The art of self-isolation

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At the start of this year, such a set of words like this being said, you would have been looked at with a crazy stare and people wondering what sort of drugs you were on. Since that point, well for many until a vaccination comes, self-isolating is something that needs to done to preserve your health.

So out at our village, I have closed our front gate, advised others we are not taking any guests for the time being and shuttering ourselves away from the world. We have six people living in our house. My wife’s parents are both in their sixties that have health issues, my brother-in-law’s wife is pregnant and myself that suffers from Bipolar Disorder and who is on a lot of medication.

For me staying sane during this period of time is something that is very important. If I get manic or depressed during these times, it would create a lot of stress for my whole family. So the whole idea is to stay well. This entails doing exercise every day and staying in good cheer as staying home is not easy to do.

Most of us would have thought this would never happen in our lives. I mean, I never thought I would be living through a pandemic. Now being in Thailand with the covid-19 numbers moving up and with the Government now stating the State of Emergency is in place, something is finally being done to try and slow this virus down. I mean it is pretty silly to think that Thailand would be spared with millions of Chinese coming in from December through to late January. A virus does not understand borders. With how easy it was for this virus to spread, it just was a matter of time before it affected here.

Out in my sleepy village, people are staying at home. Markets and shops have closed down. In Chiang Mai itself, it is very, very quiet. We can still buy food but we have been to BigC and we have bought food to last us for a few weeks. We are ready for whatever the Government throws at us now. As for many others, this will not be an easy time. Many people have lost their jobs and have come back home. Other of our friends are going to go bankrupt if this goes on for too long. Others are going to lose cars as they cannot service their loans. Many of my farang friends were in the world’s Stock Markets and have just watched as savings vanished.

In the end, this is going to affect a lot of normal people. From Thai to farang in Thailand, this is going to change the way we live. We may need to self isolate and learn new coping skills for the future. Of course, when this is all over, the world will most likely fall back into old bad habits and nothing may change, but this, in fact, could be a catalyst for change. Who is to know. I mean we do not know what is going to happen. America looks like the next epicenter most likely followed by other countries if self-isolation is not imposed. It is probable that most of us will get this virus at some stage but I think most of us would prefer to be sick when the hospitals were coping at a manageable level. That’s the importance of self-isolating now to give us all a chance for the hospital system to cope.

As for Thailand, I hope it is not a little too late. We have thousands of small villages spread out over Thailand. Many of the elderly live in such areas and it would be devastating if it took hold. Just in my village, we have hundreds of people over sixty as the young work in the cities and the elderly stay at home. At this point in time, all these elderly need to self-isolate but that is not easy. Most of these elderly go to the markets twice a day either to work or to buy produce to eat. We are talking about open dry and wet markets. It is a way of life that has been like this for a long time culturally and to change this is a big ask. On top of this many people need to work as they do not have any savings. Just stopping for a week would seem to be unthinkable. Still, the Government most likely will have plans of some sort for a full lockdown if this gets out of hand if the numbers start to go exponential.

Let’s at this moment just wait and see what happens. The coming weeks and maybe months are going to be very important for much of the world and I wish everyone good luck.

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