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What started as Pneumonia, the outbreak of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm. The swift and widespread infectious disease originating in Wuhan, China has had a severe impact on human health, social and economic factors. 

As business owners, workers and contributing members of society, we ask ourselves “How has the virus affected business” and that is the question we put into perspective by the Amazon marketplace as an example. 


Overnight, demand for products such as hand-sanitiser, wet wipes, paper towels and toilet paper shot through the roof as people frantically try to stock up on sanitary supplies in order to get ahead of the curve in case of a world-wide shutdown to slow down and restrict the spread of the deadly disease. 

The spike in demand has shown us how ill-equipped we are to handle another pandemic. Within a matter of days after the virus crossed from Wuhan to neighbouring countries through travellers. Panicked consumers rushed to the stores and selfishly grabbed everything they could. Some more than they needed. 


With brick and mortar shelves collecting dust as supply cannot keep up with the increasing demand, the next step would be to shop online – and here is where Amazon comes in. 

Stocking thousands upon thousands of products in the Health & Personal Care category, swarms of people quickly turned to the online giant for everything hygiene related. 

While some sellers on the platform anticipated customers to be led by fear, thus, pushing up prices and taking full advantage of a severe situation.  


Amazon, owning roughly 50% of the e-commerce market and are really feeling the pressure. COVID-19 has caused a surge in online shopping, and now the online giant is adding 100,000 new full-time and part-time positions across the United States to keep up with the demand 

In order to keep up with the demand for, what is being dubbed, household staples, Amazon has halted purchase orders on all non-essential FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) products starting 16 March 2020 through to 5 April.  

Despite the decision impacting Amazons earnings over the two-week period, the retail giant released a statement stating: 

“We believe our role in serving customers and the community 

during this time is a critical one, and we want to make sure people 

can get the items they need when they need them.” 

Although delays are immanent during this period, Amazon has put measures in place to get Health and Personal Care products to its customers on time. With sanitisation at the forefront of slowing down the spread of the virus, here is what you can do to play your part. 


  • If possible, work from home 
  • Allow domestic workers, the nanny, the gardener etc. to stay at home with their family 
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with antibacterial soap and water 
  • Use hand sanitiser regularly before and after touching things in public 
  • Avoid shaking hands. A simple “hello” should suffice in times of crisis 
  • When sneezing or coughing, do so into the crease of your elbow 
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and discard of it immediately (in a bin) 

For more information on the COVID-19 virus, consult a medical professional or the WHO website.