Getting Creative to Help, And Just to Stay Afloat
Companies across the globe are changing the way they operate in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to continue operations throughout the crisis. Car manufacturers like Nissan, McLaren and Vauxhall are making factory floor space and staff available for the production of medical equipment. The surge in the demand for items like ventilators, masks and hand sanitiser is motivating companies to venture into new grounds to help meet the needs for what are now basic needs around the world.
Exchanging Luxury for Necessity
Meggitt, an engineering company, is leading a group of companies working together to manufacture thousands of ventilators urgently needed for patients with respiratory issues, while fashion retail giant Zara will be manufacturing masks and hospital gowns. Zara has already delivered 10,000 donated masks. Perfume companies like Christian Dior and Givenchy and alcohol companies like Absolut Vodka have switched to producing hand sanitisers and are distributing their new products to French hospitals. Similarly, UK-based Honey Company is using part of its distillery to produce hand sanitiser instead of honey, rum, gin and other spirits. Scottish beer and company Brewdog, which also manufactures spirits, has started making its own brand of hand sanitiser called “Brewgel” and announced that it would be made available for free to people who are in need. Nivea is producing medical-grade disinfectants and has offered to deliver 500 tons to healthcare facilities and public services.
An Industry in Peril Fighting Back
But, as some companies are shifting production output or offering up spare capacity to help fight Covid-19, others are struggling to simply stay in the game. In response to the rapid spread of coronavirus, the British government announced that all restaurants, pubs and clubs would shut, sending shockwaves through the UK’s hospitality industry – some businesses simply can’t survive without having customers for a sustained period of time.
In response to the alarming announcement, a leading UK pub chain, Greene King, began inviting customers to take away traditional pub fare like fish and chips, steak and ale pies, and of course, bottled beer. The plan is, to begin with 50 pubs and eventually roll the service out to 500 branches countrywide in the coming weeks. Food delivery service Deliveroo launched a “no contact” alternative which gives customers the option to have food deliveries left on their doorstep.
Thank Goodness There’s the Internet
Smaller businesses who don’t produce actual products have also begun turning to the internet to maintain an income stream. Language teachers and fitness instructors are offering online lessons with housebound customers reaping the benefits of still getting exercise and tuition. As large gatherings have ended, the music industry is in serious trouble. To try to keep things afloat, musicians are offering virtual concerts, and websites like Gigs Guide are supporting the initiative by listing concert times and URLs. Betting companies William Hill and Betfair are pushing online casino games, which are becoming increasingly popular in the absence of sporting events.
We Will Survive
Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” The human race is currently going through unfathomably challenging times, but, as proven by these companies, we are tackling it head-on. This type of response during critical times is a testament to our ability to get through anything.