The Ripples From The Coronavirus Outbreak

Sam Li
14 min readMar 27, 2020


A stadium in Wuhan that is being used as a place for hospital beds as there are not enough hospital beds in normal hospitals

You are about to embark on a journey filled with facts and mindbending statistics in order to get a deeper understanding about:

  • What industries are being affected by the coronavirus?
  • How are these industries affected?
  • How does this affect you in any way?

After finishing your quest for knowledge, you should realize that:

  • The coronavirus is affecting every person and every industry on this planet
  • There are brave people all around the world that are trying their hardest to stop the outbreak
  • There may be many curves rather than just one
  • The future is unpredictable and messy
  • It is your moral obligation to aid in stopping the outbreak by practicing social distancing and hand hygiene
  • Every tiny action you take now could decide the fate of other people
  • Do not let fear define you as it only adds fuel to the raging fire

And with your journey laid out, let’s dive right into it!

You and I both know that it’s no doubt that Covid-19 has already had a substantial effect on the world. Countries like Italy are currently on lockdown, and the American President, Donald Trump, has declared the outbreak a national emergency in America. After reading this, you might think that the end has come. But no, this article is here so that you, the person reading this very text, can know more about what is happening and bringing some logic to the table, rather than spewing mass hysteria.

Industries Getting Washed Over By Covid-19

Currently, brave healthcare workers who are helping to battle the coronavirus are wearing very protective gear. They are covered from head to toe. However, the major problem is that we are running out of this protective gear.


Right now, it is kind of obvious that the industry that is getting hit the hardest is the healthcare industry. I mean, it’s all over the news, and a lot of what you hear is just a load of bull. But some things they are getting right, and those things might be scary realizations for us.

This is a basic graph showing the new infections compared to time. Right now, the media is talking about how you can do your part in flattening the curve. And yes that is a very important goal right now. Because if we reach the max cap on healthcare, hundreds of thousands will not be able to be treated. However, a real graph would look something more like this.

Here is a prediction made by The Imperial College in London posted by the Washington Post. If we were to try and flatten the curve, there would be multiple curves that we need to battle. An example of this would be the Spanish Influenza, which had 3 curves that it had to overcome.

Right now, even with a flattened curve, places like New York estimated that damages from the coronavirus will cost them around 1 trillion dollars. It already seems that some places are getting heavily overcrowded. Hell, even our brave healthcare workers in the front line are running out of protective gear. With the absence of this gear, we may lose our most valuable medics. If this happens, the healthcare system capacity bar that you see in the graph above will lower. Not only is equipment scarce, but there only are a limited amount of people working in hospitals.

The coronavirus is breaking down the healthcare industry as a whole. The industry had never expected such an outbreak and thus had never prepared. Although many are skeptical of the dangers of the coronavirus, the crumbling of the healthcare industry is a clear example that it is so much more.

The Massive Decline in Air-Travel

After the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a great decrease in flights, and many major airlines are feeling the effects.

Airlines are also having a tough time fighting the coronavirus. They aren’t breaking from overcrowding, however. They are suffering from the complete opposite.

The Airline industry suffered a devastating blow when President Donald Trump placed a travel ban on all foreign travel from Europe. That announcement was made in a larger address that was broadcasted from the oval office. This is very rare, and such an address has only happened eleven times in the past 2 decades. This ban was a tough pill to swallow for the airline industry as long haul flights over the Atlantic are some of the most profitable flights, and they numbered to almost 1,700 flights a day.

United Airlines even announced that they had a 60 percent decrease in passenger capacity, and predicted a load capacity (how full a plane is) of 20–30 percent in April 2020. That’s a major decrease, and United Airlines is one of many airlines that are currently suffering.

The Airline industry had not taken such a bad hit since 9/11. However, this is much worse. The bans play a major role in the decline of airlines, but a second player in the field is the fact that people are practicing social distancing. Right now, everyone and their mother knows about social distancing. And guess what, airplanes do? The exact opposite of that. They pack people together in a little mechanical bird that flies 35,000 miles into the air for long periods. Yea, it’s not looking so good for the airline industry right now.

