Life under lockdown has turned every aspect of human lives upside down. Thousands of businesses were forced to close amid social distancing measures and falling revenues. At the same time, a large portion of the global workforce was urged to work from home for an indefinite period. Schools were also closed, pushing students to be homeschooled until the situation improves.
While most businesses temporarily halted their operations to limit the spread of the virus, a few essential shops and in-home services remained available, catering to the needs of consumers amid the health crisis. Here are some home services that remain indispensable during the lockdown:
1. Food and Grocery Deliveries
As the virus continues to spread rapidly across many countries, people are now relying heavily on food and grocery deliveries for their supply of household essentials. A joint survey from consulting firm Brick Meets Click and online delivery platform ShopperKit showed that nearly 31% of American households have used an online grocery delivery or pickup service in March. This figure is equivalent to over 39 million families in the U.S. alone. This is also nearly thrice the number of families ordering groceries online during the same period last year.
Food pickup and delivery platforms also saw online orders surge by at least two-fold since the start of the lockdown. For instance, Chipotle Mexican Grill’s delivery orders soared by 150% during the beginning of April, with total digital sales reaching over $371 million in the first quarter alone. This was also up by 81% compared to the fourth quarter in 2019.
The high demand for food and grocery deliveries will prevail even after the pandemic subsides, according to market experts. This comes as most consumers realize the convenience that these services have to offer, as well as their safety benefits amid a spreading virus.
2. Maintenance Services and Utility Repairs
Critical trade service workers, like plumbers and electricians, were included in the list of essential employees issued by the government last March. Scheduling repairs or maintenance work like EICR inspections and plumbing services helps to ensure the safety of homeowners, as well as avoid any unwanted interruptions amid remote working and distance learning.
During utility visits, ask the service provider to wear a mask before entering the house. Keep your distance, at least six feet away, or have your family members stay in another room while the repairs are ongoing. Maintain good ventilation by opening the windows or turning on the air conditioner in the area. After the visit, encourage touchless payment options to limit physical contact.
Also, make sure to disinfect any surfaces that may have touched by the service provider. Throw used gloves and other disposable equipment that were used during the repair. Lastly, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water and apply hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content.
3. Medical and Home Care Services
Aside from doctors, nurses, and other medical staff in hospitals and laboratories, caregivers have become even more essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the COVID-19 threat, these health workers continue to provide immediate assistance and medical care to highly vulnerable patients in the comfort of their own homes.
However, the nature of their jobs puts them at high risk of contracting the virus as they are required to interact closely with their patients. Some home care workers are supporting confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, making them even more vulnerable to the disease.
Experts argue that the COVID-19 pandemic could create a friendlier work culture for caregivers. While most home care providers remain underpaid despite their laborious task, employers now realize the critical role of caregivers in keeping family members safe and well taken care of when no one else can, especially in times of crisis like the pandemic.
4. Home Grooming for Pets
Any fur parent would know that taking care of pets is far from easy. Most pet owners relied on pet groomers to keep their fur babies clean and tidy. While most non-essential businesses were ordered to close temporarily due to the pandemic, some mobile pet groomers continued to offer their services, especially to first-time fur parents. Startup companies like the Hot Dogs and Cool Cats offer a safer and more convenient alternative to the pet grooming industry, ensuring that pets stay clean and healthy during the lockdown.
Living in these unprecedented times can be quite daunting. Navigating through this crisis has become more bearable, thanks to the workers and businesses who continue to look out for consumers despite the COVID-19 threat.