As there will not be any traveling in the next few months I will update you about living in Social Distance at StayHome during the Corona Crisis. Photo above was made last year and is a view of the peaceful valley of Pua. Last year when life was still normal, life was full of wild dreams. Who could even thought in his worst nightmare that we would be going to be living like this now? And here in Thailand at this moment of 22 March 2020 this is just the beginning. Warning this is a long ramble of my thoughts.
How did we get in this situation? Since many moons I am living in Thailand and since awhile I am living with my wife in North Thailand. In January I went on a 3 weeks tour to Vietnam & Cambodia. But after 10 days I got sick and had to cancel the all trip. I did fly back to Thailand asap and did stay in a hospital in Bangkok for 4 days. After that I did fly back to North Thailand and I had to take life slow for a few weeks. That is fine as life here is slow anyway. So that was already a great start of 2020. And once back home the Corona Crisis started to spread outside China and I was very happy I did get the hell out of Vietnam and was home sweet home. Other people were not so lucky and were trapped for a few weeks longer in Vietnam.
So how is life going now? Slowly Thailand is going in a lockdown. Borders are being closed more or less, nightlife is closed more or less, the government aks people to stop traveling. Bloody hell, just go in complete lockdown!! Like Wuhan, Italy, Spain and Belgium (and more countries will follow). Luckily I made my 90-days border run last week, so at least I can stay another 90 days. And 2 weeks ago we decided already to close down our homestay until 30 May 2020.
From the outside it looks like life is going on like normal, the farmers are working on their land. The air is still polluted by burning and the weather is like normal for the time of the year. That means bloody hot in the afternoon between 35℃ and 38℃. Besides 3 days rain 2 weeks ago we did not have rain in almost 4 months. Shops and restaurants are still open. There is not yet a run on food in the Tesco-Lotus supermarket. But things are changing fast.
But since about 1 week we did limit our contact with people. So we not go to our favourite coffee shop anymore, we not go to a restaurant for lunch or dinner anymore. We not meet friends for a chat or drink. Just my wife, me and our dog. And that gets a bit boring and changes your emotional mood. Especially reading many doomsday-like news about Italy. It feels almost like mother earth says "Humans go away!". But looking to Wuhan I am sure we can be able to survive this. But I strongly believe that reducing inter-human contact is the key to this. How can we dance while the world is burning?
So for the love of your family & community .... Stay Home!
To be prepared for a real lockdown we did some extra shopping of rice, drinking water, dog food, soap, medicine, pasta, bread, jam, musli, soft drinks, beer and of course toilet paper (yes we are not using the water spray). Unfortunately there is not much canned food for sale here. Yes, why would you if you are growing it yourself? But currently that is only garlic, unions and chilli's.
In days like this with too much time to think, I am thinking of my grand-father who survived a war-camp in Indonesia. For the rest of his life he always had a stock-room with food for 3 weeks. And a list with things that needed to be bought soon. And I think of my father who during the hunger-winter in the war did not have enough food and did eat flowers, cats and cookies while being in a lockdown in the basement of a house. Some people saw it all coming and moved asap to Switzerland, like the family of my mother. But where would you go now? This virus is all over the world. The safest place might be now Wuhan.
I am also thinking of the emergency evacuation of foreigners in Wuhan. Many stayed as they thought it would not hurt them too much. And when they realised it was out of control it was almost too late to be evacuated. I am living in Thailand, should I have moved back home already? No, as my wife could probably not come with me. And I assume there are many foreigners living in Thailand and elsewhere that now make that same assignment. But looking to my home country now I might be better of here upcountry in North Thailand. Or not? This Is Thailand. Only time will tell but I am sure shit will hit the fan. We are living in strange unprecedented times. Times I could not imagine I would ever be living.
Under you see a graphic that shows number of cases, blue = Bangkok and red = upcountry. You can see that it is spreading all over Thailand. So by now you can assume that anyone you meet upcountry has covid-19. Keep your social distance, but stay polite & friendly!