With the headlines dominated by the new COVID-19 virus, 2020 has seen a chaotic and anxious beginning to the new decade. The virus has led to the deaths of over 2,000 people and quarantine of Wuhan, 11 towns in Italy and a cruise ship off the coast of Japan. The outbreak has also caused a global panic, with masked individuals equipped with hand sanitizers and sprays everywhere, particularly in our capital, London.

Coronavirus has become more than a medical hazard, but is now a disease hooked onto the global economy, dragging down profits of businesses and products based in China, and even affecting global brands such as Corona Extra – merely due to the similarity in the name.

In fact, share prices of Constellation Brands (supplier of Corona Extra) are and have been plummeting over the past couple of months, from a peak of approximately $208 USD to around $172 USD as of 29/02/20. Although Constellation Brands do not have any current London Offices, the crashing stock prices are detrimental to the health of consumer and investor relations, whether that be in America, London or the rest of the world. Inevitably, there is doubt in whether to invest in such affected brands, and the sale of stock now may come back to damage the UK economy. To reiterate, Constellation Brands is merely one of many companies with damaged share prices, and these repercussions are undoubtedly chipping at the London stock markets and economy.

As for a more social point of view, the threat of the virus to the UK, particularly in social hotspots such as London is affecting schools, tourist honeypot profits and efficiency of hospitals and medical centres. GP clinics are already under stress at this time of year with an increased number of colds and flus, and this in combination with the threat of the coronavirus has meant that appointments now have to be booked several weeks if not a month in advance.

Unfortunately, the spread of coronavirus has been reported to be more rapid outside of China than in, and the World Health Organisation have raised the reported risk levels to maximum and a pandemic is being anticipated by officials.

As for now there are a number of ways in order to reduce the risk of infection, such as regularly and thoroughly washing your hands and using alcohol-based hand rubs. More information regarding COVID-19 and prevention can be found on the World Health Organisation website.