The hospitality and attractions industries are taking a people-first approach to the coronavirus pandemic. Many hotels and entertainment venues have had to close their doors in order to protect workers and the public.
Hotels that remain open are offering in-room snacks and cocktails for guests who want to avoid going outside in addition to training staff on safety measures. Meanwhile, approximately 15,000 hotels have registered with the American Hospitality & Lodging Association's Hospitality for Hope Initiative to serve as venues for medical and social services. In addition, some hotels have signed deals to provide rooms to medical personnel and first responders, in some cases free of charge.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many business leaders to focus on how to keep operations running during the outbreak -- or in some cases, how to stay afloat when day-to-day business grinds to a halt. But some organizations are looking beyond their own teams to the community around them, examining what needs to be done and how they can help -- and the public is watching. These responses, which range from job protections to medical supply donations, will have a direct effect on the success of recovery efforts.
Quarantines and social distancing rules have upended the way we socialize -- whether we're introverts or extroverts. But self-isolating doesn't have to mean living in complete isolation, some psychologists say. The removal of many cultural norms like regular office small talk combined with the feeling of a shared crisis can help us connect better with those around us, even if they're not in the same room.
The pandemic-induced recession we find ourselves in offers little clarity for business leaders, beyond the fact that things don't look good and the situation continues to change. Leaders should resist the urge to react without strategy and think first about how they can control costs without losing the clients and employees they'll need to emerge from this crisis. James daSilva reminds us that "we have some measure of control over how we react to this disruption, and we can work toward a better tomorrow while safeguarding people and (some of) our business."
The impact of coronavirus on the television news and entertainment industries has been mixed: viewership is spiking as audiences self-isolate, but studio production has ground to a halt. News anchors, daytime talk show hosts and late-night comedians are improvising new ways to stay on the air from home as they strive to keep audiences engaged, informed and entertained -- broadcasting from basements, backyards and in one case, a bathtub. "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah sums it all up: "It feels like the end of the world, and it's not, but we also cannot treat it like nothing is happening."
I'm not just talking about those of us setting up home offices at the kitchen table. Hotel and restaurant staff are getting jobs in grocery and online retail stockrooms. Flight attendants are being retrained to work in hospitals. Governments and private businesses alike are mobilizing idle workforces into new fields at a record pace, and some economists warn the shift might not be entirely temporary.
US sales of beer, canned cocktails, wine and spirits have surged in recent days as people stocked up on drinks to see them through quarantine and pub closures. Experts predict the increase will be short-lived as many households will prioritize more pressing expenses if emergency measures remain in place. Some experts have raised concerns about the risks of increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic -- a fear that has driven officials in several countries to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages entirely.