Author Topic: Covid our future  (Read 479 times)

Offline thaiga

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Covid our future
« on: May 14, 2020, 11:25:02 AM »
Thai PM wants staggered hours to continue for traffic sake

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered officials to study permanent staggered hours after the end of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic because the policy could help ease traffic congestion.

Staggered hours, working from home and learning from home could remain in the future to solve traffic problems, he said. He assigned the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation to study staggered school hours for the purpose.

According to the prime minister, governmental organizations have introduced staggered working hours which start at 7.30am, 8.30am and 9.30am.

“Teaching for the subjects that may allow students to study at home will reduce travel time to schools and have impacts on parents’ trips to send their children to schools,” Gen Prayut said.
“School hours will be arranged appropriately with the ages of students… It will be another new normal way of life.”

Gen Prayut said that the beginning of the new school term was still scheduled on July 1 but the government was monitoring the situation of the disease.

“I want schools to open. But what if the disease spreads again? This must also be considered,” the prime minister said. (TNA)

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Thailand mall's foot-operated lifts win praise for measures to prevent coronavirus



A shopping mall in Thailand's capital Bangkok has received praise from netizens for employing a series of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including installing foot-operated control panels in its lifts.

The measures taken by Seacon Square shopping mall on Bangkok's Srinakarin Road have been widely shared online.

The foot-operated control panels in the lifts at the mall allow users to select the floor and close/open the door by pressing the pedals so as to avoid touching anything, much unlike traditional elevators.

The other measures the mall has employed include installing hand gel dispensers in front of lifts and escalators, painting guidelines on the floor in possible crowded areas to force customers to maintain a safe distance between each other, and having thermo-scanning checkpoints as required by the Public Health Ministry.

Seacon Square stated on its Facebook page that it hoped the measures would become the new normal for shopping malls nationwide as they can prevent not only the spread of Covid-19 but also other kinds of germs, while promoting better hygiene and safety among the public.

straitstimes.com
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‘Hygienic’ Carts Launched for a Better Street Food Culture



New street food carts unveiled Wednesday by a university come with a promise to make the food culture cleaner and more friendly to the environment.

Seven prototype carts handed to seven vendors at an event today feature built-in sink, stainless steel kitchenware, a ventilation system, lights, and a tank to store wastewater instead of disposing them into public sewage. Each cart can be either plugged into any electric socket, or run on battery power.

Rector of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, who designed the devices, said he wants to revolutionize Thailand’s street food. The industry is iconic for its cheap and diverse dishes, but also blamed for polluting the city sewers.

“Street food is the lifeblood of urbanites and of Thailand,” Prof Suchatvee Suwansawat said on Wednesday. “We won’t surrender to Singapore. That’s why we set up a street food academy. We must be the best in the world.”

The vendors to operate the first batch of these carts were selected from 2,000 people who applied for the pilot project. The program is supported by the health ministry and cashless payment operators. 

Each of the fancy carts costs 55,000 baht. Recipients were chosen for their suitable philosophy that matched the aims of making street food cleaner, and more environmentally friendly.



Meena Polsorn, 24, and her parents are among the seven street food vendors chosen by the institute. She said her parents are grilled meat vendors, and they committed to serving hygienic street food

Meena, who  dropped out of university to help her family sell the food, said she’s delighted to try out the cart on Rama IV Road.

The device comes with no strings attached, and there’s even a cashless purchase system, in which customers can pay for their food through Rabbit cards. The university researchers say paying without cash can reduce risks of coronavirus infections.

Naphatrapi Luangsakul, head of the university’s street food academy, said dishes served by Thai street food carts are at risk of exposure to bacteria, since many vendors do not wash their hands when cooking.

 Naphatrapi said the problem is addressed by the sink installed in the newly designed food carts. The tap operates through the foot paddle in order to reduce hand contact.



Another chosen street food vendor, Supatkorn Chormprasert, has been selling coffee for two years after he left a company job.

Supatkorn said he used to rent a corner at a shop house near Kasetsart University for 2,000 baht a month.With the mobile cart and electric plugs, he plans to sell at a street corner and pay for electricity from a nearby source, saving a substantial amount of rent money.   

The carts do have their drawback. A vendor said they are heavier than the usual food carts, and there’s not much space for cooking.

