Coronavirus pandemic has lead to the unthinkable; offices closed or issued ‘work from home’ to its employees, schools and colleges have declared a temporarily holiday; however, no one is worried about the prevailing situation. Hostellers making their way back home in crowded buses/trains/planes yet everyone is masked and using sanitizer- what has the virus done to us?
Everyone is hitting the pause button, reflecting on the recent developments that brought the world to a standstill; but out of these happening can we look for the positives?
Let’s analyse how the pandemic hit the world a bit deeper:
Why a sudden decrease in pollution and road accidents?
Fewer people driving to offices, schools or even hangouts mean less level of pollution. In China, there has been a drastic decrease in pollution since the spread of the virus. According to NASA’s satellite image over China, it is clearly evident that pollution has decreased a lot since February.
Moreover, as the number of vehicles is less on-road the accident rate has also gone down, which is another unseen benefit of the coronavirus quarantine situation. Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. So quarantine seems like keeping people alive too!
Growth in hand sanitizer and other cleaning product market
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, there is this one sector that has benefited the most–hand sanitizer and other cleaning products market. Many leading companies in this sector have reported witnessing an unpredicted hike in demand for their products. It is reported that by the time coronavirus spread in Wuhan, China Touchland had already found a groove with consumers, having finished its first full year in business with 2 million dollars in sales and on the brink of announcing a 1.75 million dollars second seed round of funding.
Same is the case with Purell, Lysol, Clorox and other companies, as the cleaning products are “flying off the shelves” as people are trying to stock in case of emergency.
Apart from hand sanitizers, mask, cleaning wipes household disinfectants, and other cleaning products demands are also increasing; despite this, the death toll around the world is gradually rising and is above 10,000 now.
It is reported that the stock market value for these industries is shooting high up.
Coronavirus is changing the way people eat
Due to the quarantine, people are now forced to eat from home leading to a decrease in the demand for fast food products. Fast-food chains, restaurants, coffee shops are all being hit by the pandemic as people now prefer social distancing. Even Starbucks has predicted a drop in sales for the first quarter of this year.
Chinese food business– especially those in the Chinatown worldwide are suffering as Chinese tourists have reduced. However, this has lead to people cooking at home and thus a rush in supermarkets and fresh produce supply stores was something unexpected. Reports say that Walmart and other similar big giants which operate as a chain of hypermarkets, grocery stores and discount stores saw a sudden rush of the customers in grabbing the kitchen essentials and other produce.
Booming of homebody economy
Yes, the online business is thriving despite the coronavirus outbreak; though quarantine has stopped the people from stepping out of their home, to fulfil their needs now they rely on online services. From online transactions to shopping to buying groceries this industry is booming.
Of course, the e-commerce sites and delivery providers have geared up to make the maximum out of the situation. Amazon, the largest virtual marketplace in the world is a company that’s arguably poised to benefit the most from the pandemic. According to data Vox received from Helium 10, a software suite for Amazon sellers, nine of the top 10 keywords being searched on Amazon.com are coronavirus-related. Shoppers are mostly searching for N95 respirators, medical face masks, and hand sanitizer.
Netflix and Tik Tok are Burgeoning
With millions of people trapped in home in quarantine, with no cultural or social gatherings, and cinemas being closed, in order to kill their boredom they have switched to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Tik Tok.
It was reported that companies that provide in-home entertainment services are flourishing as people are looking for an alternative to kill their time. Thus these industries are able to withstand the storm of the virus, even when the world is getting lockdown.
Socializing in the age of social distancing
Though the coronavirus has disrupted the work culture, social gathering, conferencing, and cultural events it comes with a positive side as well. School is out, parents are not at work, and it is a rare time when everyone is at home.
Though the only thing that can be done when everyone is free is to take a trip, visit relatives or go on some exotic vacation; all that is not possible due to the coronavirus outbreak. So why not some quality time with family?
However, the online telecommunication software, apps are also booming; Softwares like Skype, TeamViewer, Google Hangouts and other such telecom software and apps have seen an increase in download in the recent time, as office have now given their employees “work at home” option.
Headlining Citizenship Amendment Act protests have been forgotten. Amid the virus which has claimed four lives in India, the protests are still ongoing in many parts of the country.
Despite WHO as well as the Indian government advocating social distancing, many people are still protesting in quiet revolt against the controversial law and the associated National Register of Citizens and National Population Register.
The Tamil Naidu government had got the right idea and recently called off a protest of the same happening in Chennai’s Washermanpet area. It is time people are equally concerned about their neighbour’s health and call off protests and ensure that the hygiene protocol is followed.
Staying at home has many benefits, coronavirus is teaching us all to be patient, take a pause and be hygienic. There is no way to get contaminated unless we break the rules, so let’s challenge ourselves to stay safe with #stayathomechallenge.