With California reporting a new daily high for new COVID-19 cases, 4,515 new cases on Sunday, the continual concern for virus spread should still be at the top of everyone’s priority list. Over just the last two weeks The United States has seen a 15% case increase. Typical travel destinations in the southeast and on the west coast seem to be the most dramatically affected. The work we have all put in to “flatten the curve” may all be for naught if we, as a nation, continue to jump back to the norm too early. Hospitals are feeling the effects of the dramatic spike in cases already. The White House is making efforts to concentrate on stocking up supplies to combat a potential COVID-19 case rise this coming Fall as lower temperatures may increase the spread.
India has announced plans to auction off 41 coal mines which would put an end to 4 decades of state-controlled coal mining. The Indian government hopes the privatization of coal mining will solve a fuel shortage that is threatening the country. India has felt the economic toll steaming from the COVID-19 pandemic and they are hoping the auctions will also help aid the economic struggles.
Just last week, India was hit with the 1st cyclone of the season. Cyclone Amphan struck West Bengal directly wiping out any structure within reach. Amphan’s path of destruction included farmland, schools, businesses, and homes. 10 million people have been affected and 500,000 have lost their homes due to the cyclone. This storm is especially unique because India has recently been on “lockdown” of sorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A disaster like this is forcing the intermingling of people that have previously been practicing the social distancing concept to flatten the COVID-19 curve. 3 million people were successfully evacuated prior to the storm, but the balance would rather try to fight off mother nature instead of being confined in a small space. It was a true case of “pick your poison”.
Today, oil prices dropped to $83 a barrel after the United States said it is actively considering waivers on the oil sanctions against Iran, potentially easing the current strain on supply and allowing Iranian oil exports to keep flowing.
The second round sanctions by the U.S. on Iran will take effect in November. These sanctions will focus on Iran’s energy sector. The Trump administration forecasts that it will persuade the countries that import Iranian oil to cut as much as 1 million barrels a day when the sanctions begin in early November. The major importers of Iranian oil (China, India, South Korea and Japan) are all situated in Southeast Asia and are allies with the United States.