By Grace Yost
It all happened so fast. Only a few weeks ago, businesses were thriving and the economy was on an upward trajectory that seemed unstoppable. Then the Coronavirus came, and everything was changed. Everything was put on pause, affecting people on all levels.
No matter where the store is located globally or what it sells, the Coronavirus has made an impact on it. Its spread has left businesses around the world scrambling to find the best solutions to their countless problems. Obstacles such as how they will pay their workers or if they will have to shut down entirely have become commonplace. An industry that has taken a devastating hit is hospitality and travel. In addition the fields of education and entertainment have had to radically change to adapt to the damaging effects of the virus.
As businesses continue to struggle, the economy has come to an alarming hault. Since the start of the outbreak, the stock market has dramatically been on a steady decline and according to BBC News “The Dow and the FTSE recently saw their biggest one day declines since 1987”. The outbreak is said to destroy the decade long economic expansion due to the unemployment rate reaching a record high in the US. More than 6 million people filed for unemployment in a single week and some economists believe that coronavirus could push unemployment above Great Depression levels. The St Louis Federal Reserve says that unemployment could spike all the way to 32% compared to the 24.9% during the Great Depression (Business Insider, Winck).
In addition to the weakened economy, an industry that has seen dark times during this virus is the Airline Industry. Because of the travel restrictions imposed by Governments to try to contain the virus and the airlines themselves having to cancel flights, the number of flights globally have drastically dropped. Many airlines have had to fire employees to offset the decreasing demand and some say that without government aid, the industry won’t be able to survive. Specifically, according to Reuters, “U.S. airlines are seeking $50 billion in government aid to help them get through the crisis”. Due to these unprecedented circumstances, airlines are pleading for additional support to keep them afloat for when the crisis does come to an end.
Contrary to the lessening demand of flights, supermarkets and online delivery services are seeing a huge spike in demand. As the craze continues for dry goods, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies, we see more and more images of raided supermarket shelves or lines wrapped around stores on the news. The price for many essential goods is skyrocketing due to the greed of some in our country who are hoarding these products. For example, AP News says that one store advertised hand sanitizer at $60 a bottle. Chain stores were offering thermometers at $26 and facemasks at an “everyday low price” of $39.95 a pair while a convenience store had toilet paper at $10 a roll. This highlights our growing fear of the disappearance of commodity goods and the mass hysteria caused by the media.
Although we see greed in this time of uncertainty, we all have to stick together as a country and be “alone together”. This crisis is temporary, along with the economic turmoil, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. It will end eventually, and we all have to remain hopeful.