In over a year of deaths related to Covid-19 (ie: people testing positive for Covid-19 before or after death), as of today Thailand has had only 129 deaths. These are some of the lowest mortality numbers in the world, and lower than deaths from the flu in an average year.
Compare that to the enormous loss of life in Thailand due to road accidents — according to the World Health Organization, almost 23,000 people died on Thailand’s roads in 2019 — and it is difficult to see what the current panic is about.
Especially as Thai authorities do little to solve the country’s enormous mortality rate on its roads in any given year whereas, when it comes to Covid-19, mass lockdowns and mandatory masks are now becoming the norm nationwide.
Meanwhile, worldwide, the survival rate for those contracting Covid-19 is estimated to be around 99.5%.
Meaning, unless you are elderly with pre-existing conditions, your chances of being hospitalized or dying from Covid-19 are currently about as high as being hit by a tuk-tuk.
Masks compulsory in Bangkok from Monday
Yet this week, Bangkok’s City Hall has now made masks compulsory for anyone who sets foot outside their house.
In a country with an average daily temperature of between 90°F and 98°F, you can only imagine how debilitating that is for many in such intense heat.
If you refuse to wear a mask, you face a 20,000 baht fine.
That fine also stretches to establishments that don’t enforce mask wearing, so expect to have to wear masks indoors everywhere you go as well.
In other words, if you do not wear masks, your only option for the foreseeable future in Bangkok and the 45 other provinces now mandating masks, will be to remain in your home and have all your daily needs delivered.
Many people, of course, will do so, thus damaging Thailand’s economy even further.
A lockdown is also potentially on the cards as, in their worry over Covid-19, various organization heads are asking for a national lockdown.
Of course, as lockdowns have been proven by several reputable sources to do nothing to contain a virus, nor to lower Covid-19 deaths, all a national lockdown is likely to do is destroy Thailand’s economy even further.
An economy already in tatters after a collapsed tourism industry, shrinking exports and falling rice sales in 2020/2021.
Is Thailand tourism industry dead for all of 2021?
In the last year, Thailand’s economy has taken a massive beating as the government of Prayut Chan-o-Cha shut down the country’s borders and banned international visitors due to Covid-19.
While many other countries around the world continued to allow tourists, albeit with some regulations upon arrival, Thailand’s borders have remained closed for most of the last 13 months with only a miniscule number of international visitors allowed entry.
This has resulted in a Thai tourism industry with an estimated 80-90% of businesses targeting tourists now either closed for much of the last year or likely to soon go bankrupt.
Tourist areas in Pattaya and Phuket are currently barely more than ghost towns.
Officially, well over a million people in Thailand are unemployed because of this. Unofficially, it is estimated the number is much higher.
With mandatory masks in most Thai provinces now, including on beaches, and lockdowns looming, this also likely means Thailand’s tourism industry will remain dead for all of 2021 and into early 2022.
This will force even more Thais out of work, and cause wide-spread poverty, depression, unemployment and bankruptcy. Things that will ultimately be far more damaging than Covid could ever be.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases will likely continue to increase, just like they would without lockdowns or mandatory masks, as lockdowns and masks do little to prevent the spread of Covid.
Regardless that various panicked governments around the world believe otherwise.
For proof you only have to look at Sweden, a country that has never mandated masks, never had a national lockdowns or demanded severe restrictions, yet their Covid case numbers and mortality rate are not much different per capita-wise than countries like Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Austria.
Countries that have had some of the world’s longest lockdowns and most severe restrictions.
The Swedish economy and the country’s financial future, however, is much stronger.
Meanwhile, as the Thai tourism industry is all but shut down, with mandatory masks now required in most of the Kingdom, with lockdowns looming, with severely restrictive requirements to even enter Thailand, and with most Thais still nowhere near being vaccinated, as other countries begin to open, most tourists will simply go elsewhere.
Because, yes, if a tourist is faced with a trip to one of many countries with mild restrictions due to Covid, or a trip to Thailand with mandatory outdoor masks, strict entry requirements, an expensive mandatory quarantine and equally expensive hotels, and the chance of catching Covid from an unvaccinated Thai, or a Thai vaccinated with a not as effective Sinovac vaccine, the majority will choose to vacation elsewhere instead.
So, is Thailand’s tourism industry dead for all of 2021?
Honestly, how could it not be?