We're chatting to expats who live and work in Thailand about the pandemic situation here. Glyn taught in Thailand for 10 years but has very recently moved back to the UK.
Could you introduce yourself (where are you from? how long have you lived in Thailand? and what do you do for a living?)
My name is Glyn and I've lived and worked as an English teacher in Thailand for 10 years. I have only taught in vocational colleges so students of 16 plus years old.
In general, how do you think Thailand has handled the pandemic up to now?
Certainly the figures produced by the Thai government have shown a very good approach to their handling of the pandemic. Yes there's a bit of scepticism in that reply.
If you were put in charge of things right now, what would be the first rules or things you would change?
Due to today's escalating figures, I would be very conservative and lock down hard. The social consequences would be severe so the government would have to produce some sort of financial benefit to all those Thais in need of support. I think a better result than the potential death rates that could occur if other countries are taken as examples.
Let’s talk about you personally. What is the most regrettable thing that the pandemic has robbed you of or changed about your life?
On a personal basis the situation has reduced my freedom to travel whether it be for personal or work-related.
From a work point of view, how has your situation changed (if indeed it has) and has there been any significant financial impact?
For me, work has changed drastically and in some ways good. Moving to online lessons via Google classroom has shown how different it is to produce online lessons from classroom lessons (we design and produce our own lessons and do not use text books).
Has the pandemic had any positive impacts on your life?
Yes, positive with regards to work with those extra skills gained from online lesson production and presentation. Personally working from home and having more time to catch up on some great TV series on Netflix..
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?
I think things will start to be more normal globally some time in 2022. Its not only what changes in your country of residence, it very much depends on what the situation is in other countries.
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?
Yes, living in Thailand became far less attractive and as such led me to move back to UK in March this year. Many factors were involved in that decision, not least the desire to relocate to old haunts of mine in Southern Europe.
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?
Changes in lifestyle are to give myself more control over when I work, what days and what times. On the basis that none of us know what's going to happen tomorrow so lets really change to the motto “work to live” not “live to work”.
For someone who doesn’t know how to get through the days and is perhaps suffering mentally, what would be your advice?
If you're finding things tough and its bringing you down, then take the control away from the pandemic. Even though there are so many restrictions globally or nationally wherever you live or work, don't fret about what you cannot do but look for the things you can do. But most importantly talk to family, friends, work colleagues or anyone you can.