AOB – 2020

2 April 2020

Guardian: “Coronavirus has turned etiquette on its head and what once were gestures of friendship are now acts of daring. Fundamentally, society used to run on the idea that we were all welcome in one another’s space; suddenly, civility amounts to how much distance we keep between ourselves, and how much we shield others from our presence. It is one hell of a gear shift. And it is also important not to overcorrect, not to judge one another from a thousand yards, not to needlessly insult one another in situations that are not, actually, that endangering. Courtesy has never been more serious: it is the way we signal that we still care about each other, when we’re not allowed to hug.”

31 March 2020

My summary to a friend of where we are right now:

It does feel rather like being in a rowing boat, without oars, in the middle of the ocean with a storm approaching and with no idea where land might be. So we are just have to ride out the storm and will see what it all looks like when the storm passes.

It is the pace and sheer scale of change that is boggling. Could anyone have imagined on 1 January that by the end of March schools will be closed, almost all public gatherings will be cancelled, hundreds of millions of people around the world will be out of work, governments will be throwing together some of the largest economic stimulus packages in history, no 2020 Olympics, no 2020 Expo, professional sport on hold; facemasks almost a part of our daily dress, social distancing and self-isolation would be expressions known around the world; and our medical staff around the world would be standing at the front of a fight against a pandemic alongside cleaners, supermarket staff and refuse collectors.

The list could go on – but you get the idea.

If we can change that much in 3 months – what could happen as we move forward in 2020.

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Different airlines – different messages:

Emirates

“With nations closing their borders and going on lockdown, we have had to take the painful yet pragmatic measure of temporarily suspending our flights.

Whilst we have done everything possible to maintain crucial air links and get people to their loved ones, there’s nothing more important right now than the health and safety of communities worldwide.

This is an unprecedented crisis, and our thoughts go out to everyone affected.

We sincerely apologize to all our customers with travel disruptions. We hope to welcome you on board, as soon as feasible.”

Qatar

“We know that many of you are eager to return to your families at this difficult time, and our highest priority is to help you find a way back to your loved ones. Our flights will get you home. #TakingYouHome”

30 March 2020

These are such strange times. Like being in a drama where even the director has no idea how, or when, it will end.

But…it is bringing out the best in so many people as well as making us realise that those important to our well-being, even survival, are faces that we did not previously know or recognise…from poets to nurses to delivery drivers.

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It is hard to feel inspired enough to write anything at the moment. There is only one story in the news – globally and you can read about that elsewhere.

It also seems to have suspended all other news – what would we otherwise have been talking about?

What are we not hearing about that matters?

What are we not being told?

What is being done behind the veil of this grim pandemic that should be on public record.

And why am I coughing?

This was on facebook this afternoon from Andrew MacGregor Marshall – I fear he is right.

“By shutting down Bangkok without any plan, or any support for workers who lost their jobs, the Thai regime has ensured the country will face a COVID-19 crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people have left the capital to return to rural areas, carrying the virus with them. A disaster is coming. This is just the beginning.”

The same is going to be true in India where the lockdown has simply sent hundreds of thousands out of the big city in a massive, crowded exodus.

15 March 2020

How bad will Covid-19 be in Europe.

These are the Italy statistics on Sunday: The total number of confirmed cases in Italy has risen to 24,747 from 21,157 on Saturday, as the death toll has increased to 1,809 from 1,441.

All pubs and bars in the Republic of Ireland have been ordered to close from Sunday evening to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.

12 March 2020

Frustration over the government’s botched responses to the coronavirus epidemic reportedly caused two aviation czars to resign from their post on Thursday.

Sumeth Damrongchaitham quit the post of director of Thai Airways on Thursday afternoon, closely followed by the resignation of Sutheerawat Suwannawat, director of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The two organizations were among the hardest hit by the outbreak, which critics fear to be spiraling out of control.

