Turning around: When life begins to feel a bit normal again

After more than a year, most of us now realize that we may be at a crux of a turnaround as more people get vaccinated, more businesses start to open up, and life begins to feel a bit more normal again.

As of this writing, half of American adults have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine with the vaccine administration now averaging around 3 million doses per day. On Guam, the target is to have 50 percent of the adult population vaccinated by end of April – the so-called “Path to Half” – which will then enable more relaxed policies to be implemented, according to GovGuam.

There is a glimmer of hope for an economic rebound. In some way, this has been helped by stimulus checks, with Guam residents already about to receive the third round of checks totaling $241 million. However, for the economy to recover, local businesses must open up, jobs lost need to be recovered, the near-zero tourism industry must be revived, and overall economic activity needs to increase, perhaps to much higher levels than pre-pandemic.

There are many factors to consider but I’d like to highlight two: the tourism balance and digital security risk.

The tourism balance: Guam relies heavily on tourism as a key source of economic activity. With near-zero arrivals in the last year or so, it is very tempting to open up that sector quite soon and fast. Is it possible to do so? If you look at the vaccination statistics of key Guam tourism markets, the countries are nowhere near the U.S. levels.

While Guam is targeting to hit 50 percent soon, the other countries are only at between 1 percent and 3 percent vaccination levels at this time. Moreover, these same countries seem to be in the middle of a second or third surge in cases.

What can Guam do