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Close to ground-zero

Letters to Editor
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ONCE again local, regional, national and international news reports are giving history buffs in the Marianas some excellent meat to chew on.

Coronavirus has hit front pages around the world, giving educators worldwide a great subject for bulletin boards. Because we live so close to ground-zero, the Mariana Islands are feeling the immediate impact of what some believe could be a catastrophic event.

The governments of Guam and the CNMI are implementing drastic spending cutbacks. Some businesses are going broke. People put out of work are moving to more stable ground, reducing our economic base.

Hopefully, the coronavirus epidemic is only temporary and we will survive it with little pain, as with Ebola, Asian Bird Flu, SARS, etc.

However, the issue does remain in doubt and is therefore worthy of in-depth study, so that it will be properly recorded when it becomes part of our past.

The critical factor is our strategic location in the Western Pacific, not just militarily, but also economically.

The Marianas are the gateway between the Western world and Asia, both coming and going. Before coronavirus, businessmen, political leaders, scientists, medical consultants, etc., etc., etc., traveled to China daily. Not now. Same-same, vice-vera. How it affecting business and political dialogues?

Consider what coronavirus is costing the worldwide travel industry. How many billions of dollars are being lost every day by hotel operations in Los Vegas, Dubai, Bombay and Sydney every day, not to mention Trump Towers! No mas Chinese guests.

How many planes have been grounded internationally? Planes sitting on a tarmac don’t burn avgas. How much is it costing the oil industry, America, Iran, Venezuela? Are the oil producing nations cutting back on production? Will that affect the cost of our already grossly high gasoline prices?

How many people are losing jobs, worldwide?

This means that not just the CNMI and Guam, but also the international powers want the coronavirus event resolved as quickly as possible. And, that is good for us.

DON FARRELL
Marpo Heights, Tinian


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