The global coronavirus pandemic has now been raging for well over a year with no clear end in sight. There have already been almost 211 million cases reported across the globe with 4,413,638 lives lost. The death toll will likely continue to grow as long as vaccinations lag and the delta variant rampages. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers as they are an inconvenient barrier for our desire to return to some sense of normalcy. It’s important to resist becoming numb to the carnage, a global death toll slightly larger than the entire population of Los Angeles, California. I have been at the bedside for hundreds of these people, watching their health deteriorate despite maximal medical therapy until their lives were felled by the ravages of the virus. With the global situation far from under control, it should come as no surprise then that Pelikan announced via their newsletter today that Pelikan Hubs 2021 would indeed be cancelled. Long suspected to be a foregone conclusion at this point, it is nice to finally have an official statement from the company about the state of the Hubs event. I commend Pelikan’s decision, even if it was the only responsible choice they could make. While these are sad times, there is reason to have hope for a brighter future. Despite the 2020 and 2021 events having been necessarily cancelled, Pelikan began their notice with a statement tinged with optimism, a commitment to not letting the Hubs become a casualty of the pandemic.
Pelikan opened their missive with the affirmation, “We are looking forward to meeting again in 2022.” Hopefully we will see a rise in vaccination rates which is right now our best chance at mitigating the virus’ impact. With a lower incidence in our communities, we can all look forward to safe gatherings again in the future. Pelikan’s full message reads as follows;
“We didn’t take the decision lightly and spent a long time considering the options. We had hoped that in 2021 we would have left COVID-19 behind and be able to start anew. So it is with a heavy heart that we have decided, again, to drop the Pelikan Hubs for this year 2021. The Pelikan Hubs is an international gathering where all pen lovers and Pelikan fans worldwide meet in individual meetings in their favorite city.
Unfortunately, the current situation in the Corona pandemic is still not safe enough for us to call for face-to-face reunions. Therefore, there was an intense discussion whether a digital platform could be the right alternative format. Once again, we have had many conversations, and arrived to the conclusion that the personal exchange, the try-out of the various writing instruments and inks, and above all the personal conversations make up the cherished core of this event.
Therefore, we decided to keep this special format in its original format and we aim to offer it in 2022 again. Although this may not be good news for 2021, we are sure you will understand, as we have acted to ensure everyone’s safety. Of course, we want to stay in touch with our Pelikan fans and create an interesting offer that focuses on the love of writing. We will present you the details soon, stay tuned!”The Pelikan Fine Writing Team
I think that the team’s words were well considered and strike a very reasonable tone that is respectful of the reality that we find ourselves in. What’s more, that last part of their statement is of particular interest and certainly raises an eyebrow. It foreshadows a looming announcement about a new initiative focused on the “love of writing.” That phrase could be interpreted in several different ways; a new pen, a new ink, or some other community based measure. Only time will tell what Pelikan might have up their sleeve.