The latest Thai government edict — more of a request, actually — is for people to stay home this weekend. Make that seven days. Should this fail to slow the rate of infection, then we will be talking twenty-four hour curfews. The same kind of steps other countries have been taking — with varying degrees of success.
I have been of two minds regarding this. On one hand, I worry about running out of bottled water (the tap water here is not potable) and being unable to make a covert trip to the 7-Eleven just down the block. But I’m also intrigued by the challenge of seeing how long I can get by without having to go out and replenish my supplies. It’s something I never had to consider growing up in America, the land of plenty (and now the world leader in the number of infected).
One thing that will not be bothering me is the so-called social distancing. Being alone has never been a concern; it’s the way I’m hardwired. With my reliable MacBook Air companion I can download books and movies, surf the ‘net, play chess, check my mail and otherwise ignore the world outside my window. Besides, my Soi 4 neighborhood is one of the city’s famous tourist areas (or at least it was). All that’s remaining are idling taxi drivers, hoping for a fare. Not people I care to go out and chat with. (And I’ve had enough bad experiences with these characters to take no small amount of pleasure in the dearth of customers.)
According to an article in the Bangkok Post, there is a major concern about not merely keeping maladjusted farangs like myself off the streets, but preventing Thais from “fleeing” Bangkok and returning to their home provinces. No small amount of irony here. While trying to find safer havens, some are carrying the virus with them, thus insuring the disease will be spread to all corners of the country.
There are times I wonder how Homo Sapiens has managed to survive as long as it has.