Not a conspiracy theory, merely an unforeseen reality. While governments, businesses and workers are ravaged by the pandemic, some sectors are actually flourishing, and some job markets are actually expanding. Here are a few of the benefitees:
- Amazon, already essentially a benevolent(ish) dictatorship, has grown faster than it can handle. 100,000 new employees have been hired in the U.S., along with that many more in other countries. Maybe I’ll finally get those vitamins I ordered last month.
- Walmart – The WalMartians invaded long ago. Already the biggest big-box chain in the solar system, they’ve warped into online hyperspace sales, as well. And they’ve hired thousands more earthlings along the way.
- Online Services – Teladoc (tell-a-doctor) has exploded out the gate. So have conferencing services like Zoom, and IT and AI-based services.
- Game-sellers – Not surprisingly, video games are racking up record profits. Even traditional board games (no longer considered “bored games”) are selling like Monopoly property. So are jigsaw puzzles. Basically, anything a captive audience can do alone or together.
- E-book-sellers – “Oops, I Amazoned again.” Other e-book sellers, too. E-book sales have increased an astonishing 3000% since the lockdown began!
- Romantic, um, enhancement – Games and books aren’t the only thing people under house arrest are doing with their time. Pure Romance, the princess of sex-toy sellers, has nearly doubled its online sales. Result? A baby boomlet is expected in early 2021. Looks like the current generation of Quaranteens (kids coming of age in the pandemic era) will be joined by a second wave of “Quaranteenies.”
Online entertainment streamers are setting subscription records. The four biggest:
- Netflix – The long-established kingdom of Netflixia has experienced massive subscriber gains, tripling its profits for the first quarter.
- Amazon – Amazon Prime is sneaking up on Netflixia because, well, that’s what competing kingdoms do.
- Hulu – Hulu may be a mere dutchy, but like Monaco it’s rolling in the chips!
- Disney+ – Backed by the virtual Roman Empire of Entertainment (having sired princesses and absorbed empires like Marvel Studiosland, Star-Warsia and Pixaria), Disney+ is in it to win it.
Accidents, traffic deaths, and smog have reached their lowest levels ever! Great for those who are driving. Plus, gas is at decades-low prices. Truckers, many previously out of work, are cruising in large numbers, delivering in-demand goods (TP, diapers, produce, games, computer products, clothing) to booming supermarkets (also hiring record numbers of employees) and other still-open stores.
Will things eventually return to status quo? Yes and no. Closed businesses will stay closed. But the virtual world will be bigger than ever, so many people will shift careers in that direction. Work-from-home will flourish now that businesses are figuring out how to make it work, and employees are liking it. Still, pollution will probably return to dismal “norms.” And depression and social isolation will likely be the biggest challenges of the coming VR Era. Wisdom and peace will be in short supply. Attention to those with real answers:
Time to get to work!