Nevertheless, deputy public health minister Sathit Pitutecha said during the launching ceremony that he hopes the street food scenes of Thailand can keep innovating to provide Thai and foreign customers with healthier food.

Sathit noted that environmentally sustainable and hygienic equipment is too expensive for many vendors. He urged the university to come up with more economical methods to sell food while staying green at the same time. 

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Welcome to the new normal innovative lifestyle

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Re: Covid our future - We must have a 'green new normal'
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 10:53:03 AM »
Opinion
We must have a 'green new normal'


Many wild animals have been seen in the open during the lockdown period. A serow takes a rest at Dieo Dai Cliff in Khao Yai National Park, which is situated mostly in Nakhon Ratchasima. (Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park)

Should an optimist seek any positive outcome from the Covid-19 crisis, it would not be too surprising if the answer steered towards the favourable effect on the environment.

China, the world's biggest polluter, saw its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions falling more than 18% between February and March alone and particulate matter (PM) declining by 35%. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a lung-effecting gas produced during combustion, fell by 60% in the US, Europe and China.

Moreover, posts of clean canals in Italy or images of the spotting of rare, wild animals have erupted on social media.

Such figures underscore the environmental analyst Lester Brown's hypothesis of a "stressed relationship" between the economy and the earth's natural system. When the economy blooms, the ecosystem fails and tragedies such as the death of plastic-ingesting dugongs become ubiquitous. On the other hand, the interim triumph of the ecosystem today flourishes at the expense of the crumbling economy.

Today, as the "new normal" approaches and the country is in a steady process of reviving and resetting the economy, we must not allow this "stressed relationship" to return.

This post Covid-19 world could play out in two potential scenarios.

The first scenario we could see is the abrupt resumption of the "economy first, all things (including the environment) later" mentality in which the transient environmental gains dissipate as pollution kicks back rapidly. Further, many argue that not only would emissions rekindled to pre-coronavirus levels, but they would surge higher than before. This is the "revenge pollution" phenomenon and in China, between 2008 and 2013, there is a precedent for it.

In response to the global financial crisis in 2008, the Chinese government launched a $586 billion stimulus package which focused on large-scale infrastructure projects. It led to years of Chinese industries galloping through their activities and, consequently, their emissions rates leapt. This culminated in the infamous smog or "air-pocalypse" in urban centres, namely Beijing, in the winter of 2012-13.

The second scenario is where we study the Chinese precedent to avoid this "revenge pollution", as well as prepare to turn the pandemic into an opportunity. As the economy restarts with new norms and rules, allowing the impossible to become possible, it is the best time for the green agenda to be included and incorporated into the national agenda. In this scenario, the "new normal" is also the "green new normal".

Reaching the "green new normal" can be achieved under the concept of 3As: Ascension, Assimilation and Acceleration.

Ascension: There is no doubt that the trend towards the green economy will proliferate globally and Thailand must jump on the bandwagon. It is of utmost importance that we ascend to be a global leader in certain compartments of this green economy. We need to be bold and bet on an industry where we enjoy comparative advantage.

While the solar photovoltaic (PV) panel industry is an attractive option due to its ever-increasing popularity, our capacity, from the number of specialised workforce personnel to the supply of domestic raw materials, eg silicon, must be assessed.

Thorough consideration should be given to the bio-economy industry that boasts the trinity of bioenergy, biochemicals and biopharmaceuticals.

Our comparative advantage goes no further than the fact that we possess the raw materials essential for this industry. We are the third-largest producer of palm oil, the fourth-largest producer and second-largest exporter of sugar, as well as contributing over half of the world's cassava supply.

While there are existing incentives from the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI), such as exemptions from corporate tax (five to eight years) and import duty, as well as commitments towards research and development, further initiatives can be taken. Stimulating the demand for end products is mandatory to bolster market competitiveness and attrac- tiveness.

This includes increasing the feed-in tariff rate for biogas, currently at 5.35 baht/kWh compared to 6.85 baht/kWh for solar and 6.06 baht/kWh for wind, further subsidising compostable plastics to make them price competitive with traditional polymers, as well as vigorously promoting high-value-added products (HVA) such as "phase-change material" (PCM), which are derived from palm oil and can be used as building materials.

