Saturday, 23 May 2020

3 Industries That Are Doomed - At least For The Near Future: Part-1


23 May 2020

The tiny coronavirus was successful in infiltrating human cells on a micro level, but on a macro level, the virus has wreaked havoc on the human ecosystem. The economy, health, and natural lifestyle of a commoner have been disrupted.

On a more serious note, if this pandemic lingers on for another couple of months, which it definitely will, there’s no doubt in my mind that the recession, that has already set in, will convert into a depression plus a deflation, resulting in irrecoverable losses.

COVID-19, which has been declared a global pandemic by WHO, is having a devastating impact on the global economy. Below are some of the industries that have taken a hit from the novel coronavirus.


Cinema Industry


Before COVID-19, the cinema industry was already going through a patchy path. Except for the blockbusters, demand for big-screen had already plummeted. People now prefer to watch 4K-plus, Ultra HD movies from the comfort of their own homes, on Netflix, only for a $10 monthly subscription.

Industry giant, Disney, is all set to release their latest production digitally, but top cinemas threaten to boycott filming their latest release on the big screen. 

Although countries are reopening, the threat of catching the virus still exists and people are reluctant to go to movie theaters. Cinema industry was already facing tough times due to expensive tickets and digital streaming platforms, thus COVID-19 proved to be the last nail in the coffin.


Gym industry


The gym industry was booming before COVID-19. Good music, social interaction used to be a pleasurable experience, and gyming was more of a trend than just health and fitness. Gym goers were even willing to pay $100 a month subscription for the coaching and the posh environment, but things are changing rapidly and so is gyming.

The gym used to be a favorite place for fitness enthusiasts, but, now, it seems that it is a favorite place for COVID-19. Why? Because COVID-19 love places where there’s a lot of surface touching, so many people in such a small area, sweating, coughing, sneezing, and all that ensures its survival for years to come.

Lockdowns have helped at-home virtual fitness industry to boom. Gorilla Sports UK, a leading provider of fitness equipment in the UK, has requested its customers to cooperate with the delay in deliveries as the demand has sky-rocketed, whereas new orders keep pouring in.

ICON Health & Fitness, a leading fitness brand, announced a 600% increase in sales in April. People were panic-buying Pelotons, a noiseless state of the art in-home fitness cycle with live streaming availability. An indoor cycling shoe by Nike will be up for sales in the month of June.

All the above shows a doom and gloom scenario for the traditional brick-and-mortar gyms and studios.

Covid-19 has forced us to exercise indoors. This pandemic has accelerated the idea of a work-from-home gym. With new technology, internet-connected equipment, and apps, people are shifting from physical gyms to live-stream classes that can provide similar or in most cases a better experience from the comfort of their own home with a fraction of the cost.

To make matters worse, gyms that are opening have a long list of safety protocols. So even if you made up your mind to risk the virus, below is the list that you must follow to enter the gym.

  1. Face mask
  2. Gloves
  3. Bunch of towels
  4. Sanitizer
  5. Avoid the locker room
  6. Limit personal belongings

Certainly, I’m not the person who’ll put on a spacesuit to go to a gym, would you?


Open Office Space


I’ll start by questioning my readers would anyone of you invest in open office space, now, or in the near future? Definitely, your answer would be a big no.

MIT conducted an experiment on the travel speed and reach of a single person sneezing, the link provided shows the possible infection risk from a single sneeze. We can clearly see that a single sneeze can reach up to 27-feet and the normal social distancing protocols are 6–10 feet. I would prefer doing work from home rather than going to a deadly virus hot-spot and so would you.


In my opinion, open office space was already dying due to the advent of co-working space and remote work. Here’s a study that perfectly covers our point. 

In 2018, Royal society issued a white paper on behavioral changes in employees working in an open office environment. They observed a 70 % decrease in one-on-one communication and saw an increase in telecommunication.

In short, people don’t want face-to-face communication for trivial issues or simple instructions, they’d rather prefer a text message or if need be, a video call.

Another study published in the same year showed that people fear to catch an infection from crowded places and would avoid going to places with large gatherings.

My goal is not to fear you out, but here’s another news, 43.5% of workers on one floor of a call center in South Korea tested positive for COVID-19.

In the short-term, it seems likely that many of us will continue working from home even after government orders reopening.

Experts predict that even if offices reopen, sooner or later, they might look like an office-cum-hospital. In the long-term, we‘ll see a health department in office premises.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control conductive an investigative report on a call center building in Seoul, South Korea. They were surprised to see 94, out of 216, positive cases, and 90% of the cases were from most crowded places on the floor.

Conclusion


Things are bad and they are going to get much worse by the day, so we must re-think and re-shape our lives to survive the deadly pandemic.

Overall, I think closed spaced industries such as cinema, gym, and open space offices, among others which we couldn't discuss here, are doomed at least for the time being.

Authur: bfazal














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