The age of Corona

| April 20, 2020

Resident columnist Dickson Igwe

The Corona Virus Pandemic will usher in a Post Globalization World Order. Greater regional integration, and a whole new travel protocol, that adds a robust layer of medical scrutiny means limited travel options, for at least a decade.

The Corona Pandemic has wiped away 20 million jobs in a matter of 4 weeks from the USA job market.

The world is in economic recession. A global depression of the proportion of the 1930s is expected by leading economists. Not unless a vaccine is found that is immediately available to the world. This is unlikely in the near future.

The UK, European Union, Caribbean, Commonwealth and African economies are in contraction.

China is in contraction and is experiencing it’s first recession in decades.

The Corona Virus Pandemic is expected to cost the world 20 Trillion US Dollars in wealth lost. This is just under a quarter of global GDP of 87 trillion dollars.

Whole industries in travel, tourism, and retail have already collapsed.

In the USA, the President, Donald Trump, remains deluded over the idea that he can reopen the USA to trade and normality. He can open US borders to select countries he asserts. However no country, from Canada to Mexico, to the UK, is interested in opening its borders to a USA that has lost control of the pandemic narrative.

The Pure Capitalism model of the USA is uniquely at a disadvantage at this time. Capitalism requires strong consumer demand. Today, consumers in the UK, USA, and elsewhere, are terrified.

If economics is about human behavior the US recession will not be lifted any time soon, and not until people are less fearful and confident to go out on the streets and shop.

With deaths approaching 40,000 , there is no decline in the fear and terror of US consumers. People everywhere are fearful, depressed, and stressed. Consumer and business confidence has plummeted into a black hole.

Photo courtesy https://www.betintl.co.uk/

The same is true with the UK, where deaths are approaching the ominous 20,000 number. Over 2 million jobs have already disappeared in the UK and the property market has plummeted.

The failure of both the USA and UK leadership to shut down their countries immediately,  after witnessing the diabolical and malevolent nature of this virus,  will go down in the history of infamy.

Up and until today, these two countries are still allowing flights to enter from virus infected countries, with passengers not going through the critical testing and quarantine protocols required to keep the virus in check.

Countries such as these British Virgin Islands that went into shut down immediately they saw the dangers ahead, have so far managed to control the infection rate.

Experts have asserted that the world will remain in lock down until a vaccine is discovered. If it does not, this virus will continue its deadly foray into the human genome, and perhaps kill many millions.

So, until a vaccine is found, countries will have to exist with closed borders, using testing and social isolation, to stem the tide of infection and death.

7 years of famine have begun. People must learn to live simply and store what is critical to everyday life: water, hygiene products, canned foods, lighting, and fuel. Countries that cannot simply print money to sustain their economies like these islands in the Caribbean sea, will have to be governed prudently and wisely.

Governments and banks will have to come together to assist consumers who will not be able to pay back their debts until the economy recovers. Banks do not need to end up with bad debts, and repossessed cars and homes.

Migration will become more draconian as the first duty of governments is to their own citizens.  As the job markets go south, governments will be looking at ensuring the employment and sustenance of their own citizens. Migrant workers will have to return to their home countries.

Caricom, OECS, and other Caribbean organizations, will have to work together to ensure the livelihoods and economic sustainability of the region.

The good news is that experts expect a vaccine to be developed in due course.

One day even this scourge will come to an end. One day life will return to normal.

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society

About the Author (Author Profile)

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.

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