With a major decline in domestic flights, and with many other airlines closing down, the airline industry has never been so tattered. The industry as a whole has all the odds stacked against them. Although the airline industry should be able to eventually escape the hole that they are in, it might take some time for them to be able to climb back up to the cliff that it fell from.

Small Businesses

With the required practice of social distancing, many small businesses such as restaurants are in a rough situation as their revenue will drop drastically.

To describe the problems that small businesses face, we first must define a small business. It’s a business that is independently owned and has less than 250–1500 employees(depending on industry) according to the SBA(Small Businesses Association). With that out of the way, let’s see how the coronavirus is affecting the backbones of our economy.

In a survey of over 10,000 small business participants, 96 percent of the participants stated that they were affected by the coronavirus. Moreover, 51 percent stated that they won’t be able to last more than three more months.

In 2018 alone, the SBA estimated there to be over 30.2 million small businesses that are employing 58.9 million workers. These businesses allow people to find jobs, and also allows for economic prosperity to keep on persisting. Without them, people are losing their jobs, and the economy on the local and national scale is suffering because of this.

In New York, 29 percent of households reported one person losing a job. More specifically, 34 percent of New York City households with annual earnings under $50,000, 28 percent of households earning from $50,000 to $100,000, and 16 percent of households earning over $100,000 reported a job loss. Many of these people rely on their jobs to help feed themselves and their families.

When looking at the bigger picture, the global economy relies on these small businesses. They are the foundation for the economy are major employers. With the loss of our small businesses, we are seeing unemployment rates of up to 30 percent in the United States. This has prompted President Donald Trump to try and help these businesses affected by the coronavirus, and his plan will cost two trillion dollars to implement. Only time will tell if it works.


Although the quarantine has allowed us to get out of the classroom(yay!) online classes are still being used to help students keep on learning. However for some people, schools not only provide education, but they also provide food that they would otherwise not be able to afford.

95 percent of all schools in America are participating in the national school lunch program. Daily, this program helped to serve over 30 million children. However, now things are taking a turn for the worst. Many of these children are not able to get food. After adding the high unemployment rates into the mix, this means that some children’s parents have lost their jobs. With that, many of these children may be hungry for long periods.

This is detrimental, and can severely affect a child’s mental and physical health. Hunger has a profound effect on a child’s development and the absence of school can change a child’s future and education! If school closure is extended, there may be a major shift and other unforeseen consequences that none of us would have predicted.

Destroying the Supply Chain

The proliferation of the coronavirus has led to the closure and decreased employee attendance of many factories. Being that China is a leading manufacture for many American companies, we may see a drastic change in the tech and other industries that rely on a supply chain from Chain.

When describing businesses, you must also mention the supply chain. Essentially the supply chain is the network that links the initial gathering of raw resources into creating a product that is sold. Here is a better idea of what I mean.

As you can see, the supply chain is an almost constant cycle. Right now, the coronavirus is affecting places at the supplier stages and manufacturer stages.

Right now, almost 75 percent of companies will be affected by this shortage of Chinese manufactured goods. Although many of us are just focusing on buying groceries, big companies like Google, Apple, and Samsung are all closing their factories and offices in China.

There is a predicted drop of 10 percent in the production of phones, consoles, and other technologies. Apple might even see a 67 billion dollar drop in revenue from just a problem from its supply chain as many parts of its products are manufactured in China.

I know what you are thinking. “Really? Are we supposed to be worried about the production of phones when we are battling a global pandemic?” And my answer would be a definite yes. Because these tech companies are just some of many companies that have had their supply chain disrupted. The car industry is also taking a hit from this, as China produces almost 70 billion dollars worth of car parts and accessories. 20 percent of these go to the United States. Although many car companies have already prepared to source their parts from other regions, they are now seeing less traffic from buyers.

