As of this writing there are over 3200 deaths globally due to the recent COVID-19 virus outbreak. The numbers are straggering every day and the virus is spreading across the continents.
Many countries are fighting to contain the spread of virus. The most affected countries including Japan, Italy, South Korea and UAE all have announced shutdown of their schools and universities as a precautionary measure. More and more companies are announcing full or partial withdrawal from global conferences and events. The economic impact from these closure and shutdown will be enormous.
Reflecting on the economic impact, the stock market has declined considerably over the last few weeks. The Federal reserve in the U.S and Bank of Canada has cut rates by 50 basis points to proactively safeguard the economy from falling into to an inevitable recession.
Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook urge their employees to work from home to contain spread of virus among the workforce. Microsoft on March 5th asked its 54,000 employees to work from home. This will hugely impact many businesses that depends on travel and hospitality. Hotel, Luxury cruises and Casino resort companies like Mariott, Las Vegas Sands and Caribbean cruise see their stocks plummet over the last few days. International airlines are cancelling or limiting their services to Asia (and other affected countries) on a daily basis as the impact of Covid virus on travel begin to unfold. So you get the picture.
What does it mean for the Global economy?
World Bank predicts a a severe pandemic could cause economic losses equal to nearly 5% of global GDP (almost $3 trillion). And losses from a weaker flu pandemic such as the 2009 H1N1 virus, can wipe out 0.5% off global GDP.
The aviation industry is predicting a loss of 113 Billion USD by year end if the virus continues to spread and cause further delays and cancellation of flights.
How does this all impact the workforce and Digital Nomad lifestyle going forward? It won’t have a big impact on remote workers simply because Digital Nomads already have adapted to working remotely and are flexible with location. The trend is already moving towards Telecommuting. I wrote about this recently in my article on Digital Nomads. We will see more demand for online services like Zoom communications, Telegram and Skype from employees to collaborate and work remotely.
Here are some tools and tech how you can make your remote work more productive.
- Zoom Video conferencing
- Team chat tools like Skype, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp Groups and HipChat
- Github / Gitlab for programmers
- Cloud storage such as Google Drive, iCloud and Dropbox
- Slack for Project Management
- Google Voice can also be used as a personal phone number
- Hola VPN for accessing content outside the U.S
- Basecamp & Confluence for Project & Time management
- Skitch for visual communication of sketches and ideas
- Linode cloud hosting
- SafetyWing Nomad Insurance
You can keep an eye on our site NomadicStay.com to check any health warning for the city / country and other statistics. We publish it for every city.
For future wanna-be remote / telecommute workers who are looking for new jobs you can check out the jobs page on Nomadic Stay site that lists remote jobs in Tech, Business and Creative fields.
In this age of misinformation where media tends to exaggerate every little crisis it is essential to calm down and not over-react to these news. We have seen many disease outbreaks in the past and we managed to survive them. So this will too pass in a few months (well hopefully).