Assimilation: The post Covid-19 "new normal" may also be a fitting time for certain reforms in governance. The satisfactory displays of many provinces' approaches to the pandemic may increase calls for further decentralisation. It is vital for the green agenda not to miss the bus.

An initiative that should be thrust into these reforms is "green budgeting", which is to assimilate environmental considerations into fiscal frameworks. This could be through directly linking each ministry's commitments to the green agenda, quantifiable by the amount of emissions saved, to the appropriations of budget. Simply, the more emissions avoided from the policies, the more money that would be received. This is akin to the concept of the already-existing Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB), set up to promote gender equality.

Acceleration: This is the most obvious and resides in the department of "easier said than done". It is to recognise the urgency of our environmental problems and acknowledge the need for an accelerator in progressing towards clean and sustainable development.

A "carrot and stick" approach may be suitable. While Thailand is not shy of the "carrot", or the encouragement of clean energy, with the Power Development Plan (PDP) neatly laying out a roadmap for the government's support of renewable energy, we are quite deficient in the "stick", or forestalling polluting sources.

A serious assessment of the carbon tax, a market-correcting and behaviour-changing tool, is necessary and is to apply to both large and small producers. Polluters have had a "free ride" for far too long from not fully paying their true costs.

The post-Covid-19 "new normal" presents a unique opportunity for the emergence of new ways and ideas, and for smart adaptations. It is also an opportunity to "right the wrong", which in this case is easing and synergising the "stressed relationship" between the economy and ecology.

With bold, innovative, and effective policies by both the government and private sector, the persistent clashes between them of yesteryear can be averted and they can prosper together, side by side.

Pornphrom Vikitsreth is a lecturer, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University.

bangkokpost.com

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid our future - Ten new normal behaviors of Thai people
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 11:39:40 AM »
Ten new normal behaviors of Thai people – Suan Dusit Poll



Most Thai people have changed their tourism behavior by visiting destinations and using transport which are safe, according to an opinion poll by Suan Dusit University.

The Suan Dusit Poll conducted an online survey of 1,064 people, from May 18th to 22nd, asking them about their “new normal” behavior patterns, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 10 new normal behaviors of Thai people are as follows:

Safe tourism destinations and travel                                                                                 71.05%
   
Shopping at malls only if necessary and with caution                                                          61.18%
   
Self-protection when on public transport by rising earlier and carrying sanitizer gel               59.68%
   
Attend gatherings only when necessary and with greater caution                                        59.40%
   
Self-protection by wearing face masks, washing hands and avoiding congested places         56.39%
   
 Choose food which is clean, safe and healthy              47.27%
   
Worshipping at places which are clean, not congested and on special occasions only      46.43%
   
Exercising regularly, eating healthy food and seeing a doctor          45.39%
   
Choose clean and freshly-cooked food                45.11%
   
Emphasis on safe workplaces and working hard   42.39%

thaipbsworld.com
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Re: Covid our future - "We won't go home, we can't afford that"
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 10:55:10 AM »
Is this the future we are going into, as the dailynews.co.th reports some bus fares almost double because of social distancing, the transport services have a living to make we know. but at the expense of the public. for instance, Pattaya to Nong Khai, normaly 500 baht but now 910 baht because spaces had to be left empty on the seats. will this mean more cars on the road. lets wait n see what the air fares will be.  :-[
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Re: Covid our future - "We won't go home, we can't afford that"
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 11:25:56 AM »
Is this the future we are going into, as the dailynews.co.th reports some bus fares almost double because of social distancing, the transport services have a living to make we know. but at the expense of the public. for instance, Pattaya to Nong Khai, normaly 500 baht but now 910 baht because spaces had to be left empty on the seats. will this mean more cars on the road. lets wait n see what the air fares will be.  :-[


naewna.com reports the bus company has been fined 10,000 baht for overcharging and a warning. new regulations mean buses have to go half empty due to social distancing requirements.

this ain't gonna work who is gonna make up the difference, no one will run a company at a loss. saying that i know one that does     
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time for a speech from our old friend danaboutthailand.com on the coronavirus. how will this all end and if it does how will the future look.
myself i can't see things being remotely as they was before


Do we really know what Thailand will look like post Covid-19?

It seems an entirety ago when we first heard about a coronavirus outbreak in China. I think most of us looked on in horror but felt we would somehow be protected from this outbreak. How wrong that turned out to be.

