If America “hunkers down” in mass self-quarantining behavior in the next few weeks and months, it’s natural to ask “who benefits?” An article in Axios.com identifies some early corporate winners.
These include purveyors of remote-work software such as Zoom, Teledoc, and Dropbox, along with manufacturers of home exercise machinery such as Peleton. Makers of sanitizing equipment, disinfectants, and biotech firms working on vaccines are also favored to be short- to mid-term winners.
Manufacturers of long shelf life canned goods such as B&G Foods and “comfort” food vendors such as J.M. Smucker are also expected to benefit. Retailers such as Costco and Kroger are also reportedly seeing more business, as Americans stock up for what might be long “CoronaStaycations.” One might add media companies (including streaming media companies such as Netflix), telecoms, and electric utility companies, each of which will see increased usage/traffic from home-bound citizens.
Over at the New York Times (behind a paywall), an article entitled “The Rich Are Preparing for Coronavirus differently” identifies other possible corporate beneficiaries, including private jet operators, vendors of high-end “fashion” masks and respirators, and proprietors of high-end “VIP emergency rooms, which, the article states, still have subscriptions open for high-net worth individuals. Such facilities are available on the Upper East Side, Tribeca neighborhoods of Manhattan, with a “house call” service now operational in the Hamptons.
The economic impact of this virus on human behavior is still too early to gauge. But already, the term “self-quarantine” is entering the popular lexicon, and more than 1,000 people are under a self-quarantine order in New York City this week — a situation whose possibility would have seemed remote even ten days ago.