This open letter is a request and also a cry for help. My name is Bernhard Stoever. I am one of the many long-term tourists who have been lucky enough to be able to extend their stay in Thailand since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. I firmly believe that this saved many people’s lives!
Thanks to the prudent Thai policies, the first wave of global contagion was combated in an exemplary manner. For that, too, I and all “stranded” would like to thank you very much. And, of course, we would like to especially thank the Thai people who have received us with such indescribable hospitality.
Thank you so much Thailand!
However, the expulsion on September 26th hits us particularly hard. I would like to use my example to show you what this change does in individual cases. The same applies to many “stranded” people.
I am a writer, 68 years old, live in Hamburg and am currently in Phuket. Everything is fine with me in terms of health. Nevertheless, I am extremely endangered in Germany. Every year in autumn and winter, Germany and Europe are attacked by a dangerous flu virus that makes millions of people seriously ill and kills tens of thousands, mainly among the elderly. And the course of the disease becomes more severe from year to year. Unfortunately, I am very susceptible and get the flu every year. It was particularly bad three years ago and I almost died from it.
So I decided to spend the winter in Thailand, which I learned to love a long time ago. Here I don’t get any flu and live healthy. But the Covid-19 virus changed a lot.
The second virus wave is now looming in Europe and Germany and will be probably even worse than the first. Together with the flu virus and the high age of most returnees, this means a huge risk for many people. And I too admit with discomfort that if I have to return to Germany in September, I may never see Thailand again. For me, as for many others, it is really a matter of life or death.
My big request to you: Is it perhaps possible to issue a provisionally residence permit for the “stranded”, so that they can determine the return flight themselves? Or is it possible to make repatriations dependent on the danger that exists in the home country. Nobody wants to die in a corona hot spot.
Perhaps a small argument that counts is that we behave in accordance with the law, adapt to the Thai conditions, have a very good relationship with the people, pay our rent regularly, eat out and make contributions to the community like all others .
In these difficult times all have to stick together even more than before. And if you give us the chance also we “stranded” will do our part.
Bernhard Stoever, Phuket