Receive our most important stories in your inbox every morning.
Fiesta may have fewer medals this year if the spread of the deadly coronavirus in China keeps factories there shuttered for much longer.
“I don’t want to cause a massive panic, but it’s highly possible,” said Charlie Drago, owner of Monarch Trophy Studio, one of the largest local suppliers of medals every year for charities, politicians, businesses, and Fiesta royalty.
“They do come from China, and the Chinese factories are closed right now which is a mandate by the government,” he said. “They say they’re opening, but you never really know.”
Since late December, the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has killed more than 1,000 people in that country and infected tens of thousands more around the world. Chinese officials have locked down entire cities and restricted travel in an attempt to stop the spread of a virus that the Centers for Disease Control is now calling COVID-19.
Many factory workers, who had gone home to celebrate the Chinese New Year prior to the outbreak, are quarantined in their homes and villages so the factories cannot open.
China is the only source for medals, Drago said, and Monarch orders its custom-made medals from 30 different factories in China.
Drago said he spoke on the phone Wednesday morning with one of his medals suppliers in China who said he is quarantined in his house. “He can’t leave,” he said. “We need stuff from him, and he said we’re just going to have to see what happens.”
In the meantime, Monarch is continuing to take orders and design medals, but it is not guaranteeing delivery in time for Fiesta.
The company also has enough supply on hand of its express medals, which come in a variety of standard shapes, and are customized with a printed logo or image. Drago ordered those medals last summer. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the materials or any way to get them,” he said.
Drago’s last trip to visit suppliers in China was two years ago. Chinese cities, he said, are very densely populated, and that’s what is so scary about the spread of the virus.
Every day brings new developments and decisions by government and public health leaders to control the local coronavirus outbreak. We strive to be a trustworthy news source for all in the community–especially during this tumultuous time.
You rely on us for credible reporting, and we rely on readers like you to support our nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on you?
Our reporters are risking a lot to be on the streets chronicling this unprecedented crisis and its impact on our health care systems, local economy, and daily lives. We've been asking our readers to show support for this important public service by making a monthly donation or a one-time gift in whatever amount you can afford.
These donations are helping offset the loss of advertising revenue we normally rely on from local businesses. Can we count on you?
“I know the whole world’s working on it,” he said of how long he thinks the virus will impact the people of China, their factories, and his business. “But we probably will see an effect [on medal supply] this year. It’s going to take longer to get the medals – if we can get them.”
The virus is disrupting supply chains around the world. At the World Trade Organization on Tuesday, China warned that overreacting to the coronavirus outbreak through trade restrictions could have a negative impact on the global economy.
Providing support for people pursuing training and education is key to a successful workforce development that could bolster the economy.
After 62 cancellations since March, costing the city nearly $3 million, the first convention to be held in San Antonio opened Friday night.
While the pandemic has pushed some companies to get rid of office space, others are investing in more real estate to spread out employees.