Memories of idyllic beaches and sonorous waves may seem far away while we remain at home. Yet, we need not look far to appreciate the enduring history of the ocean in Asia and the Pacific. For generations, the region has thrived on our seas. Our namesake bears a nod to the Pacific Ocean, a body of water tethered to the well-being of billions in our region. The seas provide food, livelihoods and a sense of identity, especially for coastal communities in the Pacific island States.

The objective of the exercise was not to assess the relevancy of the plan and/or recommend alternative ways to rescue the troubled economy, but to check that the numbers add up and government spending directed towards revival of the economy and supporting vulnerable groups of the population is close to what they announced during the 24 April presentation.

As the COVID-19 virus pandemic impacts peoples' lives worldwide, society is shutting down in an effort to contain it. Many were already highly stressed before the viral pandemic; now things are worse. People find themselves isolated at home, anxious and seemingly powerless. We ask: “What can we do in these challenging times to restore sanity to our day-to-day living during this new normal of high collective stress?”

The world economy has received huge hits as the coronavirus spread around the world. It originally started spreading in the Wuhan region in China several months ago, and soon it was able to affect almost every country around the globe.

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