We are truly living in an unprecedented time. Social distancing is difficult (to say the least) for people and businesses alike. A slight glimmer of hope is that market freedoms are allowing businesses to try to adapt to these new circumstances.
Here are a few market adaptations that I’ve observed in the past week:
- Food delivery services, once just a convenience, have now become a saving grace for people and businesses.
- Workplace messaging platforms and virtual conference calls are becoming more popular and helping to maintain some normalcy while many of us work from home.
- Many St. Louis breweries and other companies are using their facilities to make hand sanitizer and delivering it to those who may need it.
- Local bakeries are creating at-home decorating kits to deliver both a sweet treat and an activity for kids.
- The importance of certain technological advances, such as self-driving trucks and delivery robots, has become much more apparent. On top of other benefits, these innovations could increase our delivery capacity while reducing human contact.
I’m sure that many more innovations and adaptations such as these can be seen across the country. In general, we can see that certain sectors of the market have become critical features of everyday life while other companies are coming up with new ideas to keep business alive.
You cannot predict what will happen in this world, and that’s why we need the free market—it allows people to pursue ideas and adapt when situations change. Small, innovative changes certainly will not counteract the economic effects of this crisis and we shouldn’t trivialize the economic hardships to come, but we’re lucky that our free-market system allows for these small adaptations to lessen the blow.