with the extraction and processing of key metals,”

I knew for sure that my graphite is on the right track, which fills me with #ELECTRI-gratification. Nouveau Monde Graphite is developing the Saint-Michel-des-Saints deposit ethically and responsibly, and this mine will be part of our economic recovery. Did you know that you can be part of the revival too? → TSXV : NOUOTCQX : NMGRFFrancfort : NM9

The world is changing, and I’m changing with it! Despite the virus, I’m keeping up my crusade for transportation electrification as I continue to buy local and send you reliable and entertaining content.

PS: Social distancing really brings people together! Every time my mom calls, we end up gabbing for about an hour. I also know the name of my grocery delivery guy (who may be getting tired of my 5-minute thank-you sessions every time he comes around!). People working on the front lines in essential services are our everyday heroes. The earth won’t stop turning, but we now have a planetary awareness that we can do better, together, with every small act.

 

Until next time,
Rick, Graphite Freak
VIP at Nouveau Monde Graphite
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