It’s less than one month and the coronavirus has already overwhelmed the healthcare system in Italy. While the Lombardy region is undoubtedly the most affected, most experts agree this rapid escalation is a sign of things to come for the rest of the world.
On the other hand, just as many suggest the right approach can help stave off an epidemic, and “time” is often cited as the key enabler in this respect. That is to say, the healthcare system needs time to get on top of the situation and this is precisely where online retail comes into the equation. But more on that in a moment.
For now, let’s take a quick look at the most pressing problems facing healthcare:
Healthcare is inundated with new patients and struggling to keep up with this sudden demand. In fact, surgeries are being cancelled at an exponential rate and access to essential resources such as respirators and ventilators is increasingly difficult.
As you may know, many hospitals are also erecting inflatable test centres and we can see this happening in various countries around the world. And then there’s the staff, for a distinct lack of numbers means doctors and nurses are feeling overwhelmed.
Meanwhile, social issues and economic disruptions have added to this growing crisis. For instance, many people are still not adhering to guidelines for social distancing and the closure of retail is likely to offset a much wider set of implications for public health. What’s more, mental health is a clear concern, for “social distancing” and the process of self-isolation seem to be causing even more anxiety, and depression.
Needless to say, the risk of such health issues will inevitably place further strain on the healthcare system. As if that’s not enough, people are being asked to stay at home which poses the obvious question: How can they access the most necessary supplies?
Online retail is one area of business that is not only helping economies but also the healthcare industry in particular. In case you might be asking yourself, here are just a few ways in which online retail is demonstrating an unwavering show of support:
Reducing the Spread of Covid-19 - Studies show that a significant percentage of the population is currently avoiding public areas such as shopping centres. That being said, there is obviously a need for necessities which means that many people still feel the need to visit their local supermarket or pharmacy. With this in mind, the increased reliability of eCommerce means that customers can use online retail to avoid such areas and hence, help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the process. After all, by staying at home, people can still get the items they need without risking the spread of Covid-19.
Access to Health Products - People might not be buying vacations or luxury products right now but there is certainly a demand for vitamins, supplements and health-related products. For this reason, online retail is also supporting physical/mental health, while providing the convenience of shipping these items right to the front door for customers. When you consider the longer term view, providing easy access to health products will almost certainly reduce the extent of any other health risks that one might experience.
Faster Supply Chain - At a time when the global supply chain is under so much strain, online retail has removed much of the uncertainty that comes with the supply chain. You see, online retail is much better equipped than land-based retail stores when it comes to meeting demand. More specifically, online retail has immediate access to large quantities of stock and can ship these items a lot faster to the end-user. In other words, products do not need to be transported to the store before making their way into the hands of consumers.
As many experts have stated, “time” is a key enabler in terms of dealing with the coronavirus and relieving the strain on an already stretched healthcare system.
And at this time, nobody can predict how much the coronavirus will impact either the global economy or individual healthcare systems. However, in spite of this uncertainty, online retail continues to perform and provide without interruption. Whether this service is directly related to healthcare or not, online retail continues to provide an invaluable service which will inevitably impact the physical and mental health of the public.