Author Topic: Caronavirus - business implications  (Read 2560 times)

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Caronavirus - business implications
« on: March 18, 2020, 04:49:28 AM »
Hi guys,

This is certainly one of the most unique periods in our lifetimes.  The health concerns are rightfully at the forefront, a heated election season is in full swing, the markets are incredibly volatile and we are seeing lifestyle disruptions that are new to most of us.  Truth known, its alarming, concerning and fascinating at the same time. 

It seems like every company I have ever done business with has emailed this week with a range of modifications (many quite radical).  I am interested to hear how this is impacting your businesses and/or employment?  What are you all seeing/projecting? 

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 07:26:34 AM »
I have 3 small businesses that are currently employing people. A civil engineering firm, a land surveying company and an LLC with commercial real estate (an old office building with some long term lessors).

I am incredibly disappointed with my state's governmental response from an economic perspective to the virus. They have put forth no plan, no end date, not even a "here is what we will do when we see x in infections." The only response each day is to decrease liberties more, without providing any scientific data to back it up. It looks to me like one-upsmanship from one state or jurisdiction to the next. No governor wants to be the one who had a virus spread because they didn't impose a curfew like the next state over.

Consumer confidence is shook. I have a meeting tomorrow that I guarantee will be cancelling a 3/4 million dollar design project for my civil firm. We have enough work booked to see us through mid June, but I fully expect to be telling my staff at the end of this month that they should shine up their resumes. At some point I want to see the cost/benefit decision matrix we are following (because I do not think there is one). A lot of people will die from this virus near and long term, and IMO a stronger economy keeps people healthier than a recession.

I'm normally very optimistic business wise (one of my greatest gifts and faults) but I have a really bad feeling about the end of Q2 and all of Q3 driving us into a prolonged recession. I have already started planning for layoffs/shuttering. Which is a terrible feeling - my staff are my friends and it is no fun laying off your friends.

I would much prefer to follow the S. Korea model. They basically have soft quarantine in place, they want everyone wearing masks and they are dutifully protecting the old and weak. They let businesses and people decide for themselves what to do and how to approach the situation while asking for everyone's cooperation and effort. I actually trust Americans to do the right thing, I feel like a lot of people do not.  S. Korea does have more testing so that they can pinpoint quarantine easier and I believe we will get to that point sooner rather than later.

Would love for someone to talk me down off the ledge!

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deepmud

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 08:05:26 AM »
As an Alaskan - I totally hope they are going to send everyone - EVERYONE - a check. The impact of the dividend goes all across the economy here. People buy stupid crap - whatever - do what you want - it really pushes the economy. We never seem to spend enough on infrastructure - we could use a stupidly huge, expensive bridge to the Kenai area - bigger than the Mac at the top of Michigan - at least if we had blown our cash on a giant stupid bridge in the 70's/80's, we would have a bridge now.

But the cash to the individual, instead of the banks and big business? Heck yeah.

Anyway - I'm in a bandwidth business - my company has 2 undersea systems to Seattle (with legs to the Southeast) , two systems to the north/center, a link to Prudhoe Bay, a combo fiber-microwave to Western Alaska - and I'm working from home. Fixing a 100G circuit the last few days , need to fix a 10G for s special customer - and I'm working from home. Mostly. Might have to drive to a site, might send another tech.

surf4food

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2020, 12:02:51 PM »
A large # of my friends work as chef's and bartenders and with the high rents here in San Diego they're not looking forward to the inevitable layoffs.  Others are small business owners and some don't think they'll be able wither the storm when this is all over. 

Caribsurf

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2020, 12:31:07 PM »
Our business is in the Caribbean, and as more and more flights are being cancelled and cruise ships being turned away, my Caribbean business has started to feel the impact of the virus.  Although only a few islands have announced positive cases of the virus, the islands are playing it safe as they should.
Most islands are on egg shells fearing the inevitable.

I was in Barbados yesterday and it appeared to be business as usual, however later that day it was announced the first 2 confirmed cases of the virus, an American tourist and a Barbadian national returning from the U.S.   My taxi driver told me Virgin Airways from the UK and Air Canada are cancelling flights to and from Barbados.  JetBlue may also be reducing flights.
Barbados also has turned away a couple of cruise ships from docking for fear of infected passengers.

Aruba has basically stopped all shipments into the island except necessities, so many of our orders are on hold or have been cancelled.

Bermuda just cancelled all flights from JFK and Miami and Cruises cancelled for next 60 days. 
Same goes for St.Thomas, cruises cancelled for the next 60 days but airport still open.

So yes, I am slowly seeing the trickle down affect of the virus and fingers crossed
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surfcowboy

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 01:09:17 PM »
Sharing this out of trying to offer some hope.

While concerned, my small business which works remotely in tech is not that affected for now. We work mostly on media and entertainment clients and that sector tends to stay strong in hard times as people stay home and consume content. Also, once we recover even a bit there will be huge investment in changing processes and preparation just like after 9/11. There will be money to be made.

