A couple of months ago, many countries declared a state of emergency regarding the outbreak of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Since then, thousands of people have been affected by this impactful disease and it has cost the lives of many. Symptoms such as shortness of breath and fever are reported being some of the most common experiences in infected people. COVID-19 has united the world and has become a major concern in just a matter of 3 months, spreading to at least 177 countries and territories, killing more than 19,000 and infecting more than 436,500 people worldwide.
Due to this pandemic, many countries have been forced to go into lockdown, shutting down non-essential services like public areas, cinemas, bars, sports venues, and all other social gatherings. People have been advised to stay at home and maintain social distancing. Most companies have asked their employees to work from home, but those working in essential commodity and service industries continue to go to work every day.
This is truly something that the world has never seen before or could ever have predicted to occur at such a rapid pace. The popular tourist destination Disney World has been temporarily closed due to hurricanes in the past, but it has been closed for the longest period of time ever due to the deadly outbreak. The lively Las Vegas streets are now vacant and so are it’s casinos, which is very shocking. New York City, also called the “the city that never sleeps” is at its all-time low having nearly no one walking around Times Square.
Now due to many countries shutting down their airports and sealing borders for non-essential travel, people have been asked to stay at home to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. How is this pandemic affecting countries economically? China has shown that we can stop the virus through containment, but at an economic cost. The Coronavirus shock is significant when compared to the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, as it hit households, businesses, financial institutions and markets all at the same time. This outbreak has not only affected China, but economies worldwide.
Globally, the shutdown has affected the stock market by plunging shares. Central Banks in more than 50 countries have cut interest rates to try to strengthen the economy. The travel industry has been hit hard with cruise ships and airlines ordered to stop operations. Countries that depend on tourism as the main source of income have been economically hit hard due to travel restrictions.
The fear Coronavirus brings and restrictions put in place by the government for people to stay at home is having a huge impact on restaurants, retail stores and hotels. Workers have been laid off due to many businesses closing down or cutting down staff due to the outbreak. This in return has left little-to-no revenue for businesses, and workers are not getting paid as they normally would have. Local businesses are being hit the worst due to this pandemic. Since the crisis hit, people are choosing less risky investments, the value of gold is plummeting, and oil is at its lowest price since June 2001.
One of our team-members expressed her fears-
I had a few very stressful days because of COVID-19. I recently caught a cold and I am still recovering. I always get the seasonal flu and if this was any other time, I wouldn’t be concerned at all. I was really scared and stressed out because every time I read about new symptoms, I somehow felt like I was experiencing them the next day. On top of that, I had to cancel all my trips that I had planned in these two weeks since I am currently on vacation.
After going crazy for a few days, I realized that a lot of people have to deal with a lot worse. COVID-19 or not, this pandemic helped me remember that death is around the corner for every one of us. I was caught up in a daily routine that I hated but now I realize that I even took that for granted. This difficult time has helped me reflect on my life, appreciate the people around me and most importantly, strengthen my faith. We have to be patient and find the wisdom behind the calamity. Last but not least, always stay good to others! 一 Iman Idris
Iman’s confession tells us that through all challenging times, there is always a positive outcome that we must appreciate and be thankful for. The government in various countries is helping people financially and is rolling out schemes to help the economy stay stable. There has been a drastic decrease in air pollution due to closures and significantly less traffic on roads. Canal water in Venice has cleared up with no boat traffic, the air is much cleaner, and it makes us believe that every dark cloud truly has a silver lining. Looks like our mother nature is healing.
Remember to stay positive in difficult times and have hope in everything around us. There are better days to come and with time and healing, this too shall pass.