Why Thailand Has So Few COVID-19 Deaths

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Let me tell you two stats that you may forget or you may remember. As of July 27, Thailand had only 58 deaths from Covid-19. The USA had over 150,011 Covid-19 deaths at the same point in time.

Social science has taught us that people forget statistics but remember stories. This is why politicians always tell us some story instead of giving a PowerPoint presentation like some of us would prefer. Certainly, this science teacher would love to see some tables and charts.

Allow me to tell you a story about my Thai family who I love so dearly. I have married into a superb family. I have a small hope it motivates a few readers to take action and help save lives!

My Thai family is incredible. I am so blessed to have joined them. My mother, father, and sister work so hard. Together they own and manage 35+ apartments on over 2 acres at 3 different locations. They are diligent and skilled business people. My father is a retired engineer who is like a beaver. He is a genuine “Bob the builder” type. Can he build it? Yes, he can! My mother and sister do all the other work — handling finances, collecting rents, gardening, maintenance, painting, etc. My parents worked very hard to put both their daughters through college.

Despite running a large business, they found time to make hundreds of masks to be distributed to their fellow citizens. Thai government employees brought materials to my family, and they volunteered to make the masks for free. 100,000’s of Thai have done the same thing. Some people are paid to make masks, but many refused to take any payment and saw it as their duty to their country and fellow citizens. Thai people are loving, united, and humble! Once again, due to their concerted action, there have been only 58 Covid-19 deaths in Thailand! (I initially wrote this story on June 26, but I got busy with my day job. Since then, not a single Thai citizen has died, but many thousands of Americans, tragically, have died.)

A mere 58 deaths is a miracle for a country that has a population of 70 million. This past spring, thousands and thousands of Chinese citizens traveled to the pristine beaches of Thailand. Millions of tourists from all over the world flocked to Thailand’s tropical beaches, lively cities, and lush jungles.

The virus was introduced early to Thailand, but the Thai citizens immediately leapt into diligent action. Remember, Thailand had SARS and other deadly viruses before this. Over the decades, they have been through this before. Thailand has responded very well to Covid-19. The USA has struggled more. Though, it’s worth noting the USA could have had so many more deaths had we done nothing. The USA’s 150,011  deaths could have been so much worse.

Listen to the genius Asian in the video below. You can save lives by disturbing masks. You can donate them or make them, as this video shows. Masks are now in stock more frequently, but they can be improved in some simple ways. This YouTuber has put out many other videos demonstrating how to make a variety of masks and respirators.

I likely cannot go home to Thailand this year . It could even be years before I see my beloved family. It is way too risky for Thailand to allow international travelers to come to its shores. Thailand is allowing a very limited number of people to return. These select few must enter quarantine for at least 14 days, and it’s not cheap because quarantine requires a complex system that costs money.

Thailand is losing billions in tourist revenue. So many Thai have been laid off, but they have prioritized life over money and they have banded together for what is clearly a safe course of action. (Perhaps the safest or very close.) They will save lives and help each other.

The rest of the world should take note of success stories like Thailand’s. Thailand is blessed to have hot and humid weather, which does help. Nevertheless, it is clear and distinct that Thailand’s preventative measures have led to a dramatic success in dealing with Covid-19. Aside from the masks, Thailand does have the benefit of having many outdoor markets, businesses, and restaurants. Thai homes generally have small AC units in each room. The norm is to use AC sparingly. In the US, people crowd into air-conditioned buildings that are poorly ventilated. Our supermarkets, giant box stores, and other air-conditioned buildings are death traps.

The US needs to empower qualified scientific minds who can learn from countries like Thailand. Please share this story or others like it. CleanTechnica has readers who understand science well. The American general public is less skilled in that ability. Please think beyond statistics, think outside of the box. If you are scientific-minded, it is your civic duty to help your fellow citizens stop the spread of Covid-19. I challenge you to grow in your ability. You can train on how to defeat Covid on this World Health Organization (WHO) website. Share the link.

It is not easy to lead. It comes with criticism, and people will take offense. We have to do our best to not be discouraged. Also, it is okay to take a break when needed. COVID-19 will be with us for a long time to come, and our diligence will wane, but we must resolve to not give up in this fight. We must lead by example, and speak with patience but also confidence.

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Kurt Lowder

I am a jock turned wannabe geek. I fell in love with science later in life thanks to the History Channel show the “Universe.” Having taught middle school science, I strongly feel Astronomy should be taught every year because nothing excites students more than learning about the cosmos. I became an avid cleantech fan because it gives me hope about the future. My wife, my dogs, and I live simply because we love to travel the world backpacker style.

Kurt Lowder has 58 posts and counting. See all posts by Kurt Lowder