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OPINION: Doomsday, the Black Swan and no fear

Bill Barnett

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OPINION: Doomsday, the Black Swan and no fear | The Thaiger
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by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore” is how I am feeling on a Saturday afternoon. My senses are bruised and battered after a weeklong barrage of panic, blurring sensational bad news headlines and a mounting sense of fear amongst my fellow humans.

What is clear in the grand scheme of things or shall we say the big picture is that 2020 is shaping up to be the year of living dangerously. But taking a moment alone, pulling up the Blue Oyster classic on Spotify “Don’t Fear the Reaper” as a background sound track, I suddenly realise that despite all the chaos in the world, I am not afraid of the corona virus.

I am not a fearless person. When I was little I was afraid of the dark. To this day I am terrified of snakes and whenever flying in monsoon weather, I suddenly find myself a religious convert quietly saying a little prayer as I clutch the armrests like a gorilla hyped up on amphetamines.

My fearless streak these days has come to terms that life is dangerous, the virus is beyond my control and every day presents a new chance to live my life as I choose. Taking all that in in a deep breath, here is how I am choosing to take on tomorrow and beyong in our newfound coronavirus world..

I will continue to take to the sky and fly across Asia and the world

I will eat in restaurants, drink in bars and walk in public places

I will stay as often as I can in hotels and support the industry I love

I will continue to plan, attend and arrange events, knowing there is a future

I will continue to believe that this too, as in all crisis will pass

and most importantly…

I will NOT hide at home, dwell on negatives or let fear overcome my life

The only truth I know if that the big sleep will come sooner or later. Time is all we have in this too short a lifespan and I’m not going to waste precious moments sitting on the bench instead of embracing the unknown.

As for the entire mask thing. I am not Batman or Zorro. Everything I read based on science says it won’t prevent the deadly virus. That said, I have enough problems breathing though the damn things anyway so my own personal choice is to skip the mask. I choose science.

We all have our own choices to make and I don’t expect everyone to see it my way. But that said, expect me to go out tomorrow and explore the great big world outside and not hide in fear from the unknown. No fear baby, that’s my new mantra for the day.

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Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

CCSA Update: 59 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death

Caitlin Ashworth

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CCSA Update: 59 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

The new wave of cases has been on a downward slope in recent weeks. Today’s count of 59 new Covid-19 cases is the lowest daily count since mid-December. A coronavirus-related death was also reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing.

A 48 year old Thai woman died after testing positive for Covid-19. The woman worked as a driver for migrant workers. No other information was released about her in the CCSA’s English-language report. It’s unclear if she had pre-existing conditions.

Out of the 59 new Covid-19 cases, 28 are local transmissions, 23 cases were detected in proactive testing and 8 cases detected in quarantine for those entering Thailand from abroad.

Since the start of the pandemic, Thailand has reported a total of 12,653 Covid-19 cases and 71 deaths. The new wave of Covid-19 cases has spread to 62 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

CCSA Update: 59 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death | News by The Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of January 19, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE:CCSA

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Economy

Shoppers disgruntled as registration for co-payment scheme fills up in 10 minutes

Maya Taylor

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Shoppers disgruntled as registration for co-payment scheme fills up in 10 minutes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

Social media users are up in arms after registration for the government’s Kon La Khreung (“Let’s Go Halves”) co-payment scheme filled up within 10 minutes. The scheme, first introduced as an economic stimulus measure in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, gives shoppers 50% off the purchase of everyday items, up to 150 baht a day and capped at 3,500 baht for the duration of the scheme.

The third phase of registration had a quota of 1.34 million users, but interested parties had to be quick. Having lost their chance to register, many disgruntled people took to social media to complain, with the hashtag #คนละครึ่งเฟส3 (#Let’s Go Halves3) trending on Twitter.

Several netizens say they filled out the online registration form at exactly 6.01am but were then forced to wait for the one-time password to be delivered to their phones before they could complete the process. In many instances, by the time they received the OTP code, registration was full. Some say they had to wait over 5 minutes to receive the password, which caused them to miss the small window for registration.

According to a Nation Thailand report, one person has described the scheme as nothing more than a government PR stunt, pointing out that, despite being funded by taxpayers’ money, only some people can avail of it.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

AstraZeneca vaccine could be approved for emergency use in Thailand this week

Maya Taylor

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AstraZeneca vaccine could be approved for emergency use in Thailand this week | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Hakan Nural for UnSplash

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve a Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University as early as this week. The vaccine, already given the go-ahead in the US and UK, would be approved for emergency use, with administration likely to begin next month. Healthcare workers and those with underlying conditions will be prioritised.

Opas Karnkawinpong from the Disease Control Department says the FDA’s review of the vaccine’s efficacy and safety is going well. Thailand has fallen behind its neighbours in terms of vaccine administration, with a number of countries in the region already starting their roll-out. Indonesia kicked things off last week, with President Joko Widodo the first to receive China’s Sinovac jab.

Thailand is expected to take delivery of 200,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine next month, but questions linger over its efficacy, which was recently revised downwards by researchers in Brazil. The vaccine has not yet completed phase 3 trials and Thailand’s health officials say it may not gain FDA approval until February 14, as the manufacturer has no representation in the Kingdom.

Thailand has signed a technology-transfer agreement with AstraZeneca to produce that vaccine locally. The jab will be manufactured by Siam Bioscience, a pharmaceutical company owned by the Monarchy. Surachok Tangwiwat from the FDA says the doses currently subject to approval have been produced by other countries, but did not specify which ones, how many doses have been imported, or at what cost.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has completed phase 3 trials and has been shown to be 70% effective, less than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, the World Health Organisation has previously stated that a vaccine only needs to be over 50% effective to meet the global threshold for regulatory approval.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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