The cascading catastrophe of Covid / corona is ceaseless –indeed an alliterative clepe. The foundation stone for covid was laid dating back November 2019, in a Chinese province – Wuhan. The province hosts – Wuhan institute of Virology, coveted as the world’s colossal virus laboratory. To clear the air over its emergence – whether from the colossal lab or a wet market in the province or both, quite a few satisfactory responses were elicited, albeit paving way for more speculation undoubtedly.
While verbal whiplashes from patriarchs of manifold countries have been voiced against China, the dust is yet to settle over the issue. The brunt of Covid – is the quintessence to decipher terms “cascading” & “catastrophe”. No realm of the economy has been spared – be it politics, education, manufacturing, aviation, pharmaceutical, health care, media & broadcasting, agriculture & supply chain, finance etc.
History does provide testimonies of catastrophic events – often the wrath of which is limited to a geographic contour. But covid is ubiquitous – even the uninhabited landscapes, woods & islets have reported cases of covid positive animals in them. Covid stands by the Tamil anecdote “Yaadhum oore Yaavarum Kelir” – meaning, to us all towns are one, all men our kin. Lets’ ponder the effect of covid succinctly:
Politics – Meetings, elections & propaganda hanging in the air. Governments seeking an extension of their reign as elections can just be a matter of hallucination, incumbent. Parties fear about losing their leaders. I ought to mention, an Indian born Britain citizen stepped into the shoes of Britain’s prime minister, as he was tested positive for covid. The race for crucial portfolios across the globe has got exacerbated. Gramercy to covid!
Education – Exams & classes in the standstill. Albeit outlook unchanged, modus operandi of schools has changed to that of hospitals & isolations wards. Reopening dates postponement has become the order of the day, as the light at the end of covid tunnel is yet to be found. Who s, maybe it’s yet to be lit!
Manufacturing – Known for its checkered past, the industry gets hits even in the lightest of a catastrophe. Despite relaxations and productions steering up, the question of the hour is “Where is your Demand?” The term demand, has gone out of demand! Stock piling up at these hours of crisis, accentuates the problem of locking working capital & liquidity issues.
Aviation – Clear skies are no longer a thing of the past, the credit of its revival is owed to coivd. With airlines necessitating a bail out from the governments, keeping their fleet paid during months of sober activity is a white elephant affair. Payments may continue as long as their reserves stand unexhausted. Govt of Germany has come forward to pick up stake in Lufthansa to extenuate solvency issues. Indeed, India is lucky, the government already owns the “Maharaja – Air India”. Hence solvency is rest assured, as solvency of Air India is a matter of sovereign prestige. And India, will not afford a dent on its sovereign prestige.
Health care & Pharmaceutical – Buzzing stocks, overflowing patients & convalescents. With the former in ICUs (Intensive care units) & the latter in outpatient wards. The fleet of the industry has been on its toes since covid spread. When the entire economy is in lull, Health care unit standalone are at a buzz of activity. Pharmaceutical behemoths are in a race to be the maiden one to find out a vaccine for covid & patent it. The behemoth which turns out successful in the race is set to embrace a finance delight in the near future. Let’s embrace a diversified strategy and invest in manifold pharmaceuticals companies, to try out our financial fortune!
Media & broadcasting – Nosediving advertisement revenues have led them bleed. Soap operas shooting in the standstill, have given them lesser scope to garner fresh audience. They are left with no choice but to broadcast previously telecasted operas & movies, in the least to maintain their existing audience base intact.
Agriculture – Labors face transportation issues in reaching out to the fields. Despite decent crop yields, owing to market closures – they are left with no choice to pile up stocks of their perishable products, in vain. Supply chain has almost got dismantled in many parts of the world – as rails, ships & air cargos are on a sabbatical. The onus lies on the government to save the livelihood of small famers.
Finance –Stock market timings truncated, borrowing (Repo) & Deposit rates slashed round the globe, recession awaiting in the ante room of every finance ministry, inflation & fiscal deficit targets breached, NPA (Non performing assets) norms diluted – so that banks can save their value at least in books if not in reality. M&A (Mergers and acquisitions ), other deals are hanging in the lurch, hostile takeover norms revised to ensure cash-rich economies do not pick up stakes when companies are bleeding. When printing presses have shut down sine die, Minting presses are forced to work 24×7! The true colours of every currency stands vulnerable to exposure in the near future.
Awaiting the new normalcy,