“I just got off the phone with my friend, he’s been annoying me these days” my best friend, Apinya texted to complain.
“He says he isn’t scared of the coronavirus because he won’t die from it and he’s still going to go out. I don’t get it.”
Instantly annoyed, I responded. “Same here, so many people I know are like that.”
“They think it won’t happen to them, so they don’t care.”
A week after our conversation, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Thailand has spiked six-fold.
From a country that appeared to be handling it relatively well (with 1 – 2 new cases a day beginning of March) Thailand is now hit with over 30 new cases daily, bringing the national tally to 272.
How did we arrive in this situation?
The answer’s pretty simple – pure, utter ignorance.
A cult of ignorance
“There has been a dramatic rise in cases, but more than half of Thailand’s numbers can be traced to two events, a boxing match and a night of partying among friends,” said Dr Suwanchai Watanayingcharoenchai.
“These people not only caught the disease but went back to their homes and their provinces and ignored our guidelines. They are putting the public at risk.”
What is ignorance? Ignorance is a lack of knowledge and information. An ignorant person is someone who lacks a certain degree of awareness, insight, discernment, and imagination. The word ignorant is used to describe those who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts or individuals who are unaware of important information or facts.
As humans, we are guilty of ignorance in one form or another – no one can know everything, and everybody lies on a spectrum. But situations like this reveal that ignorance is a far deeper issue than we often realize, and many people suffer from it.
Situations like this have revealed, unfortunately, that some of the young, affluent Thais are perhaps the most ignorant and irresponsible.
When the doctors came out pleading for citizens to stay home and hold themselves accountable, they barely took heed.
When the number of cases surged exponentially throughout the globe and when authorities warned of incoming passengers from overseas, they still went out and socialized.
Because the virus isn’t deadly and visible to the naked eye, they thought they were invincible.
Because the number of confirmed cases came from strangers, they didn’t think it mattered to them.
Because they still wanted to have fun.
Because they were ignorant enough to believe that their actions will not have any consequences.
And now, as more and more people are getting sick and dying and as the world comes to a halt, we now must learn the hard way.
All our actions have consequences, and this isn’t fun anymore.
It starts with you
As governments and experts around the world are grappling with an outbreak of such magnitude, as scientists are trying to learn more about the virus and find a cure, and as hospitals are struggling to find ways to effectively treat all of its infected patients, one fact remains true – social distancing works.
It’s time to listen, hold ourselves accountable, and learn how to have fun at home now, guys. There’s now a price to pay for your ignorance.