Like the rest of the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the economy of Thailand. The tourism sector takes a big hit, along with all related industries and retail.
Prior to the announcement of lockdown whereby interstate travelling was to be banned (March 2020), many made a rush back to their hometowns since jobs were temporary suspended. By now in July 2020, interstate travel ban has been uplifted. People can travel between provinces via public transport and airplane but there are huge restrictions still on international travel.
I have strong admiration for the resilience that I see in Thai people. In the small simple town I live in, life goes on as usual for the Thais. Many farmers who are growing crops and fruits were not able to sell as previously they have relied in active distribution and export. Most of the produce are just being sold locally. Before where wholesale markets would be packed and busy, it is now relatively quiet.
I did not hear any complains and grievances. Thais understand that it is something that needed to be done, even though it means closing down businesses in tourist areas that could affect their livelihood. Life continues on.
Precautions are also being actively taken. Examples:
- you need to wear a mask when travelling outside. Most provinces would impose a fine of 1000 baht for failure to wear mask in public
- you would not be allowed into business premises if you do not wear a mask. And your temperature is being taken before being allowed into business premises.
- all seating areas, in hospitals, government offices, retail offices and banks are required to have a seat gap in between for social distancing.
- schools have reopened since 1 July 2020. However… they are not allowed to be seated next to each other as there had to be gaps. So students are going to school on alternate days. Hence teachers have to repeat the same subject to the same class twice.
So far, there are people stationed at the entrance of wet markets, 7 Eleven, retail stores and government offices who would take your temperature and make sure you are wearing mask. You would be denied entry if found to have fever and/or not wearing a mask. And you would be asked to use the hand sanitizer before entering the premise.
But it is understandable that not everyone can afford disposable face masks, hence cloth masks are also allowed. I do feel that wearing a mask, even not a N95….. does help. From the start, most people could only afford to wear reusable cloth face mask which cost about 20 baht each. And people diligently wear mask and also practice social distancing…..everyone from all walks of life are aware of how serious the pandemic is and hope to keep the spread under control.