The following is a letter we were sent at Pattayanewseditor@gmail.com. We welcome reader feedback and letters and will consider some for publishing. Their opinions and statements are entirely their own and may or may not reflect those of TPN media.
Here we are again.
Eighteen or nineteen months into this Covid-19 pandemic and we are STILL closing beaches, parks, and pools despite mountains of evidence all over the world that these are some of the safest possible places to be.
Thailand, however, seems to ignore this evidence and the fact so many other countries stopped focusing on closing public spaces and on areas that are at higher risk.
Yeah, ok, I get it. People “may” gather at these places and socialize, drink, etc. One, they are going to gather anyways in my experience, and it’s safer to do it here, especially on a beach with wind, fresh air, plenty of space, etc. versus in a closed room and environment. Two, that is what we have law enforcement for. In other countries that re-opened their parks and public spaces, like the UK, we simply had law enforcement stop big gatherings and groups and let people exercise, swim, and reap the benefits that public spaces have for mental and physical health.
I couldn’t imagine being in Bangkok right now, which has also closed parks and having no green spaces at all. I live in Eastern Pattaya and have wooded natural areas near me so can still enjoy a walk outside. In Bangkok, people going for exercise now have to walk on crowded sidewalks with air pollution, vehicle smog, and many more people in a more crowded place.
Don’t even get me started about the nonsense last year when we pushed people off the Pattaya beach sidewalk and forced them to walk across the street on the much smaller sidewalk. This just goes against every scientific thing out there.
I have two kids with my Thai wife and now they can’t go to parks, beaches, pools, amusement parks, restaurants, arcades, go-karts, the zoo, the harbor shopping mall kid zones, school, playground, Ramayana, movies…we have completely devastated our children’s lives for this.
I fully agree Covid-19 is a dangerous disease and needs to be treated seriously. I also, however, believe we need to balance the hysteria, look at the science, and look at the huge effects on mental and physical health by closing places that are essential for this. Yes, delta is highly more contagious, but outdoor spaces are STILL the safest.
Closing parks, pools, and beaches do not stop the spread of Covid-19. They never appear on timelines anyways, pretty much worldwide, from what I have seen. Utilize our law enforcement to stop the gatherings and groups and make them do some work. As for pools, simple rules like only swimming or having the management of the pool remove deck chairs and areas for lounging/sitting/socializing help solve this problem easily. From what I see, most condos are half-empty or more anyways and there is no threat to social distancing.
Oh, and if the issue with closing beaches and pools is because of certain beach clubs and pool clubs breaking the rules-yes, we all know about them, even if they aren’t called out because of who may or may not own them-then for the love of God shut down these places and don’t punish everyone.
Steven A and family