According to Businessweek, Mexico’s massive state oil conglomerate, Pemex, has experienced a catastrophic hit from the coronavirus. The oil giant is now ranked as the world’s leading company with the highest fatality rate of employees since the pandemic.
As of August 2020, the number of employees of the company who have died as a result of the coronavirus has reached 7,500 and continues to increase. However, the Mexican president, Andres Obrador, insists that the oil company must continue to operate, despite the human cost. Pemex is a vital source of revenue and is viewed as crucial to the national economy of Mexico. Many industrialized nations and single-market economies in developing countries, as a policy decision, have calculated a certain degree of “collateral loss” that is acceptable in keeping the national economy functioning.
The decision to accept collateral loss to keep countries from total economic collapse is picking up steam as policymakers announced dates for the opening of airports and international flights, and lifted rules that govern social distancing, quarantine, etc. But not all countries are speeding ahead. The state of Israel recently announced that they are retreating back into another nationwide shutdown because of the upswing in the spread of COVID-19 in the nation. For tiny developing countries that have been designated to have a specific economic function in the global economy, the challenge remains in the choice between doing the same old thing or using the global transition as a way to pivot their revenue source and economic recovery. Those too slow to make the adjustments and who cling to old economic models will suffer the consequences.
The outcome of the epic battle between capitalism and the coronavirus will be determined by how much loss of life each country is willing to absorb. No impending elections will recalibrate the trajectory — coronavirus is going nowhere. If the homicides, fratricides, and state-sponsored executions are any indication, the remaining months of 2020, with the flu season approaching and an expected return of the virus, will be full of continued bloodshed, misery, pain, loss, hunger and dying.