Effects of coronavirus


The huge drop in the global economy has begun adversely affecting the islands in devastating ways.

Hotels have seen a huge drop in occupancy, some 40 employees have been released and the annual liberation day this year may be cancelled.

The closure of businesses in the visitor industry would translate into more job losses. It’s a heavy issue for both businesses struggling to stay above water and employees whose job security is history.

Understood the seriousness of the issue—lack of healthy business activities here—that translates into losses beyond expectations. It’s a regressive reality that doesn’t leave much hope over the near term and leaves many asking: what next?


In Japan, all schools were closed while Iran released 54,000 prisoners to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. It’s a nasty respiratory disease that grows on its own without cross-contamination.

We’ve seen our annual budget take a nosedive from the usual $200 million-plus annually to a meager $90 million. The reduction is attributable to the drop in the global economy.


Global travel and manufacturing have taken a nosedive by more than 50%. Concurrently, materials and supplies for the entire global community also drop in major ways.

The most consequential decision President Trump made was shut off all flights from countries where the deadly virus has spread like wildfire. Many of these countries aren’t even equipped with adequate health care facilities to handle the increasing number of their people severely affected by the deadly virus.

Stunning the seeming apocalyptic strength of the virus that had every country on its knees. The grinding halt of the global economy is a phenomenon never before seen in the global village over the last 50 years.

I haven’t given up. I’d sit on my grandpa’s chair at dawn and dusk meditating for better days ahead. I remember a biblical passage that says, “this too shall pass” and it will.


Beyond our mini-tourism industry, what other sector have we developed as cushion when the industry heads south like the current experience?

In the midst of the huge drop of the local economy, apparently we’ve failed to work on a set of plans that prepares the NMI to muddle along even with a $40-million loss from tourism. Does it matter that we’re negligent on this score? Ever heard of the term “planning”? Is one in motion now or “not yet, already?”

The obvious complacency by which we treat our economic future doesn’t leave much room for hopeful and brighter tomorrows. Appalling that the lights are on but nobody seems to be home. Need we boast lamañana in grand fashion? It’s an issue of leadership!


We face the same issues that matter. Some take it in stride, others ignore it, while still others accept the challenge and move forward with courage.

The assured decrease of the economy is troubling. It spells disaster as revenue depletes. The severity of the decrease and its return to normalcy is anybody’s guess.

Indeed, this is the first time that a serious respiratory disease threatens the islands. It’s good to know that we don’t have it now and hope it is keeps this way moving forward. Its effects here and elsewhere are devastating.

The local economy is headed into deep trouble given our reliance on the mini-tourism industry that has gone south. It’s a serious challenge that has turned the terms “dip” and “cut” into daily usage most everywhere.

Time to reset buttons by planning for our future in spite of it all!


Former vice president Joe Biden has emerged the national Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. It was a hard-fought victory and Biden would eventually be sharing his gaffes. Didn’t he recently announce he was in Iowa while in Idaho?

With Trump’s towering economic success, it would be interesting what Biden would bring by way of table issues for hardworking Americans. At least he has his usual gaffes to contend with, like “Super Thursday” (Tuesday).

Is there anything for territories or are we the usual empty jar left unattended atop the kitchen counter? I mean we’re used to serving as dustbin until someone cleans our filthy faces by accident. Hope there’s greater inclusion moving forward.

Interesting that the global village moves about to contain the coronavirus while we peep into our coffers to see if there’s anything left for basic needs. Said Magoo, “Wen natting, den natting!” Is deficit spending the next order of business?

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.
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