It’s now been three months since the current outbreak of Coronavirus officially began, but in recent weeks, things have started to look a lot more serious. More and more cases have been identified outside of China, and in the last few days, the first cases in New York have been reported. I have a cough right now, and the amount of dirty looks I’ve gotten in the last week for daring to go out in public is intense.
While I don’t feel like I’m the right person to tell you what’s going on with Coronavirus from a medical standpoint, there are a lot of real-world ramifications that you may not have even thought about. Here are some of the random things that are actually being affected by Coronavirus, so you can plan your life accordingly.
If you’ve ever been around someone who’s planning a wedding, then you know that the one thing they really need is something else to stress about. In addition to vendor payments, cake tastings, and nightmare in-laws, brides-to-be can now start stressing about whether Coronavirus will mess with their dresses. According to a CNN report, around 80% of wedding dresses are produced in China, and factory closures have caused a major issues with the supply chain. Speaking to CNN about the situation, David’s Bridal CEO James Marcum said, “I believe a lot of disruption is going to happen,” with both bridal dresses and bridesmaid dresses.
While many industries are being affected by factory closures, wedding gowns are especially susceptible because many of them take such a long time to make. Marcum added that “some wholesalers are informing their buyers about shipment delays because of the virus,” which means that depending on the specifics, you might have trouble getting the dress you want, when you want it. It’s hard to know exactly which dresses will be delayed, or how bad those delays will be, so if you’re dress shopping, just give yourself as much time as possible.
Last week, Coca-Cola reported Coronavirus-related delays in their shipping chain, specifically affecting the sweeteners used in diet products like Diet Coke and Coke Zero. While they don’t expect short-term shortages of Diet Coke or anything, they acknowledged that “we may see tighter supplies of some of these ingredients in the longer term should production or export operations in China deteriorate.” Overall, they estimated that cases of Diet Coke and Coke Zero might “diminish by 2 or 3 percentage points,” which is kind of a lot when you think about the amount of Diet Coke that the entire world drinks. It doesn’t sound like the world is going to run out of Diet Coke, but if you can’t live without it, maybe grab an extra case this week just to be safe.
If you have an upgrade on your account, you might want to take that sooner rather than later. Apple produces most of its iPhones in China, and production has slowed in 2020 due to factories being shut down. Apparently, the main issue is decreases in camera lens shipments, and according to a note that MacRumors obtained from an Apple analyst, they expect this problem to continue until at least May.
Things are likely to get worse before they get better, as another Apple factory in South Korea was shut down this weekend after a worker tested positive for Coronavirus. Basically, you should call ahead to see if the Verizon store has the phone you want before you waste your time.
Obviously, factory shutdowns are going to affect a lot of different industries and products, but that’s not the only this Coronavirus is disrupting. As the virus spreads, particularly in Europe, popular tourist attractions are feeling the strain. On Sunday, employees at the Louvre Museum in Paris walked out over concerns about the virus. Basically, a new rule in France canceled all large public gatherings, but the world’s busiest museum didn’t see any issues with staying open. The employees weren’t having it, and can you really blame them? Just two months ago, the museums and national monuments all closed because of strikes that happened when the President wanted to raise the retirement age by two years, so you’d think they’d at least get the same treatment when we’re talking about a global health risk. The museum is still closed today, and it’s unclear when it will reopen. If you’re going on a trip soon, whether or not it’s an area where Coronavirus is a big concern, just make sure you’re staying up to date with the latest info.
I swear to god, if Coronavirus messes up the Olympics, I will never get over it. In an interview last month with the Associated Press, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound raised questions about whether this summer’s Tokyo Olympics will be able to take place. He estimated that by the end of May, “folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’” In his comments, he raised concerns about security and infrastructure as reasons that moving or postponing the Games wouldn’t be feasible, saying that if they can’t happen as scheduled in Tokyo, “you’re probably looking at a cancellation.”
Obviously, a lot can happen between now and the end of May, and the IOC is saying that a cancelation is unlikely, but it definitely doesn’t seem like Coronavirus is going to be “under sufficient control” any time soon. I guess if the Olympics get canceled, we’ll just give Simone Biles all the medals and come back in two years to pretend to care about the Winter Olympics? Ugh, this is upsetting.
When it comes to Coronavirus, the situation is changing every day, and it’s impossible to know everything. But realistically, you’re going to start feeling the effects one way or another, even if it’s just that your local CVS is sold out of hand sanitizer. I can’t tell you whether you should cancel your vacation or tell your friend not to come in town, but I can tell you to wash your hands! And if you’re in the market for a wedding dress, buy that sh*t now. You’re welcome!
Images: Myroslava Malovana / Shutterstock