This viral scourge had such a terrible impact on many countries around the world.
And with Cook Islands severely handicapped by an economic model no other developed country globally embraces – that of total reliance on tourism as our country’s main revenue earner – this Covid-19 scourge will only worsen our country’s economic woes.
This is a result of our government’s abject failure to proactively diversify and support our primary industries.
Without doubt, 2020 will be remembered by many for all the wrong reasons.
An increase in the Pa Enua depopulation adding to those increasing numbers of our Cookies choosing to go abroad for better economic opportunities because of our now tanked economy. The collapse of nearly all the tourism providers and the resultant loss of many jobs.
The large number of agricultural farming families who have collectively given up commercial farming, burdening those farmers who continue to farm today for mainly subsistent purposes so as to feed their families.
For some five years and more, government had been warned time and again about the need to diversify our economy.
It now appears that “diversification” is a key word for government today, and I reckon it’s a matter of too little, too late.
Kia kaha, kia toa!
* Papa Williams works for the Leader of the Opposition