However, the food industry isn’t looking so hot either. Right now, with everyone trying to stockpile, food sales have gone up, and the supply chain might not be able to meet those demands. Pasta, for example, has seen a 68 percent increase on March 14 of this year compared to last year. And with the labor force decreasing in factories and a decrease in shipping and exports from lessened air travel, we may see another crisis at hand once we can’t. Many places rely on imports of food, and with that absence, we might be feeling some double trouble. Although America has a huge agricultural sector, we still import about 50 percent of our fruits for example. So y’all better get to buying those fruits!

In a survey of 628 respondents that mainly represent U.S. companies, more than 44 percent stated that they didn’t have a plan to combat the supply chain crisis. Additionally, it was also stated that factories in China are working at half capacity and have about half of their employees. This is a major problem, and it may have not only a large impact on small businesses but is also affecting large corporations.

The coronavirus has decimated whole supply chains, leading to a scramble for industry leaders to find suppliers for their products. However, many are staying afloat for the time being, but as I mentioned earlier, many small businesses may fall.

Retail is Crumbling

Right now may not be the appropriate time to get that Nike shoe you have always been wanting, but now many retail stores like Nike are giving discount codes for you to use! Just a heads up btw.

Currently, companies such as Nike and Vineyard Vines are trying to increase their online shopping as they are discounting all of their online items. However, this might not be enough. Although there is an incentive to buy these discounted items, there is an even larger incentive that is making people hold their money tight. Many people are keeping their money and focused on spending it on groceries only.

Regular retail stores are seeing a huge hit, as there have been over 15,000 retail stores that have closed in 2020, marking a new record! Considering that 90 percent of retail sales are from brick and mortar(physical) stores, retail stores are now doing anything to make money, and giving out coupons and discounts is the best way to do that.

If you can, save your money. The 50–30–20 rule is a good rule for times like these. 50 percent of your income is put into things you need(food, water, shelter, etc.), 30 percent of your income can be put into things you want(new shoes, clothes, v-bucks, etc.), and 20 percent should be put into savings. Money at times like these is valuable and with a volatile shift in the market, maybe you should get that new Nike shoe sooner rather than later.

Las Vegas

Although it doesn’t look so dark, this is a picture of the Las Vegas Strip as it went dark. Everything from casinoes to stores to hair salons has been shut down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Being a person who has lived in Las Vegas for the majority of my life, it was shocking to hear that the Las Vegas Governor decided to close down the strip. Police blocked people from entering into resorts, and Las Vegas went “dark.” However, the shutdown of the strip will have disastrous effects on the economy.

Some so many people visit Las Vegas, and in 2019, there were a recorded 42 million tourists. These tourists brought in an estimated 34 billion dollars. Tourism is the main source of income for Las Vegas, and Las Vegas uses that to its advantage. But now, with our advantage lost, Las Vegas will fall into a quiet recession, as travel rates drop. Not only will this drastically affect Las Vegas, but it will also affect other places like the Bahamas(19.4 percent from tourism) or Macau(43.9 percent from tourism).

I know that your mother probably told you that gambling is bad for you, but gambling is an important and major source of income for Las Vegas. In 2013, 23 casinoes brought in roughly 5 billion dollars for Las Vegas. Roughly 630,000 dollars a day for each casino. But casinos are still only a part of the whole tourism pie.

The hotel industry is also suffering in Las Vegas. A third of the revenue of hotels comes from conferences and group events. And the other third comes in from vacationers. This is bad news bears for the hotel industry. They definitely won’t have group events, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to vacation at a time like this.

The effects of the coronavirus have severely affected my home town here at Las Vegas. And I can’t imagine how places like New York are doing when it comes to their economy and people. But, there are always two sides to the same coin.

Benefiting Industries

Phew, that was a lot of negatively affected industries. And thankfully yet sadly, this is a much shorter list for you to read!

Grocery Stores

I mean, this must have been a given. With so many people being scared of going outside, people are stocking up and buying out the whole store. This may be beneficial for stores but also leads to items that are out of stock for long periods.

