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From Crisis to Opportunity
- Read in 12 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 7 key ideas
Post Corona (2020) is a ruthless analysis of how the COVID-19 outbreak has reshaped our world. This survey of the post-pandemic business landscape shows who’s benefited and who’s been harmed by the virus.
Key idea 1 of 7
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated existing economic trends.
Think back to February 2020. The good old days. You probably left your house to go to work or school. You met friends. You went to the theatre, to concerts or to the gym. Back then, coronavirus was a brief blip in the news, something very far away. And you likely didn't know anyone named Dr. Fauci.
Then, in March, everything changed. Suddenly, the virus was everywhere, from Italy to Spain to Japan to the United States. People were dying, hospitals overflowing, and schools, workplaces, and shopping centers were all shuttered. The outbreak of COVID-19 is an event of historic proportions. To slow the spread of the virus, governments all over the world had to enforce new safety measures. They asked people to wear masks and remain socially distant; businesses had to close their doors or move their operations online.
The key message here is: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated existing economic trends.
These rules may have all been new, but their effects merely turbo-charged changes which were already taking place.
Consider the world of e-commerce. For the last two decades, this sector has been growing at a steady rate. By early 2020, about 16 percent of all retail was conducted online. Then, in March, the lockdowns came – and the industry boomed. In just eight weeks, online retail nearly doubled.
Similar upswings occurred for almost every tech-related industry. Before the pandemic, schools and universities were slowly adopting online platforms. Then, in a matter of weeks, nearly every class from kindergarten to college shifted to Zoom. Stock prices for communications tools skyrocketed.
But, as the world sped up its migration to the web, many were left behind. In the first few weeks of the pandemic, the unemployment rate in the US shot up to 13 percent. Unsurprisingly, those already struggling were hurt the most. Low-income families saw twice as many layoffs as well-to-do households.
This only made economic inequality even worse. So, what will be the fallout from this rapid restructuring of the economy? We’ll explore that in the next blinks.