Holiday Economics in COVID-19 times

Navigating through the holidays in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a serious challenge for the market, governments and ordinary citizens. This is particularly true for retailers and business owners who have been severely impacted by forced closures in the middle of lockdowns for a good part this year. 

Due to the declining number of COVID-19 cases in the past few months, the Philippines has relaxed restrictions in terms of movement of people and allowed the re-opening of various businesses to revive the ailing economy. As we are in the thick of the holiday season, it is anticipated that some will go out of their homes to either shop, dine or travel due to the fatigue brought about by the extended lockdowns for most part of the year. Experts anticipate an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections after the holiday season.

For the most part, however, holiday economics has been severely impacted by the COVID19 virus. With the increase popularity and patronage of online and electronic shopping, mall sales are expected to decline significantly in large part due to health and safety concerns of potential customers. While restaurants have re-opened and are now operating at more than 50% capacity, many of their preCOVID19 patrons are still averse to dining in particularly senior citizens who are not yet allowed to go out under the General Community Quarantine in Metro Manila.

Despite the gradual reopening and easing of movement restrictions, consumer psyche remains a big factor as to why holiday economics this year will not be as strong as those in previous years. Without a vaccine locally available in the market, most opt to stay at home and spend the holidays with their families and loved ones intimately. Moreover, the increase in prices of goods and commodities due to recent typhoons have prompted many to be circumspect in spending over food and luxurious items. 

Navigating through the holidays in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a serious challenge for the market, governments and ordinary citizens. This is particularly true for retailers and business owners who have been severely impacted by forced closures in the middle of lockdowns for a good part this year. The only way that the economy can fully recover is with the availability and proven efficiency of vaccines, which are anticipated to arrive in the country by 1Q or early 2Q of 2021.

While the prospect of holiday economics looks bleak this year, it also provides us with the opportunity to spend holidays conservatively and intimately with our immediate families. The economy would suffer more should there be a spike in the number of cases brought about by undisciplined and carefree actions by ordinary citizens.

The essence of Christmas is Jesus. The most important feature of the New Year is hope. As we celebrate our holidays this year 2020, let us pray for our economy and our people as we hopefully enter the phase of post COVID-19 recovery and rehabilitation.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
Other Articles