Corona Virus now delivers!
Corona Virus now delivers!
Well not really, but we got your attention right? If you have not heard of this, you must be living on Mars. I hate to add to the “media hype”, but so be it. I urge you to buy stock in limes, and salt, you will profit from this.
March 16, 2020
As the Corona Virus pandemic spreads, we’re settling into a new reality. One that involves plugging in when we’re working (yes, the dishes can wait), and distancing ourselves from our fellow humans when we’re not (what better excuse to binge-watch your favorite shows?).
This week, we’re focusing on how the outbreak is reshaping our economy: We’re chronicling how companies are adapting in a time of increasing social isolation. We’re monitoring the downstream consequences of business closings and other effects of the pandemic. If wall-to-wall Corona Virus coverage makes you numb, don’t despair. We’ll sprinkle in other stories, too — including some that might inspire, or give you a reason to smile.
Our Contactless Life The coronavirus clampdown means the delivery biz could go bananas If they haven’t already, your delivery orders are about to account for a lot more than just hangover food. Businesses and workers across the country are on Team #StayHome because of the coronavirus. Deliveries have graduated from the realm of the munchies — and, let’s be real, a luxury of our connected era — to a critical lifeline. They’re evolving in other ways, too: No more face time with your driver.
The meatball has tolled for many restaurants Late Sunday, Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, said he would sign an executive order limiting restaurants and bars to take-out and delivery service only. The Empire State’s not the only place forcing the issue. The governors of Illinois, Ohio, and Washington ordered all bars and restaurants in their states to close, too. Dining demand was already dropping: Data from the reservations site OpenTable showed the number of US diners was down by as much as 36% last week compared to 2019. But if you thought restaurateurs would rest on their laurels, your guess is undercooked.
Call it the blue-plate pivot Brick-and-mortar establishments are pivoting to delivery. ???? One Colorado steakhouse is delivering prime cuts — cooked to order. The delivery person even waits while you check to make sure your medium-rare is really medium-rare. ???? An NYC chef once put a sushi counter in a hotel room (!). Now he’s doing chef-driven omakase, delivered. ???? Canlis, one of Seattle’s highest-end restaurants, is launching a drive-thru lunch service and family-style dinner delivery (with wine). Several chefs and owners say they’ll haul the grub themselves, and leave the likes of the ’hub on the curb. Why? Razor-thin margins (and $$$$$ fees for consumers). Their establishments might not normally embrace the delivery, but as one dining entrepreneur told Bloomberg, “right now, beggars can’t be choosers as far as where the revenue comes from, so here we are.”
Grubhub must know about its money-grubbing rep… …because on Friday, it said it would suspend collection of up to $100m in fees from independent restaurants rocked by falling demand. The ’hub and its competitors rolled out options to make sure delivery goes smoothly — and cleanly. Contactless drops let drivers leave the good at diners’ doorsteps.
The Corona Virus Economy Sports are canceled. What the heck will networks like ESPN do now? I hope you like basketball reruns. March Madness has turned into March Sadness following the NCAA’s cancelation of its marquee hoops tournaments. Nearly every major sports league has also called off competitions. So for a little while at least, reruns are probably all we’re going to get.
It’s a lot of irregularly scheduled programming Sports networks are filling time by airing documentaries, replays of old basketball games, and UFC bouts (it’s the only major sports organization that hasn’t yet canceled events en masse). Some networks are even suspending studio shows, which seemed like all they were airing for days. Networks make most of their money from commercials — and live broadcasts help them keep the lights on. Last season, regular-season games accounted for 38% of the NBA’s TV-ad revenue. Will advertisers pay the same premium for taped content? Some are speculating that networks could fill the gap by airing esports, but in-person versions of those contests (including ones with live audiences) have been suspended, too.
Are you ready for some football? The NFL season is still months away, but over the weekend players approved a new collective bargaining agreement that will add 1 game to the regular-season schedule and expand the playoff field. Free agency is also set to open this week, which will give fans (and networks) lots to talk about. Maybe you should re-up that YouTube TV subscription after all.
Sponsored – You steps into an elevator with Mark Cuban Yes, that Shark-Tank-starring, $4.3b net-worth-having Mark Cuban. He strikes up a conversation and without hesitation, you pounce on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit him with the perfect elevator pitch. 30 seconds about your new alcoholic kombucha startup and his eyes light up. As he steps out, he asks for your business card. You pull it out… only to realize it’s coffee-stained, creased, and just painfully embarrassing. Talk about a bad first impression.
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Practical Tips Resources are there to help you cope The pandemic has turned many aspects of our lives inside out. If you’re feeling stressed, confused, or you’re looking for a little guidance, we got you.
For your work life: How to work from home if you’ve never done it before. Most importantly, keep a schedule and set boundaries. (New York Times)What to do if you can’t work remotely. Ask about what precautions have been prepared for you. (NPR)
For people who are anxious: Start by knowing how your body responds to anxiety. Unplug if you have to — staying tuned in 24/7 can definitely make things worse. (Harvard Medical School)A brain hack to break the anxiety cycle. Replace worry with habits that are more naturally rewarding. (New York Times)
For parents: How to talk to your kids about the coronavirus. Don’t be afraid to do it, just be developmentally appropriate. (Poynter)How to keep them entertained while you’re socially isolated. Routines help. So do these days and things you can do together. (Washington Post)
Great links to share with others: Why outbreaks spread exponentially (Washington Post). This amazing simulator shows how quickly an outbreak can spread — and how effective social distancing can be. Why it’s important for young people to self-isolate. Gathering in groups will only speed up the spread. (New York Times)This will make you smile: Quarantined Italians sang their hearts out. The resilience of the human spirit rang out from balconies nationwide. (Vox)
Need a soul-soothing new playlist? Take comfort in Haruki Murakami’s impeccably curated vinyl collection on Spotify.
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