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Goodbye, green - Bangkok laments park closures in virus battle


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Goodbye, green - Bangkok laments park closures in virus battle

By Patpicha Tanakasempipat

 

2020-04-02T073131Z_1_LYNXMPEG310HH_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-THAILAND.JPG

 

A Jogger wears a protective face mask at Lumphini park, after authorities announced all parks will be closed in Bangkok as a prevention due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Thailand, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - For many residents of bustling Bangkok, a daily walk or run through central Lumpini Park is considered a sanity saver, and especially these days as most people remain indoors during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

But as of Thursday, Thailand closed public parks until the end of the month as it steps up the fight against the virus, leaving many in this city of 10 million wondering how they will now destress.

 

"It's such a shame. So many people will have nowhere to go," said Chakrit Hovatanakul, who has been spending an hour or more in the park each day running and relaxing.

 

"Especially when I'm not working, it's important that I keep a routine, otherwise I'll be so depressed," he added.

 

Chakrit is a 49-year-old pilot at a Thai airline and, like many other airline staff around the globe, was told by his employer to stop working for two months as the coronavirus grounded airlines. With his family overseas, Chakrit said he had been coming to Lumpini Park to lift his spirits.

 

Nearly half of Thailand's 1,875 reported cases are in Bangkok, government data shows. Fifteen people have died.

 

"I'M JUST FEELING CAGED"

 

Globally, the coronavirus that first emerged in China late last year has infected at least 935,392 people and killed more than 46,000.

 

Since March, Bangkok has closed shopping malls, schools, entertainment venues, libraries, museums, playgrounds, and sporting grounds in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

 

Closures of public and private parks were part of the latest measures announced on Wednesday, just hours before they would become effective.

 

"We all have to change our lifestyles. Stricter measures naturally create more stress, but they won't be announced unless really necessary," said Varoth Chotpitayasunondh, a spokesman of the Department of Mental Health.

 

"We have to find ways to make ourselves happy under these new limitations," he added.

 

Like Chakrit, many park-goers were taken by surprise that they were enjoying what would be the last green space outside for a while.

 

For some of the city's poorest, parks have meant an affordable escape from their daily lives.

 

"Having the fan on all the time in my small rented room means higher electricity bills, so I come here for a few hours every day, as I have no income," said a 62-year-old man who only gave his name as Chai, as he lounged in a corner of the park.

 

"At home, I'm just feeling caged, waiting for death."

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-02
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How many people catch this virus out in open spaces?  It's when they are crammed together at boxing tournaments,  prayer meetings, buses, trains and planes that they are susceptible.  

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Closing the parks does not make any sense. At this moment (almost 15 yrs), thank goodness, I live in a secure village managed by private security. We're unaffected by all this problem, but I do feel their pain.

 

BTW, there are homes for sale out here. Some are private sales, buy NC Group are also peddling new homes.  Not sure of their website, but they've an office near the corner to the entrance of Lamlukka 71. Thanya Golf course and N-Siri Resort & Hotel are along the road from their office.

 

😉 A plug for the whole area, and, no, I have no financial interest in any of these places.

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1 hour ago, lannalad said:

How many people catch this virus out in open spaces?  It's when they are crammed together at boxing tournaments,  prayer meetings, buses, trains and planes that they are susceptible.  

Agreed. Utter lunacy. Parks and beaches adjacent to population centres offer the safest spaces for much-needed exercise, plus a free dose of vitamin D from the sun.

 

Roads much quieter than usual provide an alternative way to keep fit by walking or cycling. Stay a sensible distance from everybody else and you really don't need to wear a mask, reducing strain on heart and lungs.

Edited by Krataiboy
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This might have been a useful job for the much maligned tessakit. All that's needed in the parks is oversight so people are able to visit if walking or exercising alone, but are barred from socialising. Bit like the the bts officers with their whistles keeping people away from the tracks or tucking into a sandwich on the platform. 

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Saddly Thailand was just beginning to use plastics wisely and care more about the environment , now its just survival ...SOS in LOS

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On 4/2/2020 at 11:47 AM, snoop1130 said:

Goodbye, green -

Goodbye green .! Thought they wanted to grow the stuff .. wish they'd make their flipping minds up ..

Bet the park joggers can't still poke their tongue's out like a masked up Lumpini monitor can .. 

 

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