Over the recent month, grocery stores in all but 5 states are seeing increased revenue from this year to last year. The general increase is from 20–50 percent up from last year. This is clearly due to the mass panic of people going on runs and buying out the whole store. Due to this behavior, many stores are rushing to restock their shelves, creating great shifts in their revenue from day to day. However, the general trend is still a net profit.


With everyone hiding inside their houses and waiting for the coronavirus to blow over, the e-commerce industry may see a benefit from this horrible outbreak. However, there may be some benefits, but there are some definite negative effects as well.

According to Ipsos MORI, 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers say they’re shopping online “more frequently.” This is not only due to the quarantine but is also because of the massive amount of stores that have closed down.

However, with a breakdown of the supply chain, e-commerce may still feel the effects of normal stores. As I mentioned previously, China is a major part of the American supply chain. With this loss, e-commerce may see more use, but these items may inevitably cost more.

But with scares of the coronavirus, many different websites have tried to use that as an advantage. Shopify, which is a site that allows anyone with a credit card and email to create a retail website, has registered nearly 500 new sites over the past two months with names that include “corona” or “covid.” And you want to know the funny part? These websites sell you stuff that is absolutely and utterly useless. It is so clearly a scam, and they are preying upon those that are suffering.

How much do you think that an anti-coronavirus pill costs? Well for 299 dollars, you too can get resistance to the virus for 30 days! I mean come on. It hasn’t even been verified by the FDA(Food and Drugs Association). Thankfully, as more and more people are getting educated, these sites will be less and less harmful.

Although the e-commerce industry as a whole is seeing some more scam sites, generally, the industry may be benefitting. We are already seeing a rise in the use of the internet as people are stuck home, and this large industry may be able to survive the onslaught of the coronavirus.

Future predictions?

This is a predictive model for the confirmed cases of infection in America. As you can see, the estimates are all over the place, and it seems that it may be harder than you think to predict the outcome of this outbreak.

Right now there are a lot of predictions. And they are all different from one another. Every news source just wants to make headlines, and they mostly follow a general format.“ (Someone) predicts that the coronavirus will lead to (random number) deaths.” I mean, it is a random number. Some people are saying there will be 200,000 deaths, other people are saying at least 1 million deaths, and one person even predicted that there will only be 3,250 deaths in China(might be accurate for now).

We don’t know what will exactly happen, because everything is so volatile. The stock market is a great example. It is fluctuating a lot, and even the best analysts cannot predict how the market may look like in a couple of weeks.

However, when dealing with the future of these industries, it relies on the spread of the coronavirus. Not only that, but these industries also rely on how the public is reacting. Because mass hysteria and fear may be as contagious and as dangerous as the coronavirus itself. Do not become defined by fear. Instead, take a greater look at what you can do to fix it. Because if you get eaten by this fear, it will only grow into something scarier than it is.

“An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” — Dominick Cobb from Inception


The coronavirus has had massive ripple effects on almost any industry you can think of. If we let the coronavirus get out of hand, then we will be seeing even worse effects than I’ve just told you. It is now your job to not only practice social distancing and good hand hygiene but to also try to spread truths, not lies. This article was here to inform you of what the bigger picture outside of your life looks life.

Giants in their industries are starting to wear down. Future predictions are all over the place. This is now the time for you to step up. Because you have the power to control what the future looks like. There is no set outcome of the coronavirus because we all have the power to change the future. Although we all may not be enjoying the quarantine, know that you are making a difference. Because it takes only one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

Key Notes:

  • There is most likely not only 1 curve ahead of us, but there may be multiple
  • Healthcare is getting put to the test, and it is hanging by a thread right now
  • A lot of small businesses may begin to close down
  • Supply chains are breaking down
  • Travel is getting worse, and major airlines are suffering
  • Las Vegas’s economy is getting devastated as tourism plummets
  • Few industries can benefit from the coronavirus
  • You have the power to change how the future will look



Sam Li

Long form writer about any shenanigans that pique my interest