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Normalisation will take time. Cruise trips too.

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I was discussing with a good friend (via Whatsapp of course and not in some cafe okay) and we were talking about normalisation after the MCO. By 10th April 2020, a final decision will come from the Health Ministry based on the numbers of new infections on the ground. I do have my thoughts but let’s leave it to the 10th. Yes, I do have built up enough fish supply to last slightly more than 14th. Here’s where I ordered my fresh fish. Helping local fishermen too.

What we were saying was that after the MCO, people will need to get hair cuts and for ladies, they will need to go back to their favourite hair stylists! Then, both of us agreed that this will not normalise so soon. I am very sure if I see that the barber shop is full of people, I would prefer to go some other day… And in the beginning, I would definitely be wearing masks day in and day out too. Even cinemas, how many would suddenly rush to catch a movie if they saw the whole cinema was full of people and more than half were not wearing masks… Then, I read this news about cruise ships.

Article in SCMP.com Cruise ships could cost over US$1 billion each but has now lost some of its appeal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the cruise ship industry served some 30 million passengers and this was expected to rise to 32 million in 2020. This forecast was made before the Covid-19 pandemic. Then, we start to read of news about cruise ships which had people infected with COVID-19 and how people were disallowed to disembark while COVID-19 tests were being conducted on board.

The world’s largest cruise liner, Carnival has idled its entire fleet until at least May 2020. NYSE-listed Carnival which owns 122 ships valued at over US$55 billion has seen its stock price dropping from US$51.90 on January 17 to US$8.80 as of April 1. Currently, Carnival is trying to find as much as US$9 billion to keep the company running for the next few months. In the last decade, cruise lines were on a building spree and there are currently 106 cruise ships on order with delivery dates from second half of 2020 till 2028. It’s a comprehensive article with lots of numbers and figures, please refer to the Article in SCMP.com

Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, my wife has periodically reminded me that we should plan for a cruise trip. I was actually thinking of one during the school holidays but the total for a family of 4 leaves me sweating… Haha. Well, I could start saving money again. I seriously think that cruise ships will continue to serve a market for the premium travellers and this will continue after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Perhaps the only question most of us have in our mind is, when. Added to the fact is when would the whole world’s COVID-19 pandemic be over.

Let’s be serious yeah. Even assuming Malaysia’s peak is in mid April as predicted by World Health Organisation, this does not mean Malaysians will dare to travel again right after the MCO if the whole world is still in red alert. So, yes normalisation will take some time and this happens only when the world has COVID-19 under control. This is why it is affecting the world economy. We are all linked after all… ‘It’s a small world after all…’ This was the magical song in one of those rides in Disneyland. Very true then and very true today. Stay at home, please.

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