The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most difficult years for every business and job sector there is. Some have seen businesses they’ve been building for decades destroyed within a matter of weeks as they cancel and refund services. Others, like grocery stores and soap manufacturers, have sold more products than ever but have had major headaches keeping up with demand.
It seems no matter what line of work you’re in, you’ve probably had one of the most challenging years of your career. The rules and restrictions are changing every day around the world, and everyone has had to learn to adapt quickly during the pandemic. Here are some ways that the different sectors have overcome those problems.
Keeping the most important sector running
At the very beginning of the pandemic, all of the worlds efforts were towards protecting one very important sector – the health sector. There were fears that an increase of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 would cause even more problems for health providers that are often already overstretched. The lockdown didn’t just reduce the spread of the disease, it also reduced the numbers of patient’s hospitals would have to deal with.
Even with the added restrictions, hospitals still had to deal with a high number of people infected with the coronavirus on top of all of their usual patients. Many hospitals had to be redesigned, creating special COVID-19 wards to make sure the virus didn’t pass from patient to patient. One of the main problems for people who run hospitals has been getting enough PPE equipment to keep their staff and patients safe.
At the start of the pandemic, there was a global shortage as hospitals desperately tried to increase their stock of the vital masks, gloves and aprons needed to treat patients. Luckily the manufacturing industry were soon able to help, with many factories stopping production of their usual product and trying to work out how to make more safety equipment as quickly as possible. This even led to brands like the Ferrari F1 team designing and building ventilators from scratch in just five weeks.
Whilst it’s important to keep hospitals and practices running day to day, it’s also important to continue to plan for the future. It’s just as essential to prepare the next generation of doctors and nurses who will one day be carrying out these lifesaving tasks. During the pandemic, many people have decided against going to college or university to continue their studies. This is because many people either fear they won’t get the same level of teaching due to social distancing restrictions, or because they fear campuses won’t be safe places to learn.
Luckily there are alternative methods to train which many will feel more comfortable taking on during 2020. These include the online pediatric nurse practitioner programs which allow students to study at home before completing their final training on placements. As this sector was already in need of more trained nurses before the pandemic, it’s important that people are still able to continue training to fill these roles. The course run by Baylor University teaches all of the traditionally class-based knowledge to students as they work from home. They then set up placements to make sure they can carry out the practical learning needed to be a fully prepared and confident nurse.
Dealing with the changes to our new lives
It’s not just the health sector that has had to change massively over the last few months. A lot of brands have seen demand for their products go through the roof since the start of the pandemic. For example, it used to be the minority of people that would wear a face mask whilst out on the street or in a store. Now many stores won’t let you in unless you’re wearing a mask or have a health reason for not wearing one. The production of hand sanitiser and things like protective screens have also had to increase rapidly.
Many brands who produce normal household goods that don’t protect you from the virus also had to deal with a big increase on demand. As people began to panic buy from grocery stores, photos of empty aisles where the toilet paper is normally kept began circulating online. This led to companies having to carry on producing their products through the night to try and make sure shelves were restocked.
Some are still struggling
Not every industry has seen a huge increase in demand for their products or their services. The sad reality is that some industries have seen the demand drop so low for such a long period of time. For example, a number of airlines have had to sack a lot of their pilots and cabin crew as people choose not to take a family vacation this year. It’s feared that many more might go out of business before the world returns to the “new normal” way of living. It’s not just the travel industry that has struggled. Many restaurants have struggled to turn a profit as they reduce the amount of tables they can serve due to social distancing. Many high-end restaurants have even turned to offering takeaway for the first time to try and make a profit.
Some companies are still unable to open. This is either because their overheads are higher than the amount of money they’d be able to make whilst social distancing, or because their country’s government won’t allow them to open yet. For example, all of the Broadway theatres are still not allowed to put on any performances, as has been the case for most of the year. On the other side of the globe at London’s equivalent, the West End, some theatres are beginning to open their doors once more. Shows that require small amounts of staff and performers, such as the musical “Six”, are able to put on performances and still make a profit. Many of the big productions will still continue to be closed until 2021 at the earliest, meaning they will have spent around 9 months completely closed during 2020.