The COVID pandemic has been a double-edged sword for business owners. Some have done well and others have been pushed into bankruptcy. The same is true for individuals. Depending on a person’s job and life situation, the lockdown has created pretty diverse results. The pandemic has altered people’s online behavior in numerous ways. As more workers, students, and even retired folks were forced to stay indoors many more hours than usual, their computer-using habits changed drastically. Here’s a look at some of the ways the COVID lockdown has impacted the economy, individual business segments, and private citizens.
Streaming Services for Films
One of the big winners in the business world is streaming, namely feature film streaming and related services. It only makes sense. People who have more time on their hands due to being out of work, stuck at home, or otherwise turn to entertainment. The safest and the most economical choice is streaming of movies, classic TV shows, special sporting events, and more. Nearly all the big companies in this industry have been enjoying high stock prices, healthy expansion, and the addition of thousands of loyal customers.
The book market was in a major slump before the virus came along. But as the spread of the pathogen grew, so did book sales, primarily from online stores. When forced to quarantine, it seems as if individuals seek out all the old forms of entertainment they remember from their childhood. Book sales at all the online outlets has been soaring since early 2020, and shows no signs of stopping until the all clear sign goes up, which could be months from now.
Boom in Forex Trading
Enterprising people who view the lockdown as an ideal time to earn extra cash via their computer terminals have turned to forex trading. While online forex trading had already been doing well, enlisting new account holders and market enthusiasts for the past decade. But when word went out that a worldwide pandemic meant everyone had to stay indoors for months on end, thousands of ambitious traders headed to trading platforms to set up accounts and learn the basics of earning a profit in foreign exchange.
Young and old house-bound individuals have been thrown headlong into the world of video conferencing and communication. Less than a year ago, only a small percentage of working adults used video chat services. Now, these handy ways for people to socialize are ubiquitous. Families use the services, most of which are free, to visit, workers use them to have meetings, and church groups hold weekly gatherings via video hookup. The world will never be the same. Even in jurisdictions where quarantine orders have been eased or lifted completely, video chat has stuck around as the new way to communicate with others quickly and semi-intimately.
Restaurants and Bars
Owners of restaurants, bars, specialty food stores, and grills have been hit the hardest. The saddest part of the situation is that many of these entrepreneurs rely on their businesses for regular income. So,
when the quarantine orders first went into effect, the results were immediate. No customers mean no income. Many owners were forced to find online jobs or rely on unemployment benefits to get by.
The gaming industry has been growing steadily for nearly 15 years. As more teens and adults seek out inexpensive, computer-based entertainment, they’ve been checking some of the thousands of sites that offer digital versions of popular casino games. Some areas allow gambling, but even where that’s forbidden, the number of participants had been increasing before COVID. Now, this business segment is really taking off, enjoying the entry of millions who had never before participated.
Film Production and Live Theater
It might be much easier to watch films during the crisis, but it’s nearly impossible to produce one. With all the social distancing and mask guidelines in place, owners of movie studios and live theater venues are taking a financial hit like never before. Some of Hollywood’s biggest studios are currently operating with skeleton crews and barely able to keep their doors open.
Remote College Degrees
For people who needed to finish a college degree, this crisis has been a blessing in disguise. Remote course enrollment is up everywhere, for community colleges, universities, and traditional four-year degree programs. This might be the cleverest way to use down time. Remote coursework costs less, is usually self-paced, and offers credit for every hour taken. The other bonus for the back to school crowd is the lack of geographic restrictions. With remote schooling, you can hook up with any school in the world.