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Trials and tribulations 2. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – a personal view

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Trials and tribulations 2. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – a personal view | Thaiger

by guest writer David Jackson

Part II in the series of articles from David who has been writing from his quarantine room. David waxes lyrical as even the tiniest moments seem larger than life in his 25 square metre cocoon…

I begin writing this second article on Day 7 of my quarantine in a Bangkok hotel, so the sentence of quarantine minus hard labour is halfway complete. I am officially ‘covid free’ following my nasal attack from two charming nurses a couple of day’s ago and this result represents some very good news indeed. Nevertheless, I can hardly announce that I am in any way euphoric because I am definitely beginning to struggle with the boredom.

Thoughts of Papillon begin to come to mind as I focus in on my sealed window to my illegal balcony; I can hear the odd sound of humans from the complex, however I don’t think they have set up the guillotine from the 70s film quite yet… pull yourself together David… you can do it!

So, how do I keep busy, maintain spirits and not pile on the kilos too much whilst restricted to the confines of a fairly tiny room with a limited view?

Luckily, I prudently remembered to bring a tube of glue, some poster paints plus a craft knife whilst panic packing last week so I have been surprisingly busy on constructing a Thai temple complex using some of the recycled boxes used to provide me with my three daily square meals. You can see the fruits of my labour when boredom initiates motivation in the accompanying photograph. My apologies to any perfectionists reading this article… I cannot guarantee any specific scale, it was just nice to pass the time.

Trials and tribulations 2. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – a personal view | News by Thaiger

The food is surprisingly good and I have used the halfway milestone to switch from Thai to ‘Farang’ food. So, the volumes of carbohydrate in the form of rice have now been replaced by something slightly more familiar to my western palate; the food is adequate and does the job and will probably do a particularly bad job to my rapidly expanding western belly if I am not careful.

Unfortunately, though, the volume of food packaging is quite disconcerting although I believe this is all part of our new neurotic regime; it will probably have to be incinerated to cover the rare event that it might indeed be covered in covid. I can almost see the perplexed faces of all future geologists examining the brief epoch of human expansion and wondering where all my pointless plastic knives, forks and bags surrounded by larger bags suddenly came from in their ice core.

So, back to the boredom…

I decided a few days ago that some kind of exercise routine might be in order. Luckily the wifi in this hotel is excellent so I had no problem enjoying, yet failing miserably, to recreate the shapes from some random yoga sessions on You Tube. In looking for further adventure I discovered that by placing both of my single beds into the centre of the room it was possible to make a figure of eight track and, when augmented by the judicious placing of my huge pile of dirty washing on the floor, it was possible to introduce a small chicane along the home straight. Hence, in classic Schumacher style, my increasingly competitive time for twenty laps of my abode is rapidly reducing as my desire to escape begins to increase, sounds like a kind of weird maths paper… “If X represents boredom and Y represents the number of laps a slightly autistic quarantining expat runs around his room in time T, use algebra, trigonometry or maybe even bananas to express how X is inversely proportional to YxT!”

Oh… what’s that, a sound of a door squeaking and emanating from my deserted corridor? I cautiously open mine less than an inch so as not to upset the rigorous anti-covid regime in place and behold, with eyes peering out at me I spy a fellow human lurking in room 925. Quickly we both realise the poignancy of this fortuitous random timing and, with doors held firmly ajar at less that 5 degrees a conversation of magnitude begins for the first time in a week.

With visions of claxons blaring and boots stomping like some kind of prisoner of war film, my fellow Brit, Michael, and myself begin a quality conversation about nothing. The sheer delight of face to face discussion , albeit sideways through the thin slit of a thoroughly soundproofed door, is amazing as we both quite boringly realise we are both teachers and therefore have nothing seemingly interesting to talk about.

Nevertheless, a human is a human so I wish my fellow expatriate every success in his new international school and we agree to meet in a similar fashion tomorrow to talk about exciting things such as phonics, onomatopoeia and why that man is currently randomly blowing his whistle outside in the car park as no one even bats an eyelid!

My final article, assuming the light at the end of the tunnel finally arrives, will be on Monday where I will go through the pre-departure documentation again more thoroughly as there is some ambiguity in the current process. In the meantime If anyone knows an invisible barber please ask them to breeze into my hotel to sort out my scruffy mop. Thank you.

David Jackson in an English teacher and former headmaster from London working at St Mark’s International School, Bangkok.

You can read David’s previous article HERE.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    TIMOTHY

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    He said the second piece would tell about the paperwork needed and instead he publishes this tripe? Seems to think people want to listen to him blather.

  2. Avatar

    Patrick Nouvel

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    May Isuggest the government scientists to study the world scientists suggestions of 7 days quarantine enough after tests,it would ease a lot the tourism industry + surrounding economy. After all washing hands, Distanciation and mask can already eliminate 95% of risks potentials easing the return to jobs and normal lives of millions.

  3. Avatar

    Peter

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Dear David,

    I’m sorry to hear that you are a virtual prisoner due to the “Covid-19” hoax. There is no quarantine necessary because there is no virus nor is there any test that can detect it and the sooner people start rising up in the face of these insane restrictions the better our world will be.
    By the way – if you need something to occupy your time I would suggest taking up meditation. Its probably the best way you can spend your time.
    Good luck.
    Peter

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Songkran

Bangkok sees 7.87 million vehicles over Songkran holiday

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Bangkok sees 7.87 million vehicles over Songkran holiday | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Millions traveled for Songkran, but not nearly as many as usual, like this 2013 Songkran photo.

