The 2019 Coronavirus pandemic is and has transformed industries overnight especially those reliant on a physical experience. The way we live and do commerce must change to accommodate the reality of a global pandemic, which is a silent plague on our global societies. We know that the majority of us are social beings. How do we adapt to be social distancing in our everyday lives – our work environments, our academic environments, our leisure environments? The arts combined with technology shares a path forward as certain industries and habits evolve and either win the day or become an afterthought.
Covid-19 has caused commerce to slow immensely – China’s GDP hovers at a negative 6.7% approximately and the United States has a spike in unemployment to a reported 20%. Commerce which relies on the physical environment only has ground to a halt. Major photojournalists have been documenting the empty streets with imagery of animals (domestic and wild) roaming in places traditionally meant for human activity and interaction.
Technology, like that developed by Matterport, extends consumer reach in the digital and coronavirus era. While galleries have been shuttered to the public and deemed “Non-essential” the fine art found inside has not. Virtual environments have long been used by progressive and forward-thinking directors, curators, and business people in the arts. Photographers have learned and implemented exceptional modeling techniques as part of their commercial endeavors and role in e-commerce. Real Estate, commercial and residential, adapts and changes. Virtual services, like those offered by talented photographers and the equipment companies, are a means for the local realtor or store owner to better communicate with their sphere.
Restaurants, always looking for a new way to bring fresh concepts to market, will likely offer a more boutique experience. Reservations may include a virtual preview of a private booth and room. Covid is and has transformed us and our industries overnight.