More Infectious Coronavirus Variant

More Infectious Coronavirus Variant

by Jefford & Sherwin

The new Coronavirus variant originating from South Africa was dubbed “Omicron” last Wednesday after the first positive sample of the variant was found in South Africa. The Omicron variant has not been around for a significant amount of time and health officials still do not have a clear idea of what the effects of this new variant is. Omicron variant cases have been rising faster than the Delta variant of Covid-19. We can only hope the restrictions in Canada do not get worse over time. As of now we do not have the information to know if the vaccines will protect against the new variant.

As we know businesses have already been struggling due to covid. All of these restrictions from covid; such as social distancing, vaccine requirements, mask requirements, and proper covid sanitation have hit all small businesses very hard. Over the duration of covid Canada’s GDP has suffered a $135 billion loss after 181,000 businesses, almost one in six of all businesses faced closure. Lockdowns have also been a large factor in small business loss. Lockdowns have prevented people from leaving their houses for non-essential reasons. With each incoming wave people were forced into lockdown resulting in businesses losing customers. Recently in Ontario, we have been able to “flatten the curve” which relieved some of the stress on our healthcare system, and allowed us to return to some sense of normalcy. With this new variant “Omicron” there are many concerns that there will be another lockdown and many small business owners fear that they will not be able to survive another drought of customers.

When covid first began all businesses expected to take a hit to their revenue, but big businesses however did not. Retail businesses such as Walmart and Amazon have thrived during the pandemic, with Walmart raking in over $130 billion in revenue as well as hiring more than 200,000 new employees to help with this influx of demand for their products. The online retailer Amazon has also gathered a sizable $610 million in sales during the past year. With everyone staying at home, online shopping has become part of consumers’ shopping routine, this prompted Walmart to invest more in its e-commerce sales which led to a 74% increase in its online sales.

 Many business owners feel the covid safety restrictions imposed by the government are only targeted towards their small businesses. They feel hopeless, because their sales are declining while big companies are easily increasing their revenue and expanding to compete with one another. This is important because there is lots of pressure on the government to loosen up restrictions to support small businesses, but they must act carefully or they risk going into another lockdown.

Positive & Negative Effects of Technology

by George

During the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic devices were used more often which has positive and negative effects.

Teenagers learned in a quadmester system in the 2020/2021 school year which was created by the Toronto District School Board. The students had two classes each semester and they were in class every other day. Teachers would assign virtual activities or require the children to work on a project when they were not at school. On the other hand, the mode of instruction in the 2021/22 school year is beginning to resemble pre-COVID-19 years. However though Mrs. Wolfe has something else to say. “The pandemic made phones and computers, iPhones and iPads critical to our social and academic connections and learning and so the habits and practices that kids learned through the pandemic remain with them now but because we are back in the classroom whether being able to pay attention and be present in the discussion and studies in the classroom is so important and so children right now are on their phones too much in the classroom. It is distracting them from immersing themselves in the learning experiences. They are missing a lot.”

This shows us the importance of a strong academic background when children and teenagers are not receiving them and are suffering the consequences which will impact them negatively in three ways. Firstly, some students may not be able to study properly in their post-secondary courses and be able to understand the material and apply it effectively in real life. Secondly, soft-skill such as collaboration, motivation and problem solving will not be life skills and will also not be developed which means that these future employees will have difficulty relaying information in a company which can cause delays in a project and lost money. Finally, the health effects of uncontrolled exposure is beyond calculation because children might not be able to tolerate not being on their devices which will impact every part of their body including the eyes. All this will create opportunities for businesses.

Many companies that offer blue light glasses such as EssilorLuxottica (EPA: EL) will benefit by having an increase in their income. This could allow them to raise the salary for their employees which could act as an incentive to be motivated to work more and better in order for the company to prosper. Furthermore, the increased income will drive the price of a stock upwards which will please those who have invested in the company and it will also give it a good reputation that could motivate others to look into it.

Though, there are ways to reduce the number of hours on your phone. One of them being that you can stop notifications from social medical websites that distract you from working which leads to staying up late in the evening. Rather, you can call the person that you would like to connect with. This way, you can also improve your social skills. This is one way to reduce time on a device.