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A zero-sum approach to Covid-19 could have a lasting impact on foreign tourism in Thailand

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A zero-sum approach to Covid-19 could have a lasting impact on foreign tourism in Thailand

By David Luekens, Thai Island Times


I've been thinking back on that week in mid March, when everything changed. Over the course of a week, the news of borders being shut down to contain the spread of Covid-19 hit like thunder off the Andaman Sea. It was stressful. On March 14th, only a few days before Thailand began to close itself to the world, I tweeted:


It's about time now for expats to choose whether they'll ride out the pandemic in Thailand or back in their home countries. An agonizing decision for many.


At the time, I was grappling with that very choice. The State Dept. soon instructed American citizens abroad to return immediately or prepare to “shelter in place” indefinitely. After talking with family back in Massachusetts, I opted to stay in Thailand, where I have a long-term visa and work permit.


Back then, many people thought the pandemic would hit Thailand harder than the United States. I had no idea what would happen. But I kept faith in Thailand’s public health system, and hoped for the best.



A lone passenger rides Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain during the lockdown on March 30th.


We hunkered down in a small seventh-floor apartment on Bangkok’s far western fringe. From there, I watched as Thailand went from being a high-risk country to a pandemic success story — a transformation that some saw as miraculous. Others still refuse to believe it’s true.


Now, after more than two months without a single known case of local transmission, it’s time to reflect on how the country suppressed Covid-19. Perhaps more importantly, now is also the time to start thinking about how the next chapter of Thailand’s pandemic story might play out. Tourism is at the center of it.


Read more: https://thaiislandtimes.substack.com/p/a-zero-sum-approach-to-covid-19-could

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Also hail from Massachusetts.  Yes we don’t worry much about Wuhan-19, living here in Thailand.  Instead, we worry about the Baht...

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8 hours ago, mrfill said:

Just remember, a couple of weeks ago Vietnam looked like it was doing a lot better than Thailand.



NZ and her success story is also history. They didn't need to olen borders.

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