The COVID-19 pandemic is worldwide now. Wherever you are, you have felt its presence. The most significant and viewable impact was on health.
At the time of writing this article, nearly 786,000 people have perished from the virus, and it has affected a record 22 million people worldwide.
As this virus spreads through the air and human contact, social distancing measures were imposed worldwide. Schools, colleges, and businesses were shut down, and people were encouraged to stay indoors to stop this virus from spreading.
A silent and less visible victim of this pandemic is the economy. Global trade levels have fallen on a record level due to lockdown measures. Various economies around the world are going into recession.
On a more micro level, the businesses are feeling the brunt of it all. Small businessmen see no way of recovery from this damage. While big businesses are feeling the pressure of debt burden. Governments around the world are scraping to provide support for businesses, but in many countries, they are inadequate.
Some businesses feel the pressure more than others. In this article, we are trying to take a look at some of the businesses being struck by this lockdown.
During an economic lockdown, it is obvious that financial institutions will suffer the most. Bank branches with their closed spaces had become an ideal place for the virus to spread, which made many customers weary and avoid going to the bank.
In this time of lockdown, online banking has gained momentum. In the US, many people are switching to transact money online using banks. More decentralized banks with many branches have a lesser chance of spreading the virus because that branch will have fewer customers at any time than a more centralized bank, which is why I use things to look out for PNC bank near me.
Macroeconomic effects can be seen on the banks. Central banks around the world have made the decision to control interest rates so that businesses could easily borrow money. This was done in order to curb the effects on their economy, which has decreased the savings interest rates and increased borrowing. This had a negative effect on the banks as they are getting fewer savings and lesser interest rates on their loans.
Another important feature would be small loans and credits. There has been a load of unemployment in the economy. Many people are facing uncertainty over their job and salaries, which might provoke the people to take a spree of small loans and credits to look after their families and get them over this slump.
In the time of a pandemic, it is obvious that the health sector would be the most invested sector. However, there’s been talk of long time negligence in this sector.
Many countries around the world were caught by surprise by this sudden pandemic. Their health sector was not at all prepared for what’s to come. There were shortages of equipment, manpower, and even space for patients.
To cover up those shortfalls, major investments were made within a short time to make the health sectors functional on the level that is required for this pandemic.
As the world rushes to find a vaccine and remedies for this virus, major investments were made in biomedicine and bioengineering. Sectors like data management, demographic research, and epidemic research saw a clear rise in activity too. The world is now getting closer to inventing a vaccine for this virus with Russia and China announcing big discoveries.
This pandemic has also given rise to telemedicine. Doctors around the world are being able to assist and diagnose their patients using online mediums. More advanced countries are planning on using 5G internet-based remote systems for operations from a safe distance.
No other sector is feeling as many mixed effects in this pandemic as the tech sector is feeling. Like many other businesses, it is feeling the effects of the lockdown. At the same time, the lockdown and social distancing measures have come as a boon for many tech companies.
The hardware companies felt the pressure at first. The world’s production hub, China, was first hit with COVID-19. The country immediately stopped all activity and imposed a strict lockdown.
However, most of the world relies on Chinese companies for hardware chips, especially mobile companies, such as Apple. So when lockdowns came into effect, Apple started to face iPhone shortages. Like Apple, many tech companies faced production problems in the lockdown. These disruptions had quite a big effect on businesses and will take a long time to amend.
The experts are worried about the flow of creativity in these sectors. Many tech-based conferences had to be canceled due to lockdown measures, such as The Mobile World Congress (MWC), Facebook F8 Conference, and the Google Cloud Conference.
These events were an idea hub. People from all over the tech world come together in these events and share ideas and innovations in these sectors. Canceling them was a big loss in those regards.
Other than these, the tech sector had mostly positive influences throughout the pandemic. The software sector absolutely thrived as expected.
Firstly, the communication sector was affected adversely. With the advent of a home office and online schooling, communication software, such as Zoom, increased their profits by an incredible 300%. Cloud platforms also saw a big increase in business as everything suddenly went online overnight.
Social media sites are also booming. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are seeing skyrocketing traffic. Messenger apps such as Whatsapp, Viber, and Facebook messenger have also seen increased use in the last few months.
As people are staying home more and more, online media has become a very important part of our life now. Sites like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon video have seen more users than ever.
With marketing activities going online, streaming servers and software have seen an increase in their users. People are using online platforms such as Youtube and Facebook to launching products.
Speaking of products, the entire marketing business has gone online. With shops under lockdown, people are buying almost everything online, and sites like Amazon are seeing incredible profits.
The pandemic had mixed effects on our lives. For many active workers and small business owners, it has been a curse. For people working from home, it has been a good time. But one thing is certain: it had a profound effect on us as a society as income gaps widen even further.
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