Coronavirus and Deliveries



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Video: Deliveries During Covid-19



Navigating the Bogota traffic used to be a nightmare. But lately, Eynson has the streets to himself. With Colombia in nationwide lockdown, delivery drivers like him have come to be considered essential workers.

A service once synonymous with indulgence has suddenly become the last source of normalcy for many. Though for Eynson, these circumstances are anything but normal.

Eynson Mendieta, Courier: “We are very exposed at all times. We’ve made it our priority to stick to the security protocols so we can serve the community throughout the quarantine.”

Eynson works for Rappi, a one-stop-shop for everything from toilet paper to ready-made cocktails. The startup acts as an intermediary between stores, markets, restaurants and quarantined clients.

The health crisis is their moment to shine. They’re building on existing infrastructure to create much needed jobs and help keep struggling businesses alive.

Matias Laks, General Manager, Rappi Colombia: “Today, if a restaurant doesn’t sell through us, they don’t sell at all. Before, if they didn’t use our services, they could sell on-site.”

Emiliano owns this burger joint in the usually very busy Chapinero neighborhood. Before the lockdown, the restaurant served around two-hundred patrons every day.

Today, ninety percent (90%) of what’s left of Emiliano’s business goes through Rappi.

Emiliano Moscoso, Restaurant Owner: “The crisis has forced us to rapidly reinvent ourselves. To prove that we could change in a moment’s notice, we’ve had to make a lot of quick decisions.

However, the situation is very complicated. Through delivery services, we are selling twenty-five, maybe thirty percent (25% to 30%) of what we used to sell. This is really about survival for us.”

But some people feel uneasy ordering from online platforms. There is a growing concern among Colombians that delivery personnel may not be complying with sanitary recommendations.

At Rappi, they’d rather be safe than sorry.

Matias Laks, General Manager, Rappi Colombia: “We’ve set up a patrol in many Colombian cities. We’ve sent people out to cities we know are experiencing high demand. There they hand out masks, sanitizers and gloves.

They also help us disperse large gatherings of delivery personnel.”

In the era of social distancing, Rappi’s newest venture couldn’t be more timely. In Medellin, the company has begun using robots to carry out deliveries.

But the startup insists that the roughly twenty-thousand (20,000) couriers don’t have to fear for their jobs. They say that without their human workers, they wouldn’t get very far.

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1. The traffic in Bogota, Colombia have always been light. True or false?

2. Previously had home delivery been very widespread and popular?

3. Every restaurant and shop has their own courier service. Is this right or wrong?

4. Is Rappi providing an essential service?

5. Have restaurants and shops made slow, gradual changes in their business operations? Have their businesses been booming?

6. Customers are thrilled and excited about shopping and buying online. Is this entirely correct, mostly correct, in the middle, partially correct, largely incorrect or totally incorrect?

7. Has Rappi introduced other innovations? Is everyone enthusiastic about this development?


A. The owners and managers of Rappi feel very despondent about the coronavirus epidemic. What do you think?

B. What is the situation in your town or city? How do people do their shopping and purchasing? Has it changed significantly from 2019?

C. Do you and others prefer the old way, the current way, both, in the middle, or it depend?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. What can or should people, businesses and governments do?

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