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The whole planet seems to have now realized that COVID-19 and everything it touches cannot be underestimated. Even the most skeptical among us have become more alert and now prefer to “socially distance.” It’s evident that such a global issue, that of the current pandemic, has penetrated the lives of billions of people. #4promedia analyses whether the IT world and technology giants are resilient enough to keep growing.

A month ago, experts throughout the world considered three possible scenarios in terms of the economic impact of coronavirus: a quick recovery, a global slowdown, and the worst outcome – a pandemic and recession. Whilst it’s too early to speak about the worst-case possibilities, the latest reports coming from Italy, Spain, and France are possibly proving the doomsayers right. As of March 23rd, Europe is failing to achieve the same rapid control over the viral breakout that China managed to attain. How can businesses respond and adjust to the new, harsh environment?  

ALL MAJOR TECH PLAYERS TAKE AN ENFORCED BREAK

As people are strongly encouraged to avoid any interaction with each other, the gales of cancellation have blown some of the most anticipated tech events off the calendar. The SXSW Conference, Facebook F8, Mobile World Congress, and E3 Gaming Show have all been canceled. 

The tech giant that is Google, which always strives to stay ahead of the game, will have to take some belt-tightening steps too. The Google I/O 2020, previously scheduled for May, won’t be held this year, and the Google Next conference has been postponed, despite its primarily digital format. Android fans should be on the lookout for the reveal of Android 11 somehow or other, since it’s a crucial product for the company and can’t be concealed for too much longer. Apple has also recently announced that its Worldwide Developers Conference would be streamed online.

GLOBAL QUARANTINE PUTS TECH JOBS AT STAKE

Loss of income is now clearly inevitable for the majority of businesses, regardless of their size or target market. More than 50% of tech employees have expressed a high level of concern about their job security. An emailed survey revealed that over 60% of the respondents fear their income is going to be substantially affected by the measures taken to control the virus spread. 

Among the companies that may face the most significant decline in performance and profitability are those involved in the travel and tourism industry. With the whole planet shut down and airlines’ fleets totally grounded due to international travel bans and restrictions, companies such as Expedia and Uber have been left fearing the worst. Over 77% of Expedia employees are concerned their jobs are at risk. It’s also been reported that United Airlines has offered its workers unpaid leave for at least a week.

The crisis has definitely broken the limits of what was thought possible, and while humanity does its best to tame the viral invasion, millions of people have been experiencing a whole range of negative impacts on their private and professional lives. Profits are tumbling drastically, employees are having to deal with reductions in wages and lower bonuses, and hundreds of companies are struggling to keep on operating. These are just a few of the huge economic shocks wrought upon us by COVID-19. Yet, sadly, it appears there are many others still to be sent to challenge us.

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