History repeats itself – a familiar adage that we have all heard of. Sadly, with what has been going on around the world, it seems just paradoxical to rebuke the statement. The widespread patterns of war, economic chaos, and even pandemics are just some of the obvious testaments. All these have cycled through the history of civilization, wreaking havoc with the global economy and stability of the world order and on repeat. Presently, we are now witnessing how a global pandemic has stormed through the lives of mankind, uprooted the many ways to which people were once accustomed, and has thrown the worldwide economy into disarray.
Many have associated the year 1918 with death and suffering; it marked the end of the First World War but also the beginning of a viral outbreak. Despite the rise and end of several subsequent pandemics, the Spanish Flu remains the deadliest in history, having infected more than one-third of the world’s population at that time, with the death toll surpassing 50 million. Similarly, this year will go down history as another year of great turmoil and struggle as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has not just caused the lives of more than half a million people, it has also put a big dent in the global economy, costing the world approximately $3.8 trillion. It has put more than 147 million people out of work and pushed many industries over the edge of a financial abyss. World leaders have been put to the test and judged on their ability to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus in their countries and shield their economies from the resulting impact.
A staggering number of businesses have been forced into filing for bankruptcy due to the impact of the pandemic, and you may have already heard of their names. But, many of these businesses had already been struggling to stay afloat before the pandemic ravaged the globe. Laying off employees, closure of stores in designated areas, restructuring of debts are some of the measures that these businesses have resorted to.
Brooks Brothers, a famous clothing company that we are all familiar with, filed for bankruptcy in early July, and a major car rental company, Hertz, was also driven to bankruptcy the month before – just to name a few of the more established companies. However, some industries, despite being caught in the web of the pandemic, have started showing signs of resiliency, particularly those in the technology sector.
Unarguably, the pandemic has turned the world upside down, changing the business landscape and introducing a new norm of living – social distancing, working from home, and travel restrictions – that many people have been struggling to adapt to. Although this outbreak is full of dark stories, the resultant, forced adaptation has opened the doors to a pool of opportunities for tech businesses. Apple’s stock, for example, has already bounced back from a steep decline. The U.S. tech giant has fully recovered after having issued a warning over its earnings due to the virus, and the current stock price is way above the value that it was worth prior to the viral outbreak.
At the beginning of the outbreak, Qualcomm’s stock suffered the same fate, falling off a cliff because of the pandemic, with a sharp drop in its share price. However, the stock subsequently climbed all the way back up to where it was, with the virus having only inflicted minor, short-term damage on the leading manufacturer of mobile chips. Currently, the stock is much higher than it was before the decline.
Other major tech companies, like Nvidia, Cisco, and Oracle, have also gone right back on track amid this COVID-9 crisis. Having followed a similar pattern of volatility in their stock prices, these giant companies have shown surprising resilience to the impact of the pandemic. Particularly, Cisco’s business has been thriving since the last, steep plunge in its stock price with a huge surge in the number of people using its online collaboration software.
This virus is a global concern which required an urgent response. It resulted in major cities getting locked down, and gave rise to panic. People grew anxious, resulting in panic-buying and stock-piling. People had not experienced a pandemic-level disease in their lifetime, and nobody knew how to handle this unprecedented situation. The only thing they are able to do is follow the herd and hope for the best. As time went by, with the virus showing no sign of stopping, companies across the globe started to roll out work-from-home policies, and countries began to impose rules limiting social interactions while lifting their lockdown in an attempt to revive the economies.
This new norm of living has certainly contributed to the financial recovery of tech businesses. People have started to rely more on technology for daily communication, work, and even grocery shopping. This has caused a huge surge in the demand for collaboration software and electrical devices – like speakers, laptops, smartphones, and computers. As people are getting used to this new way of lifestyle and companies are seeing the benefits of having their employees work from home, the tech industry will likely remain strong, even after the vaccines are ready.