Stock market numbers have gone berserk as global economic prospects remain uncertain; oil prices aren’t left out either, with exchange rates reflecting dynamics in money flow. There’s no doubt the showbiz scene has equally been hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
As the disease continues to spread, ever since it broke out in China, over 10,000 patients have died from it globally, according to worldometre, with close to 250,000 cases confirmed across over 170 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) also declared it a pandemic.
Travel bans, restrictions, and advisories have continued to take effect as efforts towards keeping the COVID-19 at bay continue to prompt global leaders to rethink their travel policies in a development that has greatly hit airlines and transportation companies worldwide.
Economies have also taken hits as oil demand headed for a free-fall in a situation that constituted what analysts claim could turn out to be the “biggest contraction in history.” Work-from-home policies, cancelled vacations, and disrupted supply chains translated to reduce demand for fuel.
In the face of numbers and concepts that spring up when matters pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak and the entertainment industry are broached, it’s not so difficult to see how dire changes of these sorts in the macroeconomy could spell trouble for global showbiz, not to talk of country-specific ones.
Concerts at mercy of government policies, social distancing measures
The 2020 Coachella, which would have seen Nigeria’s Seun Kuti take to a global music stage in the US, was postponed after a series of coronavirus cases were reported in the county within which it was to hold. UK’s renowned Glastonbury Festival followed suit thereafter over similar concerns.
It didn’t take long before similar patterns started to play out in multiple countries as the outbreak gradually became a global emergency. Health authorities across countries also weighed in on the issue, enforcing restrictions on events and the number of individuals that could assemble in a place.
You can’t possibly be staging a tour at a time when people fear that rowdy events of any sort would only make for an avenue to further spread the deadly disease! Perhaps, Nigeria’s Davido had thought so too — putting off his tour of North America just as Asa rescheduled her European tour dates.
Developments like these, some of which are indefinite, mean loss of cash that would have been made; dislodgement of existing resource-backed plans; and refunding fans that had purchased tickets in advance. Not to forget, timing is a thing in maximizing earnings from releases and shows.
Tom Hank, Idris Elba… panic as celebrities, politicians test positive
Beyond celebrities fearing for how turnout numbers in concerts at around times like this would witness a dip, the risk concerning notable figures and showbiz stakeholders contracting a virus that could kill is one that leaves many shuddering at the thought of shows.
Just as death among key members of governments has repeatedly made the news, even Idris Elba had gone into quarantine after he tested positive of the disease alongside his newly wedded wife. Tom Hanks, a US actor, was also hospitalized after falling ill from the disease.
Such fears prompted Arnold Schwarzenegger, a US actor, to adopt the stay-at-home mantra in development that undoubtedly limits his travels and other career-related engagements his likes had otherwise looked to initiate. For Nigeria, Kemi Adetiba, Nigerian actress, said she’s going nowhere.
While Lagos’s ban on religious activities wasn’t targeted at concerts, showbusiness moguls in Nigeria’s commercial city didn’t need to be told how critical imminent music shows or cinema-related gatherings are to the country’s coronavirus numbers, especially after Nigeria’s fresh cases.
‘$5 Billion, more to be lost’ as cinemas shutdown over pandemic
The monetary side as regards showbiz and the coronavirus remains one that has left stakeholders clutching at their chests in shock. It wasn’t on a good note that producers of the James Bond franchise postponed the much-anticipated movie ‘No Time to Die’ over the outbreak.
The firsts signs had emerged after most cinemas in China, whose market is said to account for the world’s second-biggest box office takings — having generated over £6 billion in 2019, began to shut down, forcing ‘James Bond’ producers to suddenly suspend their publicity tour of the country.
With cinema revenues already hit alongside production schedules in South Korea and Italy, film analysts suggest that the coronavirus outbreak could wipe $5bn (£3.8bn) off the global box office. The release of Nollywood’s first-ever collaboration with Bollywood was also postponed.
This had happened after theatres in parts of India were placed on lockdown, while shootings were stalled due to fears about further spreading of the disease. India Today quoted a source in Delhi as saying that the city’s 150 screens will stay closed till March 31 as directed by the country’s government.
“Everybody is facing losses because, even if you don’t run the theatre, you have to pay salaries and electricity bills. A theatre shutdown like this is unprecedented though there have been strikes in the past. It is hard to estimate the losses now but there are many indirect expenses.”
Status quo on COVID-19 and future outlook for earthlings
The economic impact of COVID-19 is a pervasive phenomenon with which industries are grappling on differing scales. As of when this report was filed, statistics on the number of cases globally and the deaths as well maintained an upward curve — although over 88,400 have so far recovered.
Nigeria’s government reduced petrol pump price to reflect current market dynamics. US’ President Donald Trump had sought a stimulus package worth somewhere from $850 billion to more than $1 trillion to battle the economic impact as global efforts towards finding a vaccine continue.
But just as global deaths from the pandemic continued to rise, Trump had stated that the US Food and Drug Administration, a regulatory agency in the country, had approved chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria and severe arthritis, for coronavirus treatment.
Amid research still being carried out to understand the nature of the novel COVID-19, it had been shown that patients could contract the disease and spread through contact with others even when they’d yet to report any serious symptom of the disease.
Government authorities both in Nigeria and some other seriously affected countries have declared a shutdown on schools. Some streets that once teemed with the hustle and bustle of daily life in China had become sparsely populated. Yet, experts have expressed strong optimism in the fight against the pandemic.
Research on vaccines is estimated to reach fruition in at least 12 to 18 months from now but it’s believed that, at the “speed” with which the world is working to find a cure, one will be rolled out, eventually. Vaccines might require immunization on a global scale. But nothing is certain just yet.
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