Affecting 199 countries worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 ( severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 ) virus has infected more than 613,000 individuals among whom around 28,000+ fatal have been reported to date. The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. The virus is said to spread via physical contact between individuals and through respiratory droplets discharged when people cough or sneeze. The symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) include:
- Common symptoms like fever, tiredness and, dry cough
- Other symptoms like shortness of breath, aches and pains, sore throat, and very few people will report diarrhea, nausea or a runny nose.
The cure and vaccine for this disease are yet to found. So, the best thing one can do to prevent himself from getting affected is to maintain social distance, proper hygiene, hand washing, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, coughing/sneezing into a tissue and putting the tissue directly into a dustbin. Those who show the symptoms of this disease are advised to wear masks in public and isolate themselves for 14 days (2-14 days is the incubation period of the virus in the host’s body). And if condition worsens reach for medical help ASAP.
Due to the rapid increase in the number of individuals targeted by this disease, the government of different countries has implemented curfews and lockdowns for a large number of days so that people maintain social distance and this disease can be prevented from spreading.
Lockdowns, curfews and, fear of getting infected and loss of life have forced people to stay indoors which is affecting the world economy and business on a very large scale. Factories have been forced to shut down and there is a drastic decrease in the sale of various goods. People now only order essential commodities required for daily use and survival.
On Friday 28, March 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva clearly stated that the world has entered a recession which can be worse than the recession of 2009. The recession of 2009 (termed as Great Recession) was concluded to be the most severe economic and financial meltdown since the recession of the 1930s (Great Depression) and it is often regarded as the second-worst downturn of all time. Due to its intensity, The Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the global economy can decline. Now, if it is being feared that the current recession might be worse than the Great Recession, one can imagine the threat of facing the longest and deepest recession, the Great Depression again.
From the above situation, it is quite clear that the business industries around the world have also not able to escape the adverse effects of COVID-19. Food Industry is facing a crisis as restaurants are shut down and people have panicked and bought groceries and stocked them in case an emergency arises. This has created a crisis in the supply of grains and vegetables. Prices of commodities are also increasing which affecting common people. The textile industry is also suffering as buying cloths is of least priority in such a pandemic scenario. Banks around the world are decreasing interest in the loans being provided and helping the government on paying the daily laborers. Media and advertisement industries have also been affected as no big events are being organized and they’re left with nothing much to cover other than coronavirus updates.
All these industries are nowadays based on technology and the IT industry is directly or indirectly related to them be it for advertisements, online tractions, online ordering of products or providing security. But it seems that even IT and Tech Industries have not been spared by the curse of Corona. Let’s see how IT and Tech Industries have been hit by coronavirus :
Supply Chain Disruption :
Having started in China, the region was hit hard as an enormous number of residents gotten the ailment and many were constrained into isolate. This prompted halfway and full shutdowns of plants and factories, some of which were being utilized by tech giants to manufacture their products. This has caused a major disruption in supply chains around the world. For example, Apple experienced shortages on its iPhone supply as a result of the company’s primary manufacturer, Foxconn, shutting down much of its production in China.
If supply chains continue to break, product supply will be decreased drastically which will adversely affect the economy as around 70% of GDP is based on customer purchasing.
Tech Conferences getting canceled
All the tech conferences are being canceled or postponed till any further notice or are being held virtually. This is also resulting in various missed partnership opportunities. Casualties include :
- Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was set to take place February 24-27 in Barcelona, was canceled due to concerns over the virus.
- Facebook canceled its F8 developer conference and Global Marketing Summit.
- Google shifted its Google Cloud Next event to online only.
- IBM likewise had to live-stream its developer’s conference.
- SXSW ( South by Southwest ) which was to be held in Austin, has been postponed till further notice.
Technological Capabilities :
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the need for remote interaction has gone up. And, high traffic is leading to greater stress on VPNs and conference call systems. Even the public networks are receiving huge traffic as people are staying indoors so the use of the internet has increased tremendously. This is creating a huge load on the existing network and hence decreasing the internet speed, highlighted a need for 5G technology.
5G’s exceptionally quick speeds and expanded connection density make it a prime option for remote connections, which has become the first choice many organizations as alert mounts over the spread of the virus.
Securing Funds :
There are high probabilities that the fundings and investments in projects might go down while the uncertainty persists. During this pandemic situation, there is a high chance that investors might not want to invest in new projects and save the money in case their existing investments require it or for their personal use.
Stifled Innovation :
Due to the above factors, i.e, disruption in the supply chain, forgone in-person business opportunities, congestion in VPNs and public networks and, insecurity of funds, tech industries will likely still suffer a period of stifled innovation. Conference attendees don’t have similar chances to network by means of live streaming as they do going to face to face events. The decreased pace in innovation will lead to a downfall in the advancement of technologies if this pandemic continues for a longer period of time.
In spite of facing these difficulties, some tech giants have taken a step forward to fight against Coronavirus. Like :
- Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are donating medical supplies and personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers to software projects that help track and analyze the global spread.
- Airbus, McLaren, and Nissan are rushing to create thousands of new ventilators in the United Kingdom.
- CISCO has committed to donating $225 million in cash, in-kind, and planned-giving to global and local initiatives struggling to defeat coronavirus.
- TikTok has committed to donating $10 million to the World Health Organization Solidarity Response Fund.
- Intel has announced that they would source and donate more than 1 million items of the personal protective company.
- LinkedIn as recently announced that it plans to make 16 of its learning courses free. The courses provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools, and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.
- Facebook recently revealed it’s banning ads that guarantee a “cure” for the virus and is trying to link people to reputable sources such as the World Health Organization and local resources. It’s also donating $20 million and giving the WHO free ad space to get its message out.
In a time like this when the world is through such a dangerous situation, it is our responsibility to ensure it ends fast and people are safe. And, we can do this simply by staying in our homes and isolating ourselves if we any symptom of COVID-19. We must also appreciate the doctors and public servants who are risking their lives for ours and doing their best to keep us healthy and safe. This can also be simply done by following the government’s order and staying in our homes.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.