15 Apr, 2020

About the Curve

About the Curve

About the Curve

With over 158000 cases of the novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19), we are in the midst of a pandemic for which has taken the world by storm. Currently, the point where government globally are in a fix while considering the tradeoff between life and economy. In the current scheme of things social distancing is proving to be the only remedy, businesses are finding it difficult to sustain themselves and keep afloat due to the lack of revenues. A scenario where “work from home” has become normality and social gatherings are nonexistent, it is essential for us to stay positive and focus on doing their bit to make sure we as a race emerge from this pandemic.

The current situation has not only impacted our personal lives but also the entire economic paradigm due to the change in the pattern of life. Think about it, on a regular weekday you would go for work, have a meal outside, catch a movie on the weekend, go out shopping or indulge in any activity of your choice. The volume of transaction that takes place ensures constant cash flows in the market. Although all the businesses are impacted in one way or another, industries like hospitality, tourism and entertainment have suffered great losses in terms of revenue due to lack of footfalls in their respective avenues.

It is the Psychology of the common man which has been impacted with this pandemic, and no matter how hard we try, getting over this will take some time. Businesses need to adapt to this situation by assuring their customers by abiding by the required hygiene protocols at the same time focusing on differentiated experiences which would generate desired footfalls. It will the “Value” provided by businesses that will decide their longevity in the competitive market as once the situation improves there will most likely be a sudden increase in overall demand. It is critical for businesses to make sure there that prices and offerings are kept track off because it will take time for an individual to get back to their usual spending patterns. A person who would earlier spend Rs. 5000 a week may now be looking to spend Rs. 3500 a week, this may lead to a drop in the number of customers which businesses cannot afford due to the current situation.

There are 2 key elements that will be needed to overcome this situation. 1) Normalizing the curve 2) Economic curve.

Normalizing the curve

The first one being Normalizing the curve, in comparison to the overall number of cases in a region it is the number of new cases which need to be tracked as it is the control on the spread of the virus that will eventually lead to the defeat of the disease. It is the healthcare system capacity of a country that needs to be used to set the benchmark to determine a threshold with respect to the number of cases and as diligent citizens it is our duty to make sure that we abide by the control measures that have been implemented by administrative authorities to mitigate the spread. Basic precautions will not only help individuals but also aid the medical institutions in fighting the virus as the load on these institutions can be reduced by taking simple preventive measures.

Economic Curve

Secondly, it is the economic curve that needs to be resurrected. How can help in this case? The answer is simple, consider the cash flows within a region on a macro level. It is only when cash flows across businesses in all sectors reach normality that the GDP and overall economic situation will start improving. Exactly so what can I do to help the cause? Keep calm bro I’m getting to it. It will be very important to start loving the way you did before. Go out for dinner, watch a movie, buy something for a loved one, basically resume life! What about the pay cuts I have faced in the past couple of months? I’m not asking you to go partying the moment the lockdown is lifted; it has to be a gradual process but making sure that we as a society go back to our normal lives at the earliest is the only solution to the aforementioned problem.

Now, all this sounds very good theoretically but practically speaking there are way too many uncertainties that loom large. Unfortunately, there is not one particular straight jacket solution which can be implemented, however, there is always a solution to a given problem. The only ideology that needs to resonate within a society is that on unity, as cheesy as it sounds it is only when these issues are strategically tackled by the common man is when uncertain situations can be dealt with.

A huge salute to all the doctor’s nurses, police and administrative officers, and essential services workers who stand in the frontline today and help us battle the demon which is the COVID-19 virus. Please do whatever it is to contribute to the cause. Stay home! Stay safe!

 

Written by Varun Raj

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