While the coronavirus has become a major disruption in our lives, the economic impact has become devastating. Some are anticipating 25% of the country's GDP will be wiped out in the 2nd quarter. To put that in perspective, the worst decline during the Great Depression saw the economy drop by 46% from 1929-1932, a four year slide.
It could take years, if not decades, to recover the economic loss from the virus. The job losses are going to be disastrous and it's only just beginning. Some businesses may never come back, but then some might make the needed adjustments to survive and thrive.
But as the saying goes, "Every cloud has a silver lining." You ask, "What good could possibly come from this situation?" If we think about efficiency and connectivity, the world has never been closer. Some businesses still carry forward with nifty communication devices like Zoom (ZM) , LogMeIn (LOGM) , and Skype. Chat facilities like RingCentral (RNG) , Slack and Teams (Microsoft: (MSFT) ) enable real-time communication.
If more companies adopt these platforms it sets up more flexible work schedules and meetings, not to mention more 'work from home' situations. The ultimate in cost reduction for firms is paying out less for office space and travel. Examples like these are going to demand companies to make some changes to compete for business with tighter budgets and perhaps fewer employees.
The social aspect of the recent quarantine has given rise to a different form of communication: talking! I know it sounds hard to believe, but people are actually talking to each other again. Further, entertainment options have never been so robust from home. There is nothing like going to the movies and having a nice meal, but ordering in on UberEats (UBER) and taking in a Netflix (NFLX) show is not a bad option.
Fitness trends have also shifted to the home. Peloton (PTON) is a big name with their spin program. Other fitness and yoga companies seek to make you feel better after a stint on the couch. Retail shopping online has never been easier. Amazon (AMZN) and Walmart (WMT) have made the commitment to swift and rapid delivery, perhaps making our use of the shopping mall a thing of the past. Grocery delivery is still an interesting business.
The entire world will feel the pain from this virus. But as we come out the other side, companies who have the ability to make changes for the future will find themselves ahead of the game and in a great position to thrive.