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No living with virus

Re: "Quarantine quandary", (Editorial, Jan 19) and Re: "Anutin backs restoring Test & Go as Omicron fears ease", (BP, Jan 18).

While I am encouraged by the news that the "Test & Go" programme may re-commence, I have to question the reasoning and the suggestion, made here and elsewhere, that since the "Omicron variant causes milder symptoms with far fewer hospitalisations and deaths" we can start to relax.

It is dangerous to consider Covid-19 from this short-term perspective.

To summarise from recent statements by Prof Raina MacIntyre of the Kirby Institute in Australia, "Other than for long Covid and multisystem inflammatory syndrome, we are only now learning about other longer-term complications of infection".

They include more than double the risk of developing diabetes in children following Covid-19; that the virus directly kills heart muscle; that the virus persists in the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and almost every other organ after initial infection; and a significant drop in cognitive function and IQ in survivors.

We know infections can have long-term complications. The government needs to stop fiddling around, suggesting that we must learn to live with endemic Covid-19.

It needs to press forward, urgently, to ensure everyone who is eligible receives three vaccine doses; to plan for further vaccination; and educate the public of the need to maintain non-medical preventive measures.

Wear effective masks, maintain social distancing and observe hand hygiene.


Catholic hypocrisy

Re: "Long pandemic is giving way to virus fatigue", (Opinion, Jan 14).

In his tirade against the unvaccinated, Gwynne Dyer writes that the Catholic Church says we are morally obligated to get vaccinated. That's the same Catholic Church which thinks using condoms is worse than getting Aids, opposes family planning even if the couple who practise it face starvation, and covers up their sex crimes against children and the murder of indigenous children in Canada.

And let's not forget the Spanish Inquisition when nine-year-old girls were burned at the stake for being "witches". I think I'll look elsewhere for moral guidance, thank you.


Art of progress

Re: "Thanathorn's painting NFTs sell for 3.3 milion baht", (Online, Jan 18).

What a creative, innovative idea was the NFT sale of three paintings by Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit to raise money for a most deserving cause.

Thanathorn again shows himself as a modern person of exactly the type that Thailand desperately needs to drag if forward from the bad old ways blessed by repressive tradition.

The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights group deserves all the money that can be donated or raised for it. And while it's artistic merits might be open to healthy debate and dissent, who could not be inspired by its choice of subject, the patriotic student activist Benja Apan, as depicted in Thanathorn's first offering?

The winner of that auction has earned much merit for their good deed in purchasing the painting for 3.12 million baht so as to benefit society.



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