The first month of 2020 is ending. With the stream of negativity that came our way, aren’t we all glad fiery January is over?
There’s a saying negative events usually come in threes. This time, though, it’s mere like a dime a dozen. Some of the adverse developments first came in late December but lingered on and blasted off this month like the on-going wildfire in Australia, which has killed three American firefighters in an aerial water tanker that crashed.
The US killed Iranian General Soleimani and we feared if Iranian retaliation would escalate into an all-out-war. Iran downed a Ukrainian plane killing 176 on board. In England Prince Harry and wife Megan Markle decided to “step back” from their royal family. In the US President Donald Trump faced an impeachment trial. In Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the entire government resigned in reaction to President Vladimir Putin’s proposed sweeping constitution changes.
Then we had the Kashmir avalanche, the Indonesian floods, the locust invasion in Somalia and Ethiopia, the Taal eruption in the Philippines, the outbreak of Corona (NCov) virus, which Chinese authorities Wednesday said has infected close to 6,000 individuals as well as killed 170 people. Then we all woke up with the sad news of the untimely demise of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
Of the 12 events that unfolded, the outbreak of nCov. virus could be the most ferocious. nCoV virus is virulent. The advisory of health officials and the World Health Organization is to avoid crowded places.
Prior to the nCoV outbreak, many people go to shopping malls is, an alternative venue for walking exercise. Cautiousness dictates this may no longer be a good option for now. As of this writing, there’s yet a confirmed nCoV case here but the health officials are steadfast in their advisory to avoid crowded places. Other activities such as dining out may, likewise, be lessened.
The domestic economy, over the past years, has been mostly driven by consumer spending. The corona Virus outbreak could narrow down the economic growth rate.
The forever optimist in me believes, however, that in adversity there is opportunity. The prevailing zealousness against catching nCoV. could be a shot in the arm for online businesses – food delivery and online shopping, and buying of essential basic commodity items. It could mean motorcycle services could flourish.
How time flies, indeed. Was it only last year when the annual banking community attended its annual cocktail at Fort San Antonio Abad with then Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla. Little did we know, it would be his last. Several days later, he was fetch by his angels.
The yearly gathering of bankers, market movers, players, and business moguls was held last Friday. It’s the first for BSP Benjamin “BED” Diokno. The event was a bit subdued as, instead of the open-space historic Fort, it was held at the assembly hall, in consideration of a possible downpour. Noticeably, guests with Chinese lineage had to do a French leave. It was Chinese New Year’s Eve.
As memento, honored guests were handed out a set of new generation coins that includes the yet to be circulated 20-piso coin. The P20 bill remains a legal tender. Eventually, BSP will stop its printing. The 20-piso coin will be in full blast circulation within this quarter. History students and numismatists are now collecting ₱20 bills.
The wheels of events for this month tilted to negative. Looking forward that for the love month of February, the wheels churn on the positive.
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