Since the start of the global pandemic in early January 2020, the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 virus have been widespread and extremely unpredictable. The outbreak is said to have started in a wet market, in Wuhan, the large, modern capital of Central China’s Hubei province. Yet, by late 2020 the virus has spread to nearly 200 countries around the world with over 36 million cases declared so far. Whilst the coronavirus continues to make news headlines globally, it was a markedly shocking and sad day around the world in late September when the coronavirus death toll surpassed one million cases. As the virus continues to cause ongoing chaos, both in large and small doses around the world, there has been a somewhat surprising revelation that the world’s billionaire’s have actually been profiting through this now global recession.
As unemployment rates have been steadily increasing around the world, for a small number of people, things have never looked better. With conditions of the pandemic demanding nationwide lockdowns across the globe, there has been much said about the world’s move online, with a newfound interest in and dependency on platforms such as Zoom. With everyone staying at home also, it’s not surprising to hear that online shopping orders have significantly increased, or that fashion brands are moving logos higher up to necklines and promoting baggy, drawstring trousers and part of their upcoming collections. Shocking though it may seem, as over 40 million American’s file for unemployment, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ net worth increased by an estimated $48 billion USD from March to June 2020. In the same amount of time, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saw $15.7 billion USD added to his net worth, and Zoom founder Eric Yuan’s net worth increase by over $2.5 billion USD. This comes following a steady decrease in taxes paid by America’s billionaires since 1980.