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Rayong Governor Prioritizes Thai Livelihoods Over Lockdowns

Transcript of the above video:

For those who watch this channel rather frequently, you are probably well aware that lockdowns have been on the lips of many. A lot of people have asked me why I have been doing a number of videos on this topic. Well it has been rather pertinent, also a number of clients we have been dealing with, we have been watching the practical implications of this policy and it is poignant to say the least.

This was something of in my opinion, a bit of a glimmer of hope toward a more reasonable approach toward the overall situation. I found this on Twitter actually and it is from the Pattaya News on Twitter, that is @The_PattayaNews on Twitter but it is the Pattaya News, I believe their website is, but I found this via Twitter. To quote the tweet, we will go ahead and put this up on screen. "Rayong Governor releases letter in English, rejects Chonburi or Bangkok closures due to rising COVID-19 cases, says why should we destroy the economy and close thousands of businesses putting tens of thousands out of work over cases "mostly asymptomatic"? Very good point. I went ahead, we pulled this up. We will go ahead and put the letter itself up on here. To the best of my understanding this is actually put out in English so I thought that was rather interesting, but we will go ahead and put this up on screen.

I am going to go ahead and quote what I thought was a rather relevant part. Quoting directly: "Requesting Rayong people to forfeit with their pain again and then the outbreak in our province will really end or not if the epidemic situation in Bangkok and neighborhood areas are still being like this. Therefore, in order to have the least impact on the big group of Rayong people because at present time Rayong people has been affected for a long time. In this regard the Communicable Disease Committee has still not formulated any measures to order the closure of business." So basically it appears that the Governor in Rayong has done what we have described previously as a cost benefit analysis and said look these lockdowns can lead to a tremendous to paraphrase, "forfeiture on the part of the economy and can cause a great deal of pain with respect to the economy" they are not going to go ahead and engage in one of these full-on lockdowns. I really have to say my hat is off to the Rayong Governor. I think this is a nuanced approach. I am not saying I have the answer. I have had a lot of people, especially on this channel in the comments bring up "well what is your plan for the lockdown? What would you do?" Candidly, every time I think about it I keep falling back on the phrase or the adage, "when a clear option does not present itself, sometimes the best option is to do nothing." I would argue, the question should not be what would you do, my argument would be, if I could get in a time machine and go back and I had my druthers and could have some sort of influence over things, my position would be why do we have to do anything, in the sense that why is lockdown the default position? Now again I don't know what the answer is but I would say when a clear option doesn't present itself the best option maybe to do nothing.

Furthermore we have now seen at this point the impact that these lockdowns have caused in terms of the economy. We know what it does economically, it is devastating. There is a very serious question and we have done videos on this as to whether or not it really has any substantially beneficial impact in terms of curbing much of anything and I have done a lot of the analysis on this. What I find even more interesting now is I believe the Daily Mail has come out with an article where they noted that for example in the UK cases dropped 22% after "Freedom Day". They had expected things to go up and after the lockdown ended they went down. I don't know why that occurred necessarily. I have some opinions maybe but as a lay person there they are merely that. Meanwhile, the same phenomenon seem to occur in Florida and Texas after the end of their lockdown so is there some evidence to suggest that maybe actually lockdown may actually exacerbate things? I don't know. Correlation is not necessarily causation but it is worth noting. Also again, it is this cost benefit which it appears that the Governor of Rayong here in Thailand has done and said "we are looking at what is going on around us and the overall situation is such that it is economically devastating to engage in these lockdowns" and I don't want to put words into anybody's mouth but it looks like they are saying well maybe the benefit might not be worth that level of economic devastation. 

I want to be clear. I have had people ask me oftentimes, sometimes in person, if I think anybody is at fault. I have made videos on this. I don't think the blame game is worth it here. That is not the point. I cited a quote from the film ‘Rising Sun’ with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes where he is talking about how the Japanese have a saying: "Fix the problem, not the blame." Find out what is messed up and fix it, that way no one gets blamed. That is my hope. I don't want to blame anybody but I think we have used methodologies over and over that have been questionable with respect to their efficacy. At this point, it might be time to be looking at things from a slightly different angle, from a slightly different perspective as appears to be the case in Rayong and hopefully maybe by having something of a paradigm shift, we might end up with a situation where no blame gets foisted on anybody and benefit is all that comes out of it.