Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Fiji - Vaccine?

Watch this - yes all of it!
Obviously, the pandemic has pretty much been an unmitigated economic disaster whereby whilst Government has done a truly fantastic job at keeping us safe, this has come at the price of shutting our borders = basically annihilating our foreign tourism industry that used to represent 40% of our GDP.
The consequence has been a 19% drop in our economic activity in 2020, mass unemployment and a dramatic reversal in the efforts to eradicate poverty that has shot back up to nearly 30%
And there have been other consequences, too.
Whereas on the positive side, many have reinvented themselves and are managing to survive by engaging in small scale farming, horticulture, handicraft, trade and bartering, we have also witnessed an alarming increase in widespread and indiscriminate fishing all the way to local overfishing and poaching, much like anticipated and also in line with what we hear is happening elsewhere in developing maritime countries.
With that in mind, we are convinced that once this fucking nightmare is finally over, there will need to be a proper damage assessment, after which marine conservation priorities will very likely have to be completely redefined = donors, hold on to your money and do not squander it on yesterday's projects! 
And BAD? 
Like I said back then, we will almost certainly survive - but next to zero income for close to one year = WAY longer than expected has been hard hard hard! Yes we continue to dive and to conduct our research, this also thanks to your continued generosity - but we too will have to reassess our priorities as even under best-case scenarios, past business volumes will remain elusive for quite some time.
That said, we also have some exciting plans!

Anyway, right now I'm pretty happy.
I might have been snoozing - but that video is the first time I learn about how Government is planning to get out of this horrible impasse, and I must say that I'm rather impressed! All I can say is that we here have obviously prepared, have already developed comprehensive yet not overly intrusive Covid protocols and will be ready to welcome you back with open arms the moment the borders reopen!

So here's to 2021 - onward and upward!
Keep watching this space!

PS - unsurprisingly the vaccine we're getting first will be the AstraZeneca via COVAX.

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