Trade shows, weddings, vacations, family visits. Humans are social animals and it’s in our nature to stay connected. For hundreds of years, we were bound to paper mail at best. Then, air travel changed that all. But now with travel being risky (if even available), how are people adapting?
The first thing you could do is to look at the stock performance of the seven biggest airlines. Companies like Southwest, United, Delta, and Lufthansa saw between a -48% to nearly -79% change in total returns. The evidence is everywhere. Plane capacity is being cut to help keep a safe distance. Staff are getting laid off and even the executives have taken pay cuts.
Interestingly enough, our need to stay connected at a distance hasn’t changed. While air and other long-distance travel aren’t currently in the cards, people are arguably more connected than ever. School and work have come online, and so have our friendships.
While the seven biggest airlines saw their stocks take a nosedive, Zoom, the video conference giant, had its stock shoot higher than those seven companies combined. In May of this year, their market capitalization jumped to $48.8 billion. Especially with its new use in distance education, Zoom’s popularity suits the current social need.
That said, Zoom has seen its fair share of problems. Security issues and uninvited guests joining meetings raised some concerns early on. However Zoom manages these and its future road bumps will decide its future from 2021 on.
Airlines and software companies aren’t the only ones facing an unclear future. See how the lending market is managing the COVID-19 pandemic.