When one looks at the news during the coronavirus crisis, the world of business is overwhelmed in chaos. The consistent theme is that “the end is near,” and you see that sentiment in virtually every industry. Here are a few headlines that captures the prevailing attitudes today:
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press headline:
“Here’s a list of every kind of business that must now close to the public from COVID-19. It’s long.”
The article focused on the Minneapolis area, but the restrictions are being replicated around the country. And the article wasn’t joking about the list of categories. It includes sports, It includes food places (other than grocery stores), drinking establishments, smoking and vaping businesses, movie and other theaters, gyms and other fitness related locations, sports clubs, (golf, etc.), and more.
All of these businesses are floundering (at best) under the current circumstances.
The Keystone State went even further according to US News and World Reports:
“Pennsylvania to Shut All Nonessential Businesses”
Even more grim is this headline from The New York Times:
“Stocks Plummet as Grim Economic Outlook Grips Markets”
These headlines give the sense that business opportunities have evaporated overnight. Reality should tell us that people make money in every economy. Businesses have to adjust.
More businesses are online now than at anytime in history. Last year, under very normal circumstances, it was reported that a “study shows we’re spending an insane amount of time online.” How insane? According to the article, “Are we all addicted to the Internet? Maybe. The latest Digital 2019 report, from Hootsuite and We Are Social, shows we’re spending on average 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. Half of that is spent on mobile devices.
“That figure sounds like a lot, but it’s absolutely astronomical when spread across an entire year. It equates to more than 100 days of online time every year for every Internet user. That’s more than 27 percent of every year.”
That’s nothing compared to the situation now. With a normal average of more than one-fourth of each day spent online, the world of tech is bracing itself for a virtually total online existence. Some analysts are predicting people spending as much as half of their days online, especially for those that growing number working at home. The situation is leading to headlines such as “Carriers suspend internet data caps during coronavirus,” there is also “Top US providers pledge to help maintain Internet access during coronavirus outbreak,” and even “Will the Coronavirus Break the Internet? Not figuratively, but literally!” All of these headlines point to a world of people obsessed with their online lives.