Lauren Del Ciello is managing editor for Water Quality Products. Del Ciello graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelors of Arts in English Writing and Francophone Studies in 2016. She joined the SGC Water Group and Water Quality Products in 2017. Del Ciello currently serves on the WQA Communications Committee, WQA WIN Advisory Council and WQA YP Advisory Council. She is co-host of the Talking Under Water podcast and host of the Checking In series. She has received journalism awards from the American Society of Business Professional Editors (ASBPE) for her work covering lead contamination issues and the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the water industry. She was recognized as a 2020 ASBPE Young Leader and a 2021 WQA Next Gen Award recipient. Del Ciello can be reached at [email protected].   
May 01, 2020

Editorial Letter: Checking In

This editorial letter originally appeared in WQP May 2020 as "Checking In"

Lauren Del Ciello

While I rarely dedicate this space to the same topic two months in a row, current circumstances call for us all to operate beyond the norm. Despite the turmoil caused by the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 (coronavirus), I’d like to take a moment to honestly check in. How are you?

Though water treatment professionals have been deemed “essential” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during shelter-in-place orders, every business is meeting the challenges posed by COVID-19 in different ways. Some readers have told me that business is busier than ever, while others have expressed that concerns regarding staff and customer safety have caused them to pull back on their normal business operations. Regardless, health and safety for both your staff and your customers needs to be the highest priority right now.


As of press time, the Paycheck Protection Program created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act just began accepting applications. The act offers nearly $350 billion in support of small businesses that can be accessed by eligible businesses for payroll costs, mortgage, rent and utilities. The program, hopefully, will provide relief for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, many of which may be water treatment providers, WQP readers, and the backbone of the U.S. economy.  

While we will all continue to feel the immediate effects of the pandemic, the long-term impacts to the economy, workforce and workflow will be felt for years to come. The pandemic likely will impact investment and travel throughout the remainder of the year, as well as open up conversations regarding the future of remote work in the water industry. And, later in this issue (“Recipe for Succession, p. 6), I discuss the importance of an emergency preparedness plan to guide a smooth succession plan, but emergency preparedness is a vital element I’d advise us all to strongly consider in our businesses moving forward – especially in light of COVID-19 concerns. How can small businesses cope when key personnel become unexpectedly ill? Creating a plan is key there.

While current workplace experiences range from working from home, in the field with caution, and even a temporary break, I encourage you to take this time to strategize, connect and check in. If you’d like to share your experiences with me, my inbox is always open at [email protected]. Be safe, readers. 


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Resources: Do you have questions about the CARES Act? WQP’s CARES Act 101 for Small Businesses is a start:

About the author

Lauren Del Ciello is managing editor for WQP. Del Ciello can be reached at [email protected].