With the spread of the Covid-19 virus to almost every country worldwide, billions of people have been forced to stay indoors at home in confinement, while millions of people risk being exposed on the frontline treating and tending to the already infected. In order to save lives this lockdown has seriously unleashed devastating effects, causing havoc on the global economy, resulting in the loss of jobs and business, and threatening more from the shutting down of non-essential businesses.
The sudden shift in behaviour of online and food consumption has proved that although in this very challenging time, while many will lose, others will win. There are several industries, companies, businesses and self-employed professionals currently profiting and benefiting from the demand and supply of specific products and services, which for many consumers at some point would have considered as a non-essential may now be essential, and vice versa, what might have been considered as essential is at present no longer whether or not it be by choice.
Although online usage has skyrocketed as more people are mandated to remain indoors even the most distinguished tech companies are feeling the agonizing effects of the pandemic. Facebook Messenger, social networking and live streaming have hit record numbers with the level of audio and video calls doubling, as people rely more on social services in this time of disaster. However, these messaging platforms are not major revenue producers and this uncertain economic environment has resulted in revenue loss for the social media giant that relies on mostly small businesses who advertise steadily, and at this time have pulled back on their ad spend.
On the flip side, as people are streaming more than ever, Netflix has benefited from an increase of viral popularity and the recent boom in mid-March adding approximately fifteen million new subscribers, and now having one hundred and eighty- three million in total worldwide. Despite being impacted by the halt in production, having completed most of its programming for the year, Netflix’s competitive advantage is the volume of its catalog and a large pipeline of original content, to survive for the next few months. Nonetheless, it is expected to be a decline in viewing and membership as home confinement decelerates from the lift and removal of the lockdown.
Of all the industries around the globe being affected, it’s fair to say that in addition to the closure of schools, and educational institutes and traditional retail stores of all sectors, the majority of airlines, hotels, bars, restaurants, fast food outlets, food trucks, street vendors, entertainment centres and others, belonging to the hospitality and tourism industry has experienced the brunt of these blows the most. While in a few countries most businesses remained open, the majority of countries throughout the world have mandated the shutdown of businesses that are considered to be non-essential.
It seems that until a vaccine for the COVID-19 has been found and becomes available to everyone globally, and the lockdown has been relaxed, life may not return to how we once knew it. To combat the battle of eradicating the virus in the longterm, more than likely social distancing and wearing face masks, and other protocols would be required from the public which would inevitably affect our ability to interact, eat, drink and socialize in cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars as easily as we were just merely three months ago.
Prior to the pandemic, in some countries such as ours a lot of people have a hard time digesting and understanding social distancing especially and specifically when in lines whether it be for food, groceries, a fete, by the bar, or at the bank. Hopefully, as time goes by and the pandemic is long gone, as a society social distancing could and would still continue to be practiced as it is in other countries, as a matter of respect allowing people some personal space.