Humans have always been facing different types of health scares. But this one is extremely serious. With no signs of being controlled, the number of cases of the coronavirus is still growing rapidly, continuing to cause turbulence in the global financial market and disrupting our daily lives. Just in two days: countless schools, bars, and restaurants shut down in the United States and around the world; major sports and events have been suspended; millions of employees are being asked to telecommute; and surprisingly, toilet paper has become an unusually hot commodity.
Many industries are feeling the pain and are facing layoffs. Businesses are experiencing revenue losses. Jobless claims have edged up to 210,000 and are more likely to keep increasing. Here is a look at the top three industries most impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Food and Hospitality Industry
Last week, President Donald Trump announced major travel restrictions from Europe to the United States, in a bid to stem the outbreak of the coronavirus. More and more people are delaying or canceling travel plans as crowded travel settings could increase their risk of exposure to COVID-19 according to the CDC. “Average occupancy in hotels falls dramatically,” said Kapil Chopra, founder of Postcard Hotels & Resorts, “which leads to an unprecedented revenue loss.” Also, many bars and restaurants have closed in order to encourage social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. More and more customers are stocking up on groceries and relying on online food delivery. This could be a great hit to service-industry workers. The World Travel and Tourism Council claimed that the coronavirus epidemic is prone to put up to 50 million jobs in the global hospitality industry at risk.
Manufacturers in China are key suppliers to various technology companies around the globe. For example, Chinese factories manufacture lots of solar panels, batteries, and silicon components. The initial outbreak of COVID-19, however, inevitably disrupted global supply chains. As the coronavirus has turned into a global pandemic, the consequences have become unpredictable. Many plants and factories, which were being used by some prominent technology companies to produce their goods, had to shut down as a result of a large number of workers being forced into quarantine. Apple, for example, experienced iPhone supply shortages due to its primary manufacturer, Foxconn, suspending its production in China. Google temporarily closed its China offices and restricted employee travel in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The spread of the virus has led to several major tech conferences to be postponed. For example, Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was supposed to take place in February, announced its cancellation due to concerns over the virus. The direct economic loss from the cancellation of these tech events has surpassed $1.1 billion, according to estimates from the data intelligence company PredictHD.
Sports and Entertainment Industry
Do you like sports, music or film? If you do, the coronavirus definitely empties your pockets of any joy. Several days ago, the NBA declared heartbreaking news that it decided to suspend the 2019-20 season. SXSW, an annual conglomeration of film, music, and media festivals was also canceled. Moreover, organizers of SXSW indicated that they had laid off one-third of the festival’s employees. The lucrative film industry was hit immediately as most movie theaters were closed. Also, many major film releases, like Black Widow and Fast and Furious 9, were delayed. The consequences of these events are far-reaching and unforeseeable.
Like Michael said, “It feels like we are at war, none of us have seen an event quite like this before. The full force of the US government is in an epic fight the likes of which come along every 150 years. No one knows how it plays out.”
But we will.