The worst of the pandemic is finally behind us, and people are ready to pack their bags and travel once again. An article by Bloomberg points out that for the first time since Covid-19 put a stop to the world, leisure travel has regained momentum and reached 2019 levels once again. Although we are clear (for the most part), there are ways in which the pandemic has changed our world forever and we will probably never return back to. In this article, we’ll explore four industries that were heavily affected by the pandemic and changed forever.
At the start of the pandemic, few organizations anticipated how serious Covid-19 really was. Some designated the virus as a temporary inconvenience. Best Buy CEO Corie Barry described the coronavirus to investors “as a relatively short-term disruption that does not impact our long-term strategy and initiatives.” She, and many others, were certainly wrong!
Before the pandemic, a large part of shopping consisted of the customer’s hands-on experience of being able to touch the item, taste a sample of the food, or try on the clothes. After the pandemic, retails stores have gone the opposite direction making the customer experience touch-free, limited interactions with employees, and contactless payment options. Even though stores are now open and mask mandates have been dropped, many Americans still opt for curbside pickup or delivery services. Covid-19 turned the world of retail into a touch-free world.
Poker was resilient during the pandemic, but many brick-and-mortar locations were forced to close. As discussed in a Poker.org guide to Covid-19 and poker, the major change in the industry was a shift to online providers, who filled a gap for those that desired to play but were restricted from leaving their homes. People in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware could access online state-licensed poker sites because online gambling is legal in those states. Today, things have settled back down, but online poker has continued to grow. While only a few states have allowed online gambling, the true impact may be felt over the next few years as attitudes towards online gaming change and more states adopt legalized online poker.
During the pandemic, people were instructed to stay home during lockdowns which naturally produced a large audience in online gaming, including eSports. It is notable, however, that even after the pandemic passed, people are continuing to play eSports. In fact, data on Statista.com estimates that the global eSports market is worth $1.38 billion in 2022, and the market is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Mike Sepso, CEO of Vindex (an eSports infrastructure platform), said “Unique to gaming is that it has both interactive and linear consumption models, and the activity of watching gaming video streams and video-on-demand has become nearly as big as gaming itself.” The Covid-19 pandemic ignited the gaming industry largely because gaming is an at-home activity, and it is predicted that the industry will continue to grow exponentially even after the pandemic is over.
4. Digital Journalism
Before the pandemic, live broadcasting from a war zone or near a tornado with the whole media crew was the norm. During the pandemic, reporters were doing the same tasks with less crew, or sometimes even alone, in a location or at the comforts of their own home. This required them to turn into videographers, editors, and social media producers all at the same time. Post pandemic, the same demands on digital journalism will continue which will force journalists to develop new skills in technology. Some older journalists will be put under pressure to keep up with new technologies, and, at the same time, younger journalists will most likely be expected to produce more content to keep up with audience engagement.
Covid-19 has truly changed the way we live our lives and how most industries function, and some of these changes have lasting effects. As these industries adapted to Covid-19, they created systems that have proven to be more efficient and thus were carried on post-pandemic.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. For an interesting read on technological changes, read our piece on ‘Top Ways Technology Has Changed Our Lives’.