Covid: The Impact and the Recovery


Horatio Chu, Staff Writer

COVID-19 definitely has had an impact on all of our lives, but we are already  moving forward, leaving the Pandemic in the past. However, there are many countries that are still recovering, if not, still in the midst of the problem, and this has caused many issues, impacting the local economy and businesses.

Businesses in Hawaii have already recovered somewhat from the pandemic, which is impressive, considering that most of the companies in Hawaii rely on the tourism industry. On the other hand, places like Hong Kong have businesses that suffer. Billy Ho, the owner of an optical store in Hong Kong, describes the impact. “From 2022 to 2023 December, business had dropped tragically,” says Ho.  “Around 40% of business in Hong Kong was lost in Tsim Sa Tsui because most of our customers are local.”

The labor force has also felt the impact, “but for labor work, from the beginning of Covid, their business was impacted negatively from 80-90%, so they went out of business fairly quickly, adds Ho.  “There were stipends from the government, but it still wasn’t enough to be able to sustain them.” 

There have been a few businesses that were lucky enough to do well throughout the course of the Pandemic, and some have thrived because of it. “Other business activities, especially those ‘fighting the pandemic’ which include mask manufacturing, COVID testing, lab services, and medical/environmental sewage system,” explains Nicole Yuen, Division Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing at YMCA. “These companies have been doing extremely well due to the high demand during the COVID pandemic. That said, perspective is two-sided.” Many people don’t realize that COVID wasn’t an entirely bad thing, and not only did some businesses flourish because of it, many of us learned new habits and lifestyles that will improve our lives.

As Hawaii and other locations around the world move beyond the COVID Pandemic, we can’t ignore how it changed us. 

“COVID was new to the globe!  Yet, fundamental change is detection, prevention, and vaccines,” Remarks Yuen, “If vaccine and prevention could be prepared early and to avoid the global outbreak in 2020, the whole business cycles, consumer needs and hence the ecosystem would not be what we have been facing.”

It is lucky that a tourism-dependent place like Hawaii was able to overcome the issues of Covid and having to lockdown, as without the tourism industry, the economy would be severely impacted. Many people see COVID as a bad thing, but we all picked up on useful habits, making us more aware of the importance of basic hygiene.