Preparing Your Finances for a Bird Flu Pandemic

June 7th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

If you have been paying attention to the news lately you may of heard of the threat of bird flu and a world pandemic. What would this mean and how would it affect your financial holdings. The World Bank, which has estimated that a bird flu pandemic lasting a year could, cost the global economy up to $800 billion dollars. The economic toll on the world economy will be catastrophic. That is a forecast no investor wants to hear. Even a “mild” pandemic could wreck havoc with your investments.

During a flu pandemic millions of people would be unable to work due to illness and taking care of sick family members. Schools and businesses would be closed, transportation reduced or halted. Ill truck drivers, rail and warehouse workers would bring interstate commerce to a grinding halt. How many air traffic controllers could be out sick before flights were cancelled? International travel would all but be eliminated. Businesses hardest hit would include retail, trade, education, travel and tourism, public entertainment and anywhere large groups of people would gather such as sporting events and concerts. Import and exports markets would be devastated.

With millions out of work and unable to pay their bills including rent and mortgage payments, financial institutions facing mounting defaults would have no choice but to suspend debt owed until the pandemic was over. Other financial institutions would face similar threats of collapse until business returned to normal. But, how long would that take? Thousands of businesses may never be able to recover resulting in the loss of millions of jobs. Large and small businesses alike may loose key employees who would be difficult to replace. Moving forward businesses would face labor shortages due to the millions who died, making a return to full productivity difficult.

The global economy could take years to recover. Individual business recovery could be painfully slow. Government spending to aid recovery would go through the roof, yet they would be receiving less in tax revenue from businesses that closed and individuals out of work. The stock value of the largest businesses could collapse devaluing millions of investor’s portfolios. Investors may dump their stock holdings in favor of cash and hard assets like gold and silver. Housing prices could plunge as millions of homeowners go into default. Financial panic could wreck the markets in short order.

Many essential items could be in short supply due to loss of production capacity. Gas and oil deliveries could take months to return to normal production. Consumer spending would be down further delaying economic recovery.

Global instability would be the rule rather than the exception. 3rd world countries devastated by the pandemic could face new internal struggles for power as whole armies could be wiped out by the flu. International trade relations we once had may no longer be there.

A world pandemic would set the dominoes in motion. One event would trigger another; one financial collapse would bring on the next one. The results would be nothing short of catastrophic.

As an investor your first course of action is to stay informed. A bird flu pandemic may not happen for years, but health experts say it will happen, it is just a matter of time. But then there is always natural disasters and terrorism to worry about. The more you know about a possible bird flu pandemic the better position you will be in to adjust your portfolio accordingly when the time comes if not sooner.

Diverting a portion of your assets into stocking up on essential food and supplies may be a prudent move, since a pandemic may keep you housebound for months at a time. No well-diversified portfolio will help you out when the grocery stores are closed and you are waiting in line for a government hand out.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Themes for Research

June 7th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

Pandemics in human history always often result in untold and sometimes unparalleled problems that would need great thinkers to offer solutions. Researchers are positive opportunists who do not relent in their efforts in continually investigating the ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘who’, and ‘how’ of every situation just to bring relief to mankind. In the current outbreak, researchers in the diverse disciplines must think of how to offer a new lens of understanding to the outbreak and more importantly offer urgent solutions to its associated challenges that threaten human structures for survival.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic, scholars in the field of Health and Allied Sciences have started investigating the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, histopathology, clinical evaluation/treatment/management and diagnosis of the COVID-19. A survey of the scholarly works in this field shows great contributions of Asian researchers, especially from China, where the outbreak began. These hardworking researchers never relented in their efforts in investigating medically, what should be done to fight the virus. These remarkable researchers kept on pursuing this path even under perilous working conditions that resulted in the loss of some. They have truly demonstrated and shown what researchers must do all the time in constantly searching for solutions to alleviate the pain of their fellow humans even in times of pandemic. However, more has to be done by their colleagues in other countries. There is a need for medical scientists to investigate the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus in different regions of the world. Interestingly, other scholars in the field of medicine are busily investigating this phenomenon to inform knowledgeably on the coronavirus, suggesting preventive measures and more importantly, finding medical cure and vaccine to fully combat it. For instance, while medical scientists search through the lens of orthodox medicine, herbal practitioners are experimenting on ways of using herbal extracts in producing medicine that can boost the immune system and/or provide a strong immune buffer to fight the coronavirus. These efforts are commendable. More work has to be done in searching for more efficient means of conducting tests on COVID-19 patients, carrying out contact tracing, and precautionary/preventive measures for the coronavirus.