Just another day in Thailand where the government has been sending mixed messages to tourists, investors and business on a daily basis. Largely because no two departments can tell the same story – and too many functionaries are running around trying to make it look as though they are doing something.

11 March 2020

As coronavirus spreads around the globe, the economic ramifications are only just beginning. The longer it takes, the more aggressive the measures by governments will become and that drags on the economy and risks a meltdown.

If you think that it is bad now….just wait….

10 March 2020

Making sure that you help to prevent the spread of the virus is critical.

There was just one passenger and crew not wearing a mask on yesterday afternoon’s NokAir flight from DMK to CNX. A farang. Of course. Fuckwit.

7 March 2020

On Thursday I noted on twitter that:

“A Bangkok observation. The %age of foreigners not wearing face masks while using public transport is high. Of course it is a personal choice. But it feels disrespectful of local residents who are reassured by wearing masks. Or maybe they cannot one for sale!”

Note:

It is an observation
It says public transport
It says personal choice
It mentions the reassurance that people get from wearing masks.

The outcry – it was like a bad day on Thai Visa. The outcry coming from angry farang who

Maybe felt that they were being called out
Who could not or did not read the original tweet

The angry pack were further incensed by additional notes about communal as well as personal responsibility and that the medical view from Hong Kong was that masks were helpful – recognising that HKG has far more experience in dealing with corona viruses than Thailand.

How was it that people got so angry at the suggestion that wearing a mask on Bangkok’s public transport or on a domestic flight should really not be that much of a burden.

Apparently I was “contributing to the shortage of masks for health professionals and those who really need them.” yes – my one cloth mask with respirator and replaceable filter.

Actually there is an answer – some people are fuckwits – who cannot read – and who get angry on the keyboards because they have nothing better to do. There are people here who deliberately misinterpret what is written, who feel like picking a fight, who play to their own audience or who have too have too much time on their impeccably washed hands.

Am sure they are lovely people in person. No I am not – they are probably fuckwits for real as well.

How many times does this need to be said. I wear a mask on public transport and domestic flights. Doing so seems to be a part of communal reassurance. It is not hard to do. Hardly a staunch defence of mask wearing – or a rabid use of masks to the detriment of health care providers.

Incidentally there were plenty of people wearing masks in the Bangkok malls yesterday. In the malls, not just on transport. 

I would go further – but not on twitter where I have lready protected my tweets from the morons – not taking covid-19 seriously is careless; you might have the health or finances to recover from it if your get it, but you must be careful for those who don’t have either of those, such as senior citizens; those with existing heath issues. Please act responsibly and help prevent the spreading of it for the well-being of your community.

4 March 2020

As the virus continues to spread the Italian authorities are taking dramatic measures: the point here is that where Italy goes the rest of Europe is likely to have to follow.

Italy’s government is set to close cinemas and theatres and ban public events across the whole country to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, according to a draft decree drawn up on Wednesday.

The decree, seen by Reuters, orders “the suspension of events of any nature… that entail the concentration of people and do not allow for a safety distance of at least one metre (yard) to be respected.”

It also tells Italians to avoid hugging and shaking hands to prevent as much as possible a further spread of the potentially deadly illness which has been mainly concentrated in the country’s northern regions.

3 March 2020

A useful Covid-19 dashboard:

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As the Coronavirus continues to spread globally this was John Oliver doing a decent job of matching information and entertainment on HBO last night:

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Time to invade Switzerland: The Swiss army said that all soldiers would be confined to base after a case of the new coronavirus was discovered in their ranks.

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There is always one – in Thailand maybe more than one – usually American, sometimes European, who whatever the facts are telling them, seem to regard the world as some ghastly conspiracy.

