Riding out of the storm

As the coronavirus inflicted changes continue, we spend time on the sofa, watching videos, or playing video games.   There is a catch here – someone is making money out of our boredom.

Earning money out of a crisis is a sign of entrepreneurship, and the epidemic has created challenges in positive ways to several types of industries with entertainment topping the list. Games, toys, personalised T-shirt, masks, dolls, and stuffed toys in the form of the virus are some examples. It is all about cash flow.

Collectible figures on coronavirus themes are also available these days. I asked a few parents whether they have bought coronavirus shaped toys for their children. Some gave me a flat no, others did not reply; a few, who answered, did not have an emotional sense attached to the disease – they bought toys related to the virus.

Across the globe, the representation of the virus is as entertainment, education, and information tools. Card games in honour to medical professionals, food workers, small delivery vans, little people figures such as He-Man as a grocery delivery worker, and Barbie as a scientist are a hit in the toy industry. Crossword puzzle and games in which gamers simulate the outbreak of plague are popular.  However, a visit to toy shops in several local malls resulted in being met with the ‘Uhh’ apathy expression.

Communicating with children using games and puppets can be engaging and enjoyable, particularly in a health crisis. The initiative goes back at least some 18 years with manufacturers producing microbes to help children understand the importance of washing their hands.

In most representations of the virus, the shape is a spherical particle with spikes, resembling an alien invader. In the depictions of the virus, designers, illustrators, and communicators make highly creative and evocative decisions.  Interestingly, major historical events influence language and communication. In the case of Covid-19, it has also influenced new emojis and the way people use them in social media to express feelings towards the disease and pandemic, besides a sense of solidarity, compassion, or fun.

Presenting health information with illustrations, images or shapes is easier to understand. It also encourages the dissemination of content. Health and science products with a forward vision can create fresh positive situations to spread knowledge and to inspire children and adults to learn about science.

Embracing the new normal might just be the needed mindset for discovering opportunities. Listen to your entrepreneurial heart. Creativity has no limits.

Quoting Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, nothing is permanent except change.