The Coronavirus epidemic certainly made a bang when it had hit China on the week welcoming the Year of the Rat last January. Opposite the rising number of infected people is the decline in operating businesses initially within Asia. But now, across the globe. Initially, working from home seems to be everybody’s answered prayer but entering its 3rd month, people are feeling anxious already.
Every country approached the outbreak in different ways, but the ultimate aim was to stop it from spreading through social distancing, travel bans, and working from home. And to that, let’s take a closer look at how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting businesses.
COVID-19, the official name of the coronavirus placing the world currently in a pandemic status, emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, China around December 2019. Believed to have been transmitted by an animal in the beginning, the person-to-person transmission had been strongly noted and is responsible for it becoming pandemic. The number of people that got affected over a short time drove the Chinese government, along with Hong Kong and Macau, to impose closure of the majority of the borders and travel bans if you’re coming from the said countries.
Local businesses suffered because of a decline in tourism. Even locals are refrained from social outings and dining out. Although more recently, retail shops have been adopting sneeze guards to help with public safety and encourage more business, the fear and restraint in the minds and hearts of shoppers are still holding shoppers back from brick and mortar stores.
Also, global supply and demand felt the impact by February, since China is undeniably one of the strongest and sustainable suppliers and customers, at the same time. There may have been mayhem already concerning the US-China Trading Wars, but this tops its negative outcome the world is yet to see.
Great reliance on China in terms of supply leaves Europe and US businesses on shaky ground too. In 2014, the Prime Minister of Australia agreed on a “comprehensive strategic relationship” describing the bilateral relationship based strongly on economic and trade complementarities. This highly required back-and-forth visits which can be a little complicated to adhere to nowadays.
The stock market, with Dow Jones alone, drops to its knees since 1987 crash at a 12.9% loss which leaves Donald Trump giving a hint that the economy “maybe” entering a recession.
THE UNBELIEVABLE HAPPENED
For the first time in its 65 years in the business, all Disney world parks closed for more than a week. All Starbucks in the US region will close except those that cater to hospitals. Cathay Pacific will be travelling three flights a week to 12 cities only for April and May, cutting 96% of its entire operation.
These are alarming business moves whose non-operative choice only means two things. Trouble and that Covid-19 is no joke. These drastic changes are imposed to stop it from spreading and further infecting other people.
Now, the world is on lockdowns, social isolation, and self-quarantines. This hinders people from going out, shopping, basically, going for anything leisurely. Since it’s the first of its kind, the people see it as a threat instead of intervention. Repulsion is the expected behaviour.
THE GLOBAL SUFFERING
How businesses relied on travel per se was greatly felt now that travel bans were imposed. As to how these demand and supply run the economy, it seems like, so do the travelling privileges.
Movement of commodities was threatened, and since a great daily supply of imported goods comes from China, panic buying happened. From toilet paper to food, people hoarded more than supposed to be. Demand for sanitizing products and surgical masks spiked too. Somehow, this created a tense vibe amongst consumers.
The global suffering may not just be about the fatalities brought about by this virus but also boredom, panic, depression, and anxiety. Hopefully, not hunger because of unemployment now that small businesses are closing down. But all medical professionals, economic analysts, and global experts are warning people of the worst that is yet to come.
The number of infected people is increasing fast with Italy surpassing the number of affected from the disease’s original epicentre, China.
Businesses are expected to follow a downtrend continuously. Although implementing virus barrier screens may help, those whose products and services involve retail, travel, and leisure are all on hold. People that work in cruises, theme parks, hotels, restaurants, aircraft, finance, and schools became jobless indefinitely. The economy is experiencing an imbalance. And it seems that this will go on for a long time.