- While we appear to be in an era plagued by widespread panic – thanks to the inundation of information on social media and every known touchpoint, there also appears to be a positive wave of behavior change amongst societies that prove the resilience and adaptability of humankind.
- Abhinay Bhasin, Director, Data Sciences at
Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia pens down how amidst the projected negative climate by media in news surrounding the impact of COVID-19, he has seen a few rays of sunshine emerging in humanity.
At present there close to 400,000 reported cases of COVID-19. A majority of them outside China, with an impact to nearly every known line of business and economy. While governments and world leaders have taken to prioritizing measures to curtail the spread of the virus, there is no doubt that there is a need for policy makers and decision takers to prevent an economic fallout and to reduce widespread economic anxiety as has been recently witnessed in the US and other markets over a hoarding of essentials.
While we appear to be in an era plagued by widespread panic – thanks to the inundation of information on social media and every known touchpoint, there also appears to be a positive wave of behavior change amongst societies that prove the resilience and adaptability of humankind. This discourse will attempt to throw light on those positive and negative impacts on the society and global economy that emerge from the climate created by the onset of the virus and the mitigation steps that inundate the media of today.
Let’s Take Stock of What’s Going On
Early estimates reveal the global economic impacts to be in the range of USD 1-2.7 Trillion in terms of GDP loss. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) has forecast global growth of a mere 2.4% in 2020 (down from the earlier estimate of 2.9% from November of last year. This could probably mean the slowest growth rate of the global economy ever since the global economic recession of 2009.
Cancelling of major sporting events, lockdown of borders and cities, declining consumer confidence, global store closures by brands such as Apple, Nike etc and potentially severe retail traffic declines have already taken its toll on economies, creating ripple effects in society and especially impacting livelihoods of daily wage earners and workers. In turn, stress on key industries that have already been on a downward spiral such as the aviation industry and the automotive industry (especially in India) come under further pressures as production and mobility further reduce due to precautionary measures. The global travel economy itself is projected to be hit by nearly USD 850 billion dollars in revenue loss. This causes widespread ripple effects on the ancillary industries associated with these sectors.
Is it all Doom & Gloom?
Amidst the projected negative climate by media in news surrounding the impact of COVID-19 emerge rays of sunshine in humanity. Videos going viral online featuring Italian neighborhoods coming together on balconies and singing songs together – highlight the strength of communities in combatting national challenges. Heroic images of doctors and nurses tirelessly working and staking their own lives to treat to infected patients and those in quarantine reveal the underlying spirit of not just their professions, but the everlasting spirit of hope.
While yes – it indeed is a trying time until there is concrete evidence of COVID-19 showing signs of receding and coming under check and global economies bouncing back, the undying spirit of humanity with some of the best minds working on mitigating drugs, and some of the brightest and most successful leaders and companies committing to relief funds highlight the resilience of our species, while giving us all a chance to pause, rewind, recalibrate and move forward together as a unified force.
- By Abhinay Bhasin, Director, Data Sciences at Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia