COVID-19 has affected many parts of daily life across the world, but it’s impacting more than just the individual. Towns, cities, companies, and industries have been affected in varying ways over the past month. Many major industries have seen downturns and layoffs. Here is a look at a couple of the industries that have been affected the most.
Oil and Gas
Recently, the virus has caused a massive fall in the price of oil. Crude oil prices dropped into the negative for a couple of days before climbing back to rest at around $12 a barrel at the start of the week.
Crude oil is used to make gasoline and a variety of other products. Most crude oil comes from the Middle East and is priced through contracts. COVID-19 has, however, brought oil shipping to a standstill.
This is, in part, due to a decrease in demand for oil as more people work from home and forgo traveling. As such, the supply is rising fast. In fact, oil storage centers across the globe are nearly full. This massive oversupply is causing the price to drop as sellers desperately try to unload the oil they have.
For many Americans, the impact of crude oil prices dropping is lower gas prices. However, those prices are a double-edged sword. While they may lead to more gas station openings in the short-term, the long-term analysis carries different results. Most gas stations make their money off of the convenience store items they sell: items no one is buying right now. In the long-term, gas stations struggling to stay open might end up like the 70% of all business partnerships that fail.
The specialty gas market, including the production of oxygen and other pure gases and gas mixtures, has reacted to COVID-19 as well. There has been a significant increase in the demand for oxygen, both in liquid and gas form, which has skyrocketed. Many manufactures of medical grade oxygen tanks are struggling to produce them fast enough to meet the demand.
Entertainment and Tourism
Another industry hit hard by the virus has been entertainment. From movie sets to concert halls, the shut down of large gatherings and the enforcement of social distancing has left even Hollywood strangely empty. Despite the shut down of filming, it’s not actors who have been hit hardest by the lack of work.
Rather, it’s the camerapeople, prop artists, technicians, and artisans who make movies and television shows possible who are struggling the most. Some workers are going on unemployment for the first time in 30 years and others are receiving aid from food banks as they deplete their savings to stay afloat.
It’s hardly just Hollywood that’s affected. Entertainment professionals across the country are out of work since large gatherings are no longer happening. From birthday clowns to small-town bands, so many professionals are unable to put on money-making performances. Beyond that, many of them are self-employed or rely on gigs so they are unable to apply for unemployment.
This also could include tourism and travel, which have been massively affected. Across the country, museums, theme parks, and more are closed. Small towns and businesses that rely on tourism are all but out of business. Cruise lines, hotels, and airlines are trying desperately to stay afloat by laying off workers by thousands. Altogether, the entertainment and tourism industries are in dire straights.
Looking to the Future
These examples are hardly the only industries that have been affected by COVID-19. In fact, the entire economy has been affected by the virus. Speculations are rife: some believe that there will be increases in white-collar crime, an often prison-worthy offense even if the perpetrator has no prior criminal history. Others are proclaiming there will vast differences in how goods and services are bought and sold.
The COVID-19 situation is ever-evolving and changing, and there are likely to be even more industries in crisis as it continues.
Photo Credits: stock photo