COVID-19 has sprung up like a vicious weed garden, leaving the nation and the world dumbstruck and in a panic.
As the pandemic continues, businesses everywhere are doing their part to combat the insidious and exponential spread of the virus, inciting different methods and going to various extremes to restrain its movement and aid in the fight against coronavirus.
Among these companies are ride sharing giants Uber and Lyft.
Both ride sharing companies announced that they are suspending their shared rides features (known as “Uber Pool” for Uber and “Shared Rides” for Lyft) in the U.S. and Canada, which allow riders to carpool if they are headed in the same direction for a reduced rate. Uber and Lyft both noted that these actions are being directed as a response to public health safety guidelines.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve,” Uber executive Andrew Macdonald stated plainly. “We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage nonessential travel.”
A spokeswoman for Lyft asserted, “The health and safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we’re dedicated to doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance.”
While ride sharing has specifically been kicked to the curb for the time being, both companies have yet to halt their remaining business operations.
The very popular UberEats is still up and running, and if you need to get somewhere you still have the option of requesting a regular pickup. Both apps however are displaying precautionary messages, urging that people only travel where and when they absolutely need to. A commendable effort on the part of both companies, considering their livelihoods depend on the very thing they are discouraging.
Another business has taken a more creative response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Amidst the widespread closures of Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters across the country, Comcast NBCUniversal has announced that they will be allowing regular theater goers to live stream new movies at home on-demand during the same day as their official release in theaters.
CEO of NBCUniversal, Jeff Shell, proposed, “Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable.”
NCBUniversal will also be allowing movies that are currently in theaters to be available for streaming starting this Friday, March 20.
Disney is another company jumping on this bandwagon, diverting the release of “Frozen 2” to the Disney+ streaming service, and making it available to subscribers three months ahead of schedule.
The Walt Disney Company CEO, Bob Chapek, emphasizes, “Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time.”
These are only a few of the businesses coming through with alternative solutions in the presence of a still climbing threat. Many other businesses however have not been so lucky, either completely shutting down or forced to severely constrict their daily operations.
John Rosenbaum is an Orange County worker’s compensation and personal injury attorney.