In a little over a fortnight, I will be returning to America for my annual getaway. It’s been two years since the last one and I am really looking forward to being in a country that is not being ravaged by Covid-19. The first order of business will of course be getting vaccinated, preferably with the single shot Johnson & Johnson. I am doing this in the U.S. as I have more confidence in their vaccines and should not have to wait in line. (All my Thai friends, in contrast, are talking about appointments starting in August, presumably using Sinovac. They have my sympathy.)
As for the seven Thai women I’ve been helping on a monthly basis (one has dropped off the radar), each has been provided with seven month’s worth of support, through January of next year. Hopefully by that time most of the population will be inoculated and the economy in better shape. (But don’t hold your breath!)
There are also three others I’ve supplied modest, as-needed amounts to. They all have jobs (more or less) and are not as destitute.
As one might guess, this latest round of assistance has drained a large portion of my charity money. However, with the virus variant causing record numbers of infections and deaths in this country, I simply could not fly off and leave my friends to their fate.
For over a year, it’s like I’ve been playing poker with Covid-19. Initially, I had planned on only a few months of helping others. Then the virus upped the ante, continuing to stick around and forcing me to extend my obligations. It became a high stakes contest, but I have stubbornly stayed in the game: “I’ll see your six months and raise you seven. F*ck you!”.