During the last Hamburger crisis just 10 years ago, someone wrote that, “When the US catches cold, it causes the rest of the world to sneeze, but when China sneezes, the rest of the world will catch cold”. From this analogy, it is vividly clear to me about the present situation, where in China alone, the government is coping with nearly 80,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 disease. About 10,000 more cases across 60 other countries are either patients under investigation or treated for Covid-19 with varying symptoms. To date, over 3,000 deaths have been recorded. A pandemic of Covid-19 outbreak is looming in the horizon, so we just get the alarm from WHO.
Covid-19 is causing tremendous turbulence to our world: some even say more cruel than a world war. People just stop seeing one another; in everybody’s mind, how can I avoid it? Will I be cured and where, if I were unlucky enough to catch it. How can I avoid going to such big party, knowing there may not be enough protective gears for all. Some even compares Covid-19 to a big warfare where no one can get out of the war zone.
When this message was sent to the press, CHG 1Q20 operating result would likely be less impressive than the 4Q19 result, which ended with a note of 2 Digits growth in operating income and net profit, just to be overshadowed by the government’s announcement that Thailand is one of the front line states fighting the Covid-19 outbreak like 60 other countries worldwide, without any end in sight. Like all other previous disease outbreaks, we are almost there to combat this Covid-19 with effective drugs and vaccine, but what I want to share with you is, thing may get worse before it gets better.
Ironically, only two months ago, we were asked to remind ourselves not to leave home without carrying your own shopping bags, as no more free bags from the stores. A lot sooner than that, we were asked not leave home without wearing a mask to be safe from PM 2.5 polluting the air we breath. Now, we are told to avoid gathering in big groups or crowds, lest we may be infected unknowingly with the Covid-19 disease. Worst still we may end up passing it on to our love ones at home and office colleagues.
In a situation such as this, what would our life be if we continue to live as if tomorrow the sun will rise and life just goes on. Isn’t it time to renovate our ways of life and recreate the way we look at it, so that we may come into more harmony with this world and become more resilient with the environment around us, hostile or otherwise. It goes without saying that life is full of ups and downs. Such are the vicissitudes of lives; a straight line for life: there’s just none. A few examples. What does it take for the company where we work to see that we are indeed an indispensable part of the organization. For the company’s survival, do they need to remodel their business and/or review their clients list, to give value where it is due for sustainability.
According to Gates, Covid -19 poses a serious threat to the world because it seems far more deadly and contagious than many deadly viruses. “First, it can kill healthy adults in addition to elderly people with existing health problems, “ he wrote. “Second, Covid-19 is transmitted quite efficiently”. So, no matter who you may be, either we come out of this outbreak together or we will have no place to live in this world. There is no better solution; either we survive or we perish together.
If someone tells me the sky is falling, never will I ever believe him, neither will you. Such fear is absolutely groundless. But I believe what Gates says, and I urge you to do the same.
Finally, sooner than later this pandemic of Corona -19 will become just a page in the history of mankind continuous struggle with many other pandemic of viruses before this one. No one knows what our next challenge will be, but one thing that we can do is to always stay in good health and be resilient in all kinds of situation to survive, come what may.
Chairman of the Board