We are now into the final quarter of 2020 and what a year it has truly been.
It started with a bang, literally, when a drone strike by the United States killed Iraq’s highest ranking military commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani. With the Iraqi Government vowing retaliation, fears of war hung in the air.
Down Under, bushfires which began in New South Wales quickly spread to other states. It was one of the most devastating wildfires Australia has ever recorded. The fire destroyed an area comparable to the size of South Korea and wiped out an estimated one billion animals.
In February, COVID-19 reared its ugly head spreading rapidly from Asia to the ends of the earth – truly. It would forever be recorded in the history books.
Living out the last quarter of 2020, the world we’re in is so different from the world we started with and who would had thought that this could be so.
To date, COVID-19 has prematurely snatched the lives of more than 1 million souls and we are still counting. More than 30 million people contracted the virus and had a close brush with death. Those who recovered certainly have a tale to tell. Many are not out of the woods yet.
According to the World Health Organisation, not all will regain to their health fully after getting infected. Post recovery, COVID-19 survivors still suffer from breathing problems as result of irreversible lung damage.
It is, therefore, only human to sit and ponder if there is anything good that can come out of 2020.
Global economies are derailed from their original course. The human and social cost of 2020 are still to be tabulated. Truly, the setback to the world and its communities is unimaginable.
But, as the saying goes, with every crisis there are opportunities and a handful are not letting this crisis go to waste, so to say.
Gloves manufacturers have been recording a bumper year on the back of strong demands. Malaysia’s glove manufacturers command 65% of the global glove market.1
Public-listed Top Glove and Hartalega saw their price per earnings ratio soar to more than 75%.2 It’s no wonder that many retail punters invested their savings and even took up personal loans to fund what they see as the path to quick wealth.
Monetary gains aside, an individual who did not allow the crisis lay waste her drive and goal is Veveonah Mosibin.
The 18-year old Sabahan student and YouTuber from University Malaysia Sabah had to resort to studying online when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown. Unfortunately, her village is one the many rural areas in Malaysia with little to no internet.
The poor internet coverage coupled with the urgent need to sit for online exams led her to climbing trees - lilterally. Her YouTube video of staying up in a tree for 24 hours to get better connection captured the attention of many. Her video went viral. It also sparked widespread criticisms over the disparity in internet access across the country.
Long story short, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission announced that they would upgrade the infrastructure in her village and build another telecommunication tower which will allow for 4G connection.
The improved internet connection would definitely benefit the youths in her village be it for studies or entertainment. Veveonah did not let the COVID-19 crisis defeat her nor did she let it go to waste – a manner of speaking.
The pandemic has certainly pushed many out of their comfort zones – individuals and businesses -- leading them to venture into things they never once imagined doing.
Sheer perseverance, persistence and adaptability will be the drivers to weather through this storm and into 2021 and beyond.
Believing and investing in yourself during a downturn prepares one to hit the ground running when the upturn comes.
So, rather than be dragged down by the crisis, let it not go to waste. Opportunities await those who are on the lookout regardless the situation.