From a facebook post of event cancellations in Thailand due to the coronavirus:

“And the elites/neocons are laughing it up over a false flag virus that’s reeking havoc globally over some toxic virus they generated in a lab all to cover up for profits probably being made off of poor air pollution to avoid millions in litigation by using a fake virus most likely injected at a hospital to keep the trend going and believable”

Meanwhile in the real world:

The Women’s Cricket tournament scheduled for Chiang Mai in April is off due to Wuhan coronavirus fears.

All Football Association of Thailand games through March will be behind closed doors due to coronavirus contagion concerns.

Songkran events are in doubt – and the big “parties” and street events that are part of the festival look like a really bad idea at the moment.

In China, Shanghai will require everyone entering the city from countries with “relatively serious virus conditions” to submit to 14 days of quarantine, an official said on Tuesday.

The rule will apply to all people regardless of nationality, said Xu Wei, an official with the city government’s news office, speaking to reporters at a briefing.

The southeast province of Guangdong, neighbouring Hong Kong, announced similar rules earlier on Tuesday.

The world’s top basketball league, the NBA, has told teams avoid high-fiving fans and strangers and avoid taking any item for autographs.

18 February 2020

From next month (March) immigration will move their 90 day reporting and tm30 services back to Promenada.

That is more of a reminder to myself…

Lots to update on:

The UK trip was good. London was jetlag; Bath for just one night was very enjoyable; And Hope Cove was mostly fun…except for the cold bathroom and having to shower while huddled in the bath tub.

A few more thoughts when I want to type more.

30 January 2020

Survived Qatar Airways from Chiang Mai to Heathrow – all 10 episodes of Season 2 of Succession – good entertainment though the heavy hand of the airline censor was far too apparent.

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Nice to be back in London. But cool. And dark so early.

26 January 2020

This off PPRUNE from 22 January – Any truth behind rumours in the souk that FZ recently very nearly lost another aircraft, seemingly due to a major ‘upset’ event during a go-around?

It was evidently a severe enough incident that there have even been suggestions FZ would be permanently closed down, rather than risk another incident that damages the brand of Dubai. By all accounts news about it has been locked down within FZ as well as by the powers that be in Dubai.
RavidDay is offline

The follow up messages simply warn people to “be careful discussing this topic.”

It is a rumour network….

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What else has been going on….

A five day roadtrip this week into the remoter parts of north-east Thailand – where the Chinese influence is very apparent with whole villages reflecting the cultures and traditions of the southern China hill-tribes.

As always – it was quite good to get home to the comfort of my own bed.

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A new coronavirus that started out of Wuhan in China is causing a great deal of alarm with a number of Chinese cities in lockdown over Chinese New Year.

You can read all the details in online news sites. Only use sources that you trust – there is a great deal of hysteria.

WHO’s risk assessment of the new #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation has not changed:
🔺very high in #China🇨🇳
🔺high at the regional level
🔺moderate at the global level

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The bad air crisis has started early in Northern Thailand.

8 January 2020

England win the second test in Cape Town to even the series at 1-1. Remarkable day of cricket – this off the Guardian OBO sums up Ben Stokes’ performance:

‘Abhijato Sensarma: “Some genius is measured on paper, while some genius is measured in emotions. Ben Stokes is a man of moments, not numbers. His affinity for big moments makes him a big man. How lucky are we to live in the same generation as this man?”’

1 January 2020

VAR is making the Premier League unwatchable. It must be even harder in the stadium where no one knows what is going on.

Trouble is it is here to stay – how it is used is the issue now – not whether or not it is right to use it.

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The good news is that 2020 can only get better…..

Who sets off fire crackers at 5am….?

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Just gone midnight. And a new year that was a reminder that I am a foreigner here and that though this may be where I live there are times (too many?) when it is not really home.

So if it is not home – where is? If this is only sole option then I have to make the best of it.

But what a thoroughly depressing way to see in the new year….

But new year resolution – do not say anything when angry. I have a bad habit of speaking without thinking when I am angry – just saying whatever is in my head rather than thinking through the impact of what I say. You say it best when you say nothing at all?