The following is a mail from a reader, lightly edited for grammar and spelling at their request. The opinions inside are their own. Want your own opinion published? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who live in Pattaya, right now is not an easy time. Many of us live here full time because we enjoy the nightlife, the bars and the city that never sleeps. Right now, of course, the city is sleeping thanks to Covid19.
However, despite the endless and repetitive arguing about when to reopen businesses or lockdown versus no lockdown that you see on every post online daily we all know that bars, Gogos, Nightclubs, big restaurants, etc. Will, eventually, reopen.
No, we don’t know when although I suspect some will be allowed to do so next month. That isn’t the point of this mail though. People can argue that all day somewhere else. And I don’t give a damn quite honestly about when tourists will return or not as I live here and will be back out, spending money, the first night things reopen.
What I care about is that in order to reopen bars and clubs etc., like restaurants already, will certainly have some new normal rules. These may not last forever and if they are like restaurants they will probably be stupid and eventually changed, like annoying partitions or not turning on air con when it is 44 degrees outside Celsius. We may see dancers with masks and other things.
However, one rule that I think should be enforced, and is already on the books, is non smoking in bars, gogos, Nightclubs, etc. The reopening would be the perfect time to do it.
Yeah I’m well aware the pro smoking brigade is going to attack me for this mail and frankly I don’t care. I’m well aware the bar owners are going to say we lose business by not letting people have a cigarette in the bar and I call BS on that too.
First of all, I and other non smokers shouldn’t have to put up with a smoke filled venue or someone chain smoking next to us in a gogo to have a good night out. Language barriers and other issues often make it difficult for me to even politely ask someone to move away a bit. Yes, I will move myself, but sometimes that’s just not possible.
Second, the law here is very strict around smoking but it’s not enforced. Before some smartass says it, yes I’m aware there are plenty of other things and laws around here not enforced also. However pretty much none of them directly affects my health and comfort like smoking and I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your home.
From what I understand, smoking inside and even in front of venues is against the law but not enforced, except on beaches. I really don’t care if someone smokes a bit in front of a bar or restaurant, it works fine at red car on walking street and is easily avoided but I do care when someone is smoking heavily around me inside in a bar or club.
We are currently on this major health kick and mask kick due to Covid19. There has, in my opinion, never been a better time when the bars reopen to make it crystal clear to owners of nightlife venues that smoking will not be tolerated and affects health. I don’t know a lot and won’t get into if it spreads covid or not and I don’t really care.
But if we are going to require tons of sanitizer, masks, face shields, gloves physical distancing, etc….let’s finally take the step many have been asking for years to do and ban AND enforce non smoking in venues. It won’t kill a smoker to step outside for a moment for a cigarette. And it won’t ruin business, many studies have been conducted on this in other countries.
Anyways, thanks for letting me write this and hopefully can bring some light to this subject and get some officials and bar owners thinking.
Gary in Naklua