Among the effects of COVID-19, perhaps the most wide-reaching is that on the world economy. Its devastation is giving rise to immense challenges for businesses — some of which are uncertain if their doors will ever open again.
Yet, others are finding ways to deliver unique value in these unprecedented times.
Sports & Gaming
While typically a distraction from life’s frustrations, professional sports was hit early. Within days, North American leagues suspended their seasons and casinos shuttered their doors.
With this, the betting world has gone dark, along with most of Vegas. However, the best online casinos in countries and states such as New Zealand, India, Canada New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania have reported a spike in volume with so many stuck at home.
Even with the $160 billion industry placed on hold, professional athletes have stepped up on social media to support and encourage the community to continue taking measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
With the world health crisis came the popularization of a new way to fill our stomachs: online grocery delivery. While brick-and-mortar stores generally remain open, many consumers are opting to browse virtual supermarkets for fresh produce, groceries, and daily essentials for delivery to their doorstep. Originally predicted by Canadian Grocer in 2018 to grow to 1.8% in market share five years later, demand for e-groceries has surged due to the pandemic, outpacing capacity and leaving many waiting weeks for their next delivery.
Services such as InstaCart, SPUD.ca, and Save-on-Foods have begun implementing measures to protect both their staff and customers, such as contactless delivery. Physical stores have done the same, dedicating shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as installing plexiglass shields to protect front-line cashiers.
Alcohol has always been a staple of civilization, and that isn’t about to change. Along with the prohibition of sit-in restaurants and bars, the province of British Columbia introduced legislation permitting take-out and delivery of alcohol products. And with so many stuck at home, liquor sales are booming in Canada’s westernmost province, increasing by 40% in March.
However, just because sales are booming hasn’t stopped producers across the nation from joining their communities in the fight against COVID-19. From mega-corporation Labatt’s to micro operations such as Parallel 49, breweries are converting parts of their beer-making facilities to produce much-needed hand sanitizer instead.
After all this
There aren’t many things that can unite the world and all its differing viewpoints together for a common cause, but this is certainly one of them. Much like the fight against climate change (albeit with much more immediate consequences), the enemy we face transcends geopolitical states and borders.
In response, we need to face this new threat together as individuals, businesses, and communities to weather this storm.
Because we will get through it, and the world we greet upon leaving our houses for the first time in months will be different in many ways.
But it’s up to us to decide whether this brand new world is better or worse than the one we left behind.
So in the wise words of Dr. Bonnie Henry:
Be safe, be calm, and be kind. ∎