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   Vol. 19 No. 20
Monday March 9, 2020
China Up To Speed Could Take Months
Cycling In Beijing

Right now as we enter the second week of March 2020, world focus continues on emerging new locations stricken by COVID-19.
     Back in China, it is now post Lunar New Year.
     But in the factories where exports are created, especially in Wuhan, part of Hubei Province the industrial heart of the country where the virus began, the lights are on, but people in that stricken area are slow-walking rather than rushing back to work.
     The ripple effect of the China pandemic is also felt in places like Vietnam where all schools are closed from kindergarten through college and have been for the past month.
     Professor Christopher Balding of Fulbright University, who was in China for over a decade gathering analytics and tracking progress as that country emerged as a world economic power, and is now based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) describes the return to work in Wuhan and elsewhere in China as a “trickle, but not any significant move back.”
     Speaking to the YouTube program “War Room Pandemic”, Balding predicted the back to work ramp up of China’s workforce “at the current pace means it could take six weeks to two months before return to any kind of normal activities.
     “We track morning and evening rush hours to and from work via the internet, and note volumes are trending up a little bit,” Balding said.
     “But daytime traffic is virtually non-existent as is subway travel in the (Wuhan) area.
     “Also,” Balding pointed up, “we are not seeing movement of the enormous workforce that went home to locations all over China for Lunar New Year, back to cities where they have jobs in the factories.
     “China today is nowhere near the level where you could say OK there has been a serious restart of economic activities.”
     Skies remained clear last week above a country where 80% of power is generated by coal, creating the worst pollution on earth, seemingly the one positive to report.
     “Coal consumption is at 40% as compared to normal,” Christopher Balding said.
     “One area of activity has been an increase in truck traffic where more than 50% of truckers are back and in fact moving more cargo than other sectors.
     “But we are not seeing the level of logistics and long-haul trucking movement that you would expect to see normally.”
     Big back up at the ports of both import and export goods with ships waiting to be unloaded is the significant word up here.
     While the story of COVID-19 continues worldwide, so does the brilliance and tenacity of the Chinese people who have shut down a part of their country as big as France, with 80 million people quarantined.
     The authoritarian dictatorship in China may have been slow out of the gate and secretive, allowing this horror to spread too far too fast, but now with everybody in the fight coupled with aggressive containment procedures seems to be having the effect of slowing the virus down, according to reports.
     A template made in China has been developed for containing this menace, wherever it pops up in a cluster, including Milan, Seattle and elsewhere.

Report From Turin  The situation is not easy. We are close to the peak of the infections. Measures have been adopted to contain the proliferation, but it is difficult to have Italians to spontaneously abide by stringent rules. Anyway the public starts to understand that they have to modify their habits and I can tell by the road traffic that most are limiting their commuting habits. Let us hope for the best and see if the curve starts declining in the next 5 - 7 days.

Winners & Losers

     Right now various high-profile industries are being impacted by COVID-19 in the U.S.
     Severe and sudden drop off in business no doubt will force the government to pick winners and losers.
     As example, it is understood that the U.S. cannot allow Boeing or the airlines to go down.
     Impacted carriers with airplanes parked and schedules disrupted for any length of time will force the U.S. Government to get creative and find a way to extend a lifeline.
     Cruise ships as purely a leisure industry are another matter and most probably will not get a sympathetic ear as losses mount and people stay home.
     Best short-term view is the continued effort to identify and define the threat.
     Based on past viral health attacks, with the threat of COVID-19 moving forward, reasoning is that prevention through a policy of separation and lock down confinement will get a handle on the outbreak.
     According to several reports, as the weather warms up, the spread of the virus should diminish.
     The unexpected, sudden and irrevocable change in everyday life that COVID-19 has brought to the world, has also been met with a certain amount of reservation, even disbelief.
     On Monday Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla automobiles said:  “The coronavirus panic is dumb.”
     Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday was less dismissive, more safety first, stating:
     “In the past week, COVID-19 has started to behave a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we've been worried about," writes Gates.
     “I hope it's not that bad, but we should assume that it will be until we know otherwise,” Bill Gates declared.

Some Airline News:

      In Seattle, Washington, home of Boeing aircraft and several high-tech organizations including Microsoft, Facebook and Google, cases of COVID-19 have hobbled the second greatest tech city in the world. Schools are closed, officials are advising people not to go to work but to tele-commute.
     Over at Boeing, the prime economic driver in that city, news that carriers are slashing services follows no new aircraft sales for January. Boeing, selling no new aircraft for a month, was matched by Airbus saying Friday it sold no new aircraft In February.
     Meanwhile, Lufthansa said that it is slashing half or about 7,000 of its flights in March, while IATA predicted that the global airline industry could take a USD$113 billion hit in sales or 19% of their business if the coronavirus is not contained soon.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
FT022920Vol. 19 No. 17
IATA Istanbul & The Global Emergency
COVID-19 Business As Usual Is Unusual

Vol. 19 No. 18
IATA Cancels WCS Istanbul
Reaction As COVID-19 Crisis Deepens
Chuckles for March 2, 2020

FT030520Vol. 19 No.19
United Takes COVID-19 To Heart
Airports In The Viral Landscape
Chuckles for March 5, 2020
U.S. Trucker Of The Year



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