When the Government announced new rules to further minimise social contact on the 18th March, it was largely applauded as measures to prevent further outbreaks. It means venues like bars, gyms, massage and cinemas were to close with immediate effect.
Just this week I was speaking with some expats and although some were rightly concerned, many said it was media propaganda saying ‘show me someone not a celebrity that is infected?’ and that Thailand traffic accidents cause more deaths each day. I was a little shocked to be honest, it seems just about any news subject these days is met with some kind of conspiracy theory.
Clearly the rate of infection in Thailand, by population comparison is next to zero (69million population versus 272 confirmed cases as of 18th March 2020), but it is the growth and uncertainty that is the basis for fear. The coronavirus infection rate could explode, and this is why you cannot compare it to the number of road traffic deaths each day.
Yet many expats and Western visitors to Pattaya, based on observations and conversations, seem to just dismiss the whole issue.
In a recent poll on my Facebook page I asked expats only ‘Are you worried about the coronavirus getting worse in Thailand?’. A very significant 56% said ‘No’.