Covid-19 and its third wave be damned, close to 8 million vehicles travelled in and out of Bangkok so far during this year’s Songkran festival holiday period. Thailand’s Ministry of Transport released figures yesterday on the yearly holiday and revealed that more than 7.87 million cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes hit the roads and travelled into and out of Bangkok during the festival period, despite almost all official celebrations, events and gatherings being cancelled nationwide again this year.

The figures, calculating incoming and outgoing traffic between April 10 – 14, show that travel is much lower than originally predicted but massively higher than last year’s travel. The drop makes sense as many predictions may have been made before the last minute closures of entertainment venues and cancellation of Songkran events due to the recent third wave outbreak of the B117 strain of Covid-19.

The 7.87 million vehicles figure is about 30% lower than predicted. There were also an estimated 4.52 million people using public transportation such as buses over the holiday period, again lower than predicted, this time by about 36 per cent.

On the other hand, in what may be a bad sign for Thailand’s health, at a time when new daily records are being set for Covid-19 infections, many more people are ignoring the pandemic and travelling anyway.

The nearly 8 million vehicles on the roads to Bangkok during Songkran represent a nearly 35% increase over last years Coronavirus-muted figures. And when social distancing is of utmost importance, the 4 and a half million people travelling by public transport is a startling 74% increase over the nearly completely locked-down figures of 2020’s Songkran holiday period.

One final note for the “if Covid-19 doesn’t get you, climate change will” crowd: Of the 7.87 million cars, buses, trucks, and motorbikes on the road, a very non-eco-friendly 7.4 million of them were private vehicles.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: Wednesday’s new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in “serious condition”

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: Wednesday’s new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in “serious condition” | Thaiger

Thailand’s CCSA has announced 1,335 new infections today, after a slight dip in the 10 day surge yesterday. 1,326 of those new infections are local, not imported, and mostly from Bangkok. Today’s tally takes the national total to 35,910 since January 2020 when the first case outside China was detected in Thailand on January 13.

The new infections have mostly emerged in Bangkok with 351 cases. Surrounding provinces report an additional 115 infections today. In other provinces, 877 people.

It’s also been reported today that 36 people are currently in a serious condition and 9 people are on ventilators. Here’s the number of cases reported each day since the start of April…

April 1 – 26 infections

April 2 – 58 infections

April 3 – 84 infections

April 4 – 96 infections

April 5 – 194 infections

April 6 – 250 infections

April 7 – 334 infections

April 8 – 405 infections

April 9 – 559 infections

April 10 – 789 infections

April 11 – 967 infections

April 12 – 985 infections

April 13 – 965 infections

April 14 – 1,335 infections

Meanwhile, Prachuap Khiri Khan officials have ordered the closure of “high risk venues” such as pubs, bars, water parks, children’s playgrounds, gyms, cinemas, game shops. The Governor says restaurants can open “but no alcohol can be served”. This includes the seaside town of Hua Hin.

In Krabi there is now a total of 11 infections, 6 new ones yesterday.

In Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, there were 99 new confirmed infections of Covid today … a similar number to the past few days.

Total number of infections being treated in provinces…

• Bangkok: 1,689
• Chiang Mai: 880
• Chonburi: 594
• Samut Prakan: 416
• Narathiwat: 304
• Prachuap Khiri Khan: 265
• Samut Sakhon: 166
• Pathum Thani: 124
• Sa Kaeo 105
Covid UPDATE: Wednesday's new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok police tracking down owners of Thong Lor clubs where virus resurfaced

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok police tracking down owners of Thong Lor clubs where virus resurfaced | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook / Krystal Club

Police in Bangkok are on the hunt for the owners of 2 nightclubs considered ground zero for a third wave of Covid-19 currently spreading around the country. The Krystal Club and Emerald Thonglor 13, in the capital’s fashionable Thonglor district, are currently closed, with the managers of both sentenced to 2 months’ imprisonment. However, officials are now attempting to track down the real owners of both establishments.

Nation Thailand reports that the authorities are examining ownership and shareholding documentation related to the 2 venues, after police chief Piya Tawichai confirmed a cluster of Covid-19 infections is believed to have spread from the clubs. The managers of both venues have been charged with violating the emergency decree and disease prevention regulations, with the Bangkok Municipal Court sentencing them to 2 months’ imprisonment on April 9.

The head of Metropolitan Police Division 5, Sophon Saraphat, has also transferred 2 Thonglor police officers, including the superintendent of Thonglor police station, while an investigation into the Covid-19 cluster continues.

Sophon says authorities are also examining the operating licences of both clubs, which have been closed for 30 days, while officials determine if they should be shut down for a period of 5 years.

3 nightlife venues in Phuket, thought to be behind a resurgence of Covid-19 in the southern province have been closed as part of a wider temporary shutdown of nightlife on the island. It is not yet known if the owners will face prosecution.

The Illuzion and Shelter nightclubs in Patong, along with the Café del Mar beach club in Kamala each held mass parties during the weekend of April 2- 4, with invited guests travelling from as far as Bangkok. Media reports put attendance at each party at over 3,000.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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