Researchers in the field of Engineering, particularly Computer and Mechanical Engineering are devising technologies to help in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19. Digital technologies such as drones and robocops have been designed and used in some countries, to sum up, manual enforcement of lockdowns. Likewise, mobile technologies such as the development of new apps for contact tracing of patients of the COVID-19 as well as those who have had contact with them are being designed. For instance, MIT researchers are developing a system based on artificial intelligence to complement the manual contact tracing carried out by public health personnel that relies on short-range Bluetooth signals from smartphones. In South Africa, ambulances endowed with automated test kits and laboratory services designed as a result of diligent efforts in research are being used in testing and tracking persons with the COVID-19 even in remote, hard-to-reach areas. In Ghana, the Ministry of Health recently launched the COVID-19 app for tracing people infected or who have had contact with carriers of the COVID-19 virus. These technologies developed as a result of rigorous studies by some mechanical engineers as well as computer hardware and software engineers are being deployed to aid in the fight against the COVID-19. More technological tools to fight the coronavirus are still required and dedicated researchers in the field of engineering are constantly on the table investigating these potentials.

Researchers in agriculture has a great research task in stock for them. The lockdown has resulted in a high record of postharvest losses in countries. What are the efficient ways of mitigating post-harvest losses during periods of pandemic and lockdowns? How can farmers use online marketing strategies and platforms to connect to clients to patronize their products to prevent them from incurring high financial losses? What can the ministry of food and agriculture do to assist these poor farmers in managing the crisis of lockdowns? What are some of the efficient ways the perishable farm produce could be processed into non-perishable products by food manufacturing companies? These are excellent themes that merit investigation by agriculturalists during this pandemic outbreak. Sadly, studies in these areas are yet to be undertaken.

The tourism and hospitality management sector have been hit greatly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many scheduled tours and tourism activities have been canceled due to travel bans and lockdowns. It is estimated that the tourism sector globally will lose high revenue up to the value of close to two billion dollars. This is the time researchers in tourism and hospitality management might consider virtual means of marketing these tourism sites through intensified research into smart tourism and e-tourism. This growing field in tourism has not been given much attention, especially in developing countries. This pandemic period should be the time that researchers in this field would find ways of increasing public awareness of smart tourism and e-tourism.

Scholars in the Social Sciences and Humanities such as sociologists, anthropologists and culturists have the task in investigating the sociological impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak such as ways of dealing with social anxiety as a result of the pandemic. Also, an assessment of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 on business activities, the need to embark on e-business, e-marketing, e-banking and other electronic forms of carrying out business activities are important topics that must be explored. Social and Cultural anthropologists should look into the cultural and social perceptions of the different people across the regions of the world about the coronavirus and recommend the application of culturally relevant interventions to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, psychologists and psychiatrists must suggest ways of dealing with post-traumatic disorders from quarantining, as well as stigmatization and discrimination against COVID-19 patients and their relatives.

Moreover, this is the time for educational technologists to come out with proactive ways of undertaking online instruction via various forms of learning management systems, intelligent tutoring systems, and social media platforms. Artists must creatively produce animated cartoons and other forms of signs in e-formats to be promoted online in fighting against the myths and misinformation surrounding the treatment of the COVID-19 and the need to expunge all forms of stigmatization and discrimination against persons who are tested for COVID-19. Of course, this is the time that researchers in all fields of study must collaborate to investigate pluralistic means of fighting the COVID-19 global pandemic.

If you want interesting information on pandemic research click the link below: