COVID-19 has been a nightmare across the entire world, and one of my first worries was the supply chain. I am a firm believer that we can handle almost anything that comes our way, but if there is a disruption to the global supply chain, then it would be chaos in the streets. After reading the article that quotes Victor Restis, president of Greek shipping company, Enterprise Shipping & Trading S.A., I am both pleased and proud.
I am pleased to know that despite some of the effects on the shipping industry, it seemed to have remained steady during the first weeks of the outbreak. The two-million seafarers and maritime personnel are heroes in my mind, and their hard work and dedication allowed the rest of the world to continue receiving food and supplies (well, minus hand sanitizer and toilet paper).
The article points out that world leaders have yet to respond to the alleged cover-up from China and the World Health Organization. The United States has already pulled its funding, and rightfully, so at this point. The world needs to understand the level of involvement of the WHO on every level. Accountability and transparency should be job number one, and it should not be subjected to corruption or government buy-offs and secret payments to garner favoritism. The WHO works for all people and its alliance should be to every citizen and not succumb to political pressure. I hope an extensive, fair investigation is conducted so that we can get the WHO back on track in its essential mission. The WHO is critical and very powerful, and I hope that the U.S. pullout is merely temporary. I get the feeling that once the few who’ve been persuaded by corruption are found, fired, and replaced, then the U.S. will once again join the alliance.
I think it will be interesting if Mr. Restis and other global shipping magnates get together to discuss the future of the maritime industry and what their collective thoughts are on the subject of diversifying production sites and supply chain pathways. I think the world superpowers need to get together, split the map, and support strategically located countries in ramping up their production abilities. This would help diversify production sites and provide a new lifeline to local economies in many countries that could use it.
For that to happen, perhaps the WHO can find a cure for system-wide corruption and greed. If these two diseases could disappear from the world, imagine what a place this would be.