I also hope we flatten the curve as yes, we must balance our economic security against health. I actually feel confident we are. If you look at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ you can see countries like South Korea and China who are farther along the curve and see how this plays out with a good plan. That’s helped me feel better for my friends who are in the service sector.

If you have a job, spend and donate what you can. We will get through this for sure. Even something as small as paying your housekeeper to stay home is a small, but nice thing you can do. I’ll also try to start ordering takeout next week once my wife feels better about things.

We will make it,  but if you look at other countries it’s good we’re taking this seriously for a bit. Here’s to a flat and quick curve for the world.

stoneaxe

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2020, 05:48:48 PM »
My wife has had $280,000 in cancellations (group sales manager for a large hotel here in town) in the last couple days. This is going to be devastating to the local economy. HEAVILY dependent on tourism and travel and with this being the 400th anniversary of the town there were huge expectations for income. The planning for it has been in place for many years.
https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/07/04/2020-is-plymouths-year-start-making-plans-for-pilgrim-mage/
We have a beautiful waterfront and there have been many improvements and lots of $$$s spent in preparation for this. All the bars and restaurants in town (127) are closed except for take out or delivery. Even the liquor stores are going to take-out so you know it's serious.... :P  Some of the hotels are closed....more will be soon. Very limited retail hours. I can't imagine the pressure on folks that are already just barely making it. All the service industry jobs are filing for unemployment. She was just watching Trumps meeting with all the high level execs from all the large hoteliers and such. Everything is shutting down. The ripples from this will resonate for a long while.

I'm not all doom and gloom though. The locals that can are helping where possible...ordering out, buying gift certificates, local firemans union gave the crews $8,000 to spend on meals during shift. If you got it spend it is the mentality somewhat. I also think there could be an incredible rebound coming. This is no question a test of the spirit of all of us. I have to imagine that every resource of every lab with any work to do in the field is working at beating this some way. When it comes...and I think it will....imagine the collective weight off the shoulders of the world. I wish the assholes in charge weren't pointing their fingers at each other now. If a reason to cooperate ever existed this is it.

I'm very glad I moved the lions share of my 401k into money markets too just before the shit really hit the fan.

We'll take a hit financially but we'll be OK. I'm more concerned about if there are ventilators available when I get this thing. I'm definitely high risk. Asthma all my life, Pneumonia more times than I can remember, COPD diagnosed 2 years ago and I have high blood pressure.
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.25.20027664v1.full.pdf
My oldest daughter is also a nurse so I worry about her exposure as well. The business concerns are profound and suck but are definitely way secondary in concern.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 06:09:15 PM by stoneaxe »
Bob

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PonoBill

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 08:07:31 PM »
It would be nice to think this is going to be a short term thing, but I believe that is unlikely. If/when China relaxes its draconian measures the infection rate is likely to spike again. True for any country until there is sufficient immunity, either from people having recovered from the disease or from an effective vaccine or treatment. From that perspective, if you're planning for your business or your personal finances you probably need to look at ways to live with a new normal that might span one to two years, which is the likely timeframe for a broadly distributed vaccine even given the urgent nature and the fast starts--there was some good work already underway on SARS and MERS vaccines which can be repurposed to Covid-19, which is genetically very similar.

One adaption that is likely is reactive social isolation, which is simply restarting social distancing measures when the infection rate spikes back up. We could get the economy back to something a little more normal with that. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615370/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing-18-months/

Spending a little more time on social media than I usually do has simply stunned me. There sure are a lot of fucking idiots. I give people some slack for the "whistling in the dark" syndrome, meaning they're scared so they're saying stupid stuff. But geez. The conspiracy theorists and anti-vax folks are going bonkers. I've been reading some research on conspiracy theory and why some people are so susceptible to it. I think it helps immunize me a bit that I always assume I'm wrong about everything--most of the real dipshits are completely convinced they are right. Even just a little science background will give you healthy doubt about anything you "know". Most of what I've been reading is dry as last week's biscuit, but this article is a pretty good summary. https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-people-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-and-how-to-change-their-minds?utm_source=pocket-newtab  I don't buy the part about changing people's minds, but the rest is good.
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surfcowboy

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2020, 09:20:19 PM »
Pono, exactly right on the “weird new normal” for a bit. I’d expect them to monitor and shut down hot spots for a while. But let’s be honest, even if people just changed a few habits we’d be in better shape overall.

If we come out of this with improved cleaning protocols, people stopping shaking hands and just observing the most minimal of cleanliness we stand to change a lot. Also, not to terrify anyone but this is a good test run for a truly deadly one that’s sure to come someday.

I’ll bet there won’t be issues getting research funding after this. Until we forget again and decide to cut science funding.

Idiots all around. I can’t believe that some people just refuse to read or research even the simplest of topics let alone something that could kill them.

stoneaxe

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 11:17:15 PM »
I was watching a little animated video today on the Dunning-Krugger effect. I'm kind of surprised it needed study to understand that people overestimate their intelligence and abilities. Of course the stupid think they're smart because they're too dumb to know better. There's also a lot of crazies out there that are intelligent.
Bob

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Quickbeam

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 11:25:25 PM »
Spending a little more time on social media than I usually do has simply stunned me. There sure are a lot of fucking idiots. I give people some slack for the "whistling in the dark" syndrome, meaning they're scared so they're saying stupid stuff. But geez. The conspiracy theorists and anti-vax folks are going bonkers.

