Apple's response to the pandemic has been exemplary — I'm impressed

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

The entire world is in a time of crisis right now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that's caused many people and companies to react in a plethora of different ways. When I think about the difficult time we have been having lately, and likely will have for quite some time, I'm reminded of what JFK said many years ago.

"When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters — one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity." — John F. Kennedy"

Like most businesses, Apple has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and has had to make adjustments. Yet at every turn, Apple seems to have turned this crisis into an opportunity to help.

Taking care of employees

Near the beginning of March, when the pandemic had reached beyond China and was starting to affect a ton of other places, Apple made the decision to closed down all of its retail outlets outside fo China. Originally, stores were expected to be closed until March 27; however, that quickly extended to "indefinitely". Apple didn't wait for governments to enact laws or emergency measures that would force stores to close; they closed their stores to protect employees and their customers.

Part of that announcement was Apple's commitment to paying its employees — even if they weren't working — during the shutdown. Apple could have chosen not to pay employees; it is, after all, unprecedented times, and governments around the world were working on a solution to help citizens financially. Apple is worth billions upon billions of dollars and supporting its employees at least, for the time being, is well within their means, and it's nice to see that Apple (as well as other companies) are stepping up to help out.

Working with Google

There's no doubt that Google is a huge Apple competitor, and it's not often you see the two companies work directly together on anything. Still, both companies committed to work on contact tracing to help governments and health organization track the spread of the virus.

"Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing."

The companies are working fast too. The UK's National Health Service (NHS) announced they are going to be using Apple and Google's API in their app to help in the fight against coronavirus, and testing will start as soon as next week. Cooperation like this across all industries is essential, and I'm proud of both Apple and Google for coming together to help in any way they can.

On top of Siri, which got the ability to help you diagnose if you have COVID-19, Apple could be doing more too. Recently they bought the domain "". which, in all fairness, could mean absolutely nothing; however, seeing how active Apple has been in this pandemic, I feel like its only a matter of time until we learn why they have that domain.

I choose not to be pessimistic

It's far too easy to be pessimistic (especially right now) about a company's actions. You can say Apple is only doing this for good PR and to protect its stocks during this economic downturn. There's no doubt in my mind that Apple (as any company would do) is trying to protect itself from financial fallout right now, but that doesn't mean they're not acting for good.

I, for one, am very proud of how Apple has been handling everything so far, and I think that they deserve a little credit for doing everything they can to help. They aren't the only company stepping up either, plently of companies are manufacturing PPE and ventilator equipment to attempt to protect healthcare workers and save lives.

Even in the dark times, there's always good happening; you just have to choose to see it.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.