As we enter day 2 of the Movement Restriction Order (the “Order”), how are you doing so far? I don’t usually write contents for financial intermediaries, but I know many of you have been reading my blog and privately messaging me to ask for more information. And since this will be the first time I am writing to financial intermediaries, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog since June last year.
Covid-19 and the Movement Restriction OrderWith the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Covid-19 a pandemic, many countries including Malaysia is restricting the movement and travelling of their citizens. This is important because the carriers of Covid-19 are asymptomatic. This means that the carrier may not know that he or she is a carrier thus spreading the virus unknowingly, and this may cause an exponential growth in the number of cases if travelling is not restricted.
When will a vaccine be ready?As mandated by the Order, most companies are not allowed to operate. Many Malaysians are experiencing virtual working or work-from-home for the very first time. My Facebook feed is flooded by video conferencing we-fie yesterday. Even though we are only restricted for 14 days, till 31 March 2020, it is almost impossible that the virus is eradicated entirely. While there has been news that a new vaccine for Covid-19 may be introduced soon, it is anyone’s guess when it will be available to the masses. According to this article that was just released by The Guardian, there are many roadblocks when it comes to researching, providing and delivering the vaccine to Covid-19 patients. The first hurdle is to make sure that the vaccine is effective and side effects have to be monitored. The article pointed out that President Trump wants the vaccine to be ready by the US elections in November, however, a vaccinologist claims that it is an impossible timeline. She doesn’t think that the vaccine will be ready before 18 months. The second problem is to ensure that there is sufficient quantity to cater for all patients. However, many of the organisation do not have the necessary production capacity.
“Our experience with vaccine development is that you can’t anticipate where you’re going to stumble”
The New NormalSince we are no where close to getting our hands on a vaccine for this virus after 14 days, it is possible that the virus will start to spread again once the movement restriction order is over. If that happens, it is possible that a new restriction order may be introduced again. It is also possible that a longer restriction order or a total lockdown like the one we see in China will be implemented. Before we can find a cure or a solution to this, “social distancing” is the only way to go, and therefore, staying away from another human being is now our new normal.
Canada Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau