Keep your guard up
In a recent report, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a record surge in COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, with a total of 1 million cases being reported in under 100 hours. The resurgence proves that infections are returning just as countries have begun to relax social distancing measures and reopen their economies. More importantly, it highlights the fact that in the absence of a medical solution, the hopes of recovery remain highly uncertain.
In Asia, the resurgence is sending chills across the region. Countries earlier praised for containing the virus have been hit by fresh waves, setting daily records. Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam said COVID-19 is spreading out of control as the city recorded 100 new cases within 24 hours. In Tokyo, infections crossed the 500 threshold for the first time since mid-April. Based on current evidence, the WHO said this week that the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19 have not changed.
Given the tremendous uncertainty, governments around the world are faced with a delicate balancing act. Save jobs and restart the economy? Or prioritise saving lives over rebuilding the economy?
The Edelman Trust Barometer
The latest findings of the “Edelman Trust Barometer,” which for two decades has polled tens of thousands of people on their trust in core institutions, reported that overall, 67% agreed with the statement: “The government’s highest priority should be saving as many lives as possible even if it means the economy will recover more slowly.”
Naturally, the majority of people share the sentiment of prioritizing saving of lives. However, to balance trade-offs between health and the economy, we have witnessed governments play a balancing act in implementing measures, with a growing number choosing to prioritize saving jobs and reopening the economy. In the near future, we can expect more countries to give in to the pressure and seek to resume economic activities. As such, despite governments deeming it “safe to reopen”, it is important that we do not let our guard down, and continue to adopt the safety precautions necessary to protect ourselves.
Accepting New Normals in Our Daily Lives
Closer to home, in Singapore and Malaysia, post-circuit breaker and MCO respectively, all of us can expect social distancing and wearing of masks to be the new normal as we go about with our daily lives. Moreover, global experts warn on the very real possibility of airborne transmission, which further reinforces the importance of wearing masks at all times to reduce one’s risk of infection. Even as restrictions are slowly eased, I would encourage all to avoid dining out as much as possible, as the risk is higher due to the need to remove one’s mask when dining out.
Let’s face it, COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. And as long as daily cases are not at zero and in the absence of a widely-available vaccine, we should not be complacent, and to continue to keep our guard up to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Now that we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and have a better idea of what to expect, the issue of the pandemic will no longer take center stage in my articles. Instead, I will re-direct my focus from the CEO Broadcast to a new section within the CP Global Innovation website that will be launched soon.
This new section, titled ‘MTA Performance’, will serve to keep our clients updated about the Managed Trading Account activity and my ongoing investment views about the many twists and turns that we can expect going forward in the global financial markets.
While this new section will allow me to focus on commenting about shorter-term investment matters, it is not the end of CEO Broadcast, as from time-to-time, I may still post my views regarding broader topics that are worth sharing, albeit at a lower frequency.
Looking back, I’m glad that the CEO Broadcast platform was launched. It was instrumental in enabling me to achieve my aim of providing guidance to our clients during the uncertain and volatile period triggered by the pandemic.
I would like to thank our clients and readers for all their kind feedback and questions along the way. Over the decades, many of our clients have formed special bonds with us, and we intend to continue preserving these relationships built on years of trust. As I’ve said in my first announcement in response to COVID-19 earlier this year; You know that you can rely on us, and we know we can rely on you. We will do everything to keep it that way.
I look forward to sharing my market views via the new MTA section of the website with all of you soon.
Till then, stay safe.
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