In the early days of the pandemic, most of us thought we’d have a couple of boring months at home ahead of us. But as the second, third, and fourth waves came, we realized that this virus would be around for a while. We’ve all seen the effects that it has on us individually, but have you considered how Covid has impacted the economy at large? Keep reading to find out which industries Covid has changed the most.
The restaurant business has clearly been one of the most impacted industries during the pandemic. According to Statista, between March and October 2020, the food service industry suffered a $130 billion loss in revenues as shelter-in-place orders and capacity limits reduced its opportunities to feed people. This resulted in 2.1 million jobs lost and an estimated 110,000 establishments closed permanently or for a substantial period.
The restaurants that have survived have done so largely on their own. While the relaxation of limitations, including outside and limited-capacity indoor dining, has allowed the business to recover somewhat, the experts will not expect a complete return for those who endured until at least 2023.
Because of the coronavirus, the theatrical experience could go extinct. Lockdowns and security restrictions caused countless movie theaters across the United States to remain shuttered for a considerable part of the outbreak. Per MarketWatch, the $2.1 trillion entertainment and media industry contracted around 5.6 percent—or $117.6 billion—in 2020.
Now that several big movie studios are streaming their recent blockbusters on services like HBO Max and Disney+ for a short period, the question remains if cinemas can thrive in a post-pandemic society. The AMC film chain announced that, even after 83 percent of its screens had reopened by the end of 2020, their attendance had still declined by 85 percent relative to 2019. Given how devastating this has been to the already-declining industry, this is definitely one of the industries Covid has changed the most.
One industry you may not consider being turned totally upside down during the pandemic is the waste management industry. With millions of people out of work or relocating to work from home, people create more waste at home. Masks have gone from something almost no one keeps around to an essential item seemingly overnight. Now that we’re eighteen months into it, those single-use masks have had to go somewhere.
New safety measures have had to be introduced to be sure our waste management workers aren’t catching the coronavirus from someone’s trash, which can include used tissues and other materials that may carry the virus. Workers in this field have seen a sharp increase in the use of single-use products, which has led to a massive amount of additional waste for which they may not have been prepared.