I belong to a couple of closed “Jokes Groups” on Facebook and ran into a post from one of these guys. At first I thought it was supposed to be funny. But when I linked onto their home page, I realized they weren’t kidding. They were serious. There were others also posting this type of stuff on this persons home page. This is beyond scary.
Here is the post they put up:


Do you Know the Corona virus is not a virus it’s 5G that’s actually killing people and not a “virus” they are trying to get u scared of a fake virus when its the 5G towers being built around the world. China was the first to have over 100,000 5G towers, and people in Wuhan were the first to get affected by it. This 5G shit was planned years ago to depopulate us and keep as at a low vibrational state. Bill gates is the one who created this along with the weird entities who control this world. He also is creating a vaccine for this so called corona virus that they are going to try to enforce on everyone. These Vaccines are actually chips that they are trying to implant in billions of people across the world. They can literally monitor all ya actions, movements, whereabouts, and thoughts through these lil micro chips. Not only that they can end ya life through them micro chips with the push of a button. They know in order to have millions of people take these vaccines they first need to create a fake virus. Smh humans are brainwashed enough to believe what the news and media puts out there. WAKE UP and start researching the truths behind these weird agendas they keep creating. Y’all really out there with masks on WHEN IT AINT NO VIRUS. These Chinese doctors and people you see on TV that’s so called affected by the virus ARE ALL ACTORS, this shit is scripted out LITERALLY. It’s 5G towers that’s killing people and no mask in the world can prevent them levels of radiation from frying your brain. If we don’t wake tf up NOW this really gonna kill us smh but of course y’all gonna think I’m crazy for saying this too right ??? Robots is what y’all are, legit programmed robots it’s called population control & the chip is the mark of the beast


The terrifying part is that these people vote. And reproduce!
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surfinJ

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2020, 12:53:47 AM »
Yea, it’s scary to see the weakness of the human in action. 

My old work place, the airlines are devastated.  Operating at +-20% capacity right now, and estimating to be 40-50% reduced in size a year from now. And that is the only companies left standing, those few held up by the government. I would not be surprised to see some fall back to being a nationalized company.

With the coming unemployment wave maybe the basic minimum income will get a real consideration.

I do not think the comparisons to 9/11 work. That was a one day attack. The is a war and when looked at globally one that could take a year to reach the ‘peace’ period when the rebuilding will start

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2020, 04:17:05 AM »
It is clear that this is is not limited to service, tourism and travel businesses which received the first wave initial attention.  It will be very few individuals/families who will not have put planned or potential big purchases on hold.  Luxury goods sales tend to travel with the markets.  Manufacturing globally is in steep decline.  In store retail is in a similar decline.  All the businesses which support and rely on these are also impacted.  This holds true for almost all but the few rare sectors or niches that will benefit from this massive and sudden global change. 

Is it calloused to be considering this at a time when health is at risk?  No.  The two cannot be separated.  Almost 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.  Any reduction in the ability to produce and provide the basics causes stress.  We hear spotty reassurances of covered lost wages and a get-by check but the justified worries are there for the longer term.  A lot more people have entered the group that is really concerned about the basic essentials food, prescriptions, housing.  Commerce is also tied to social order and peace. 

What we are seeing now in terms of disease numbers isn't representative of today, it is  a report card on where we were two weeks ago.  I am concerned that the business side is the same.  We have to balance appropriate action with overreaction.  Both are dangerous. 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 04:32:52 AM by Admin »

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2020, 07:59:24 AM »

What we are seeing now in terms of disease numbers isn't representative of today, it is  a report card on where we were two weeks ago.  I am concerned that the business side is the same.  We have to balance appropriate action with overreaction.  Both are dangerous.

Agree. I do not think it is irresponsible or immoral to discuss the economy during a viral epidemic. The leading cause of death in the US will be heart disease this year and next year, it will not be CV19. Bad economy = cheap food = bad eating habits = sicker people = more death. A reaction that drives a recession is as dangerous as CV19.
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stoneaxe

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Re: Caronavirus - business implications
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2020, 08:30:17 AM »
I don't think it's immoral at all. I think the financial ruin will likely kill more in the long run than the disease itself does. And the pain of it will be far more widespread. I only mentioned that the financial concern is secondary to me personally right now because if we don't effectively flatten the curve and I get this at the wrong time I might not be here 6 months from now. We're also fortunate that we have no debt whatsoever.

It's likely that we may have to help my youngest daughter financially in the near future. Something that never would have happened under normal circumstances....they just bought a big new house. They need their two incomes. My daughter is in marketing/event planning and I can see her being out of a job shortly.

The whack jobs have definitely come out in force for this. They're proud of the tin foil hats now.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 08:55:53 AM by stoneaxe »
Bob

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