Within practically no time we went from curious, doubting the seriousness to the situation to fearful. Some, in my opinion, naively rushed to point out the fact more people were dying from road traffic accidents each day in Thailand and that we were being quarantined unfairly. I think we all have ways of dealing with situations and downplaying the significance of such a virus, a lot must be put down to underestimating just how dangerous a virus like this can be.

Regardless, what cannot be doubted is the devastation this pandemic has had on Thailand. Heartbreaking images of Thai people forced to queue in long, long lines – anything but practicing social distancing – just so they can feed themselves and families. It’s downright tragic. If people cannot afford the basics of food and water, you will have to wonder how this will impact on local crime rates. Desperate people will need to do desperate things.


Thais queuing for food parcels

Business being forced to close, people losing their jobs. Whilst business that remain open are still being unprecedentedly hit.

But here is where I am worried, to what extent can we really start loosening the restrictions when there is no vaccine? At best we can hope to see provinces open for locals, but how can tourist centric locations like Samui, Phuket and Pattaya look to make any form of recovery with no tourists?

At this point, I should just clarify, this is all just my opinion based on what I am being led to believe. The outcome in Thailand over the course of this year could very well be different – but I would need convincing otherwise.

Who will want to get on a plane and do a long haul flight any time soon, I mean what psychological damage has been done to people after their enforced global lock downs? At what point will people be confident to travel again from country to country? Further more, what is the financial damage that has been done that will mean even if people wanted to travel, they just cannot afford too? We have no idea how the aviation industry is even going to emerge, I note Virgin Australia has just gone into voluntary administration as an example.

It is this mass of uncertainties and questions – and all whilst no vaccine is due for at least 12-months – that suggests the road ahead looks to be rocky. Very rocky.

What stumps me is how can we expect any recovery when there is no cure? If we start to get out and about and socialise with others the risk is the whole virus explodes up again. You don’t have to be an expert to recognise this.

Does human instinct force us to become deluded?

None of us have ever experienced this so I am guessing we try and rationalise the situation based only on what we know and come up with our own answers. I think most of us think we have done the self-isolation for a month now, surely that is enough and now we can all go back to normal. But as I sit and rationalise this based on everything I am reading, how can that really be the case?

I read an interesting article where a psychologist explained why we are all probably delusional and it makes a lot of sense when looking at how people are interpreting Covid-19 and the future landscape for our lives over the next 12-months. You can read the article . We like to believe what makes us feel safer and more secure.

Accelerating Trends forcing a new Expat and Tourist dawn?

For some time certain Western business has been struggling with a declining Western tourist and shrinking retiree expat market. What this pandemic may well do is sweep away in one fell swoop those tittering on the brink for the last couple of years. It was always going to happen, it’s now just happened quicker than expected.

We can expect to see more businesses close for good

Another market that has been shifting its dynamics over the years has been the bar girl, with bars hit firstly by mobile phones replacing the need for a bar for customers to connect with bar girls. Now, with these bars closed it could further push the trends towards bar girls meeting guys via different platforms. As these behaviours become embedded, it will be near impossible to ever go back to how it once was. No, scratch that, it will be impossible. The role of the bar is become obsolete to these girls. Girly bars will need to reinvent their purpose in tourist locations like Pattaya, or risk closure.

I am curious to see how these changes impact on pricing. Will venues and restaurants trim their margins even more to get more customers or will we just see less venues and restaurants, and thus meaning they can protect their margins due to fewer competitors. Good business always survives, I just have to think of the Hops on Pattaya Beach Road as case in point. But then again, Covid-19 has taught us we should now expect the unexpected and never count our chickens.

Will we see less long haul flights and Thailand again dependent upon the more local Asian, Indian and Chinese market? We just don’t know how this pandemic will have scarred peoples appetite to travel in the short term.

If there was one benefit to come out of this though, it has been in allowing the world to repair itself from the years and years of human abuse.

Personally, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught, and reminded me by the same token, not to take normal life for granted. It has also shown we that we can never be surprised by big things happening to impact not just Thailand but the rest of the world.

I am quite sure now that I will see something of such gravitas again in my lifetime, only this time it won’t quite be as shocking. The world will have learned.

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Offline thaiga

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Emergency Sinks Installed Outside Offices In Thailand

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