Hot Seat

Carl Jarvis

We're chatting to expats who live and work in Thailand about the pandemic situation here. Carl works at an international school in Bangkok and has lived in the city for 17 years.

Q

Could you introduce yourself (where are you from? how long have you lived in Thailand? and what do you do for a living?)

A

I am from the Midlands in the UK, all told I have lived in Bangkok for 17 years although I did 4 years here, then 4 years in China before coming back. I work at an international school

Q

In general, how do you think Thailand has handled the pandemic up to now?

A

In general, I think that right up until April it was all going pretty well. Small outbreaks such as Samut Sakhon were expected and dealt with pretty well, but this latest one really seems to have caught the government on the hop, especially  when it comes to vaccine purchase and roll out. Why we cannot just go to the hospital and buy it is beyond me.

Q

If you were put in charge of things right now, what would be the first rules or things you would change?

A

Let private hospitals buy vaccines and open up the parks!

Q

Let’s talk about you personally. What is the most regrettable thing that the pandemic has robbed you of or changed about your life?

A

My parents died some years ago and my daughters didn't really get to know them. My wife's Mum and Dad are still alive and have really bonded with the girls. Normally we would go home for the whole of the Summer and Christmas and I feel like the girls are missing out on their family time, as is my wife!  

Q

From a work point of view, how has your situation changed (if indeed it has) and has there been any significant financial impact?

A

No financial impact yet, except perhaps more online rubbish being bought. However we have been teaching online for quite some time and it isn't easy either for the teachers or the kids.  

Q

Has the pandemic had any positive impacts on your life?

A

I am fitter than I used to be by making myself more regimented and actually doing my exercise.

Q

When do you predict the world will return to some sort of normality and we will be able to travel abroad and maybe get to remove these damn face-masks, etc?  

A

We were looking at Christmas this year for a trip home, however, if Thailand doesn't get a grip we could end up as a kind of pariah whilst others are getting back to normal. At this rate, no earlier than next Songkran (2022).

Q

Things started to go pear-shaped in March 2020. Over the past year or so, has your enthusiasm for living in Thailand increased or decreased?

A

It is where we live. There have been coups and floods, tsunamis and protests. I still love the way that most Thais get on with life and the community around where we live have been great.

Q

When we get to the light at the end of this long tunnel, have you promised yourself to make lifestyle changes or do some things differently?

A

I want my wife and kids to be able to visit relatives in the UK, I want to keep on doing what I am for the time being and try to keep fit!  

Q

For someone who doesn’t know how to get through the days and is perhaps suffering mentally, what would be your advice?

A

Try to get out as much as you can, even just to walk up and down the road until green spaces re-open. Keep in touch with your mates or family anyway that you can. Read books and dream, it won't last forever!

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