Hot Seat

Guy Ridgeon

We're chatting to expats who live and work in Thailand about the pandemic situation here. Guy has lived in Thailand for 19 years and is an instructor at a Bangkok university.

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'm Guy from the UK. I've been living here for 19 years and I'm an instructor at a private university in Bangkok  

Q

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

A

Poorly to moderate. 

Q

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

A

Make vaccines available through private hospitals.

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

With most public places closed, probably the social interaction. The continued closure of parks is asinine. The draconian restrictions on restaurants and the hospitality business in general; no alcohol, no pools, gyms, saunas etc. etc. is now almost irreversible with many businesses closed and the subsequent unemployment staggering.

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 significant financial impact, though those who I ‘help’ need it more often. Having to become tech-savvy almost overnight was daunting. Switching to online learning with almost no notice and insufficient training was unfortunate for both facilitators and learners.

Q

Has the pandemic had any positive impacts on your life?

A

Yes. I am in the process of completing a research article “Distance Learning Theory in the Times of Covid” and have just started on another “The Irreversible Decline of the Traditional Classroom’. Working from home was challenging but provided time to attend a lot more online seminars and discussions with my ASEAN colleagues.

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

Quarter 4 this year. I'm not bothered about masks but the ability to travel domestically and internationally cannot come soon enough.

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

I just keep telling myself TIT (This is Thailand) and I am a guest here.

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

Fly business class to make up for all the premium economy flights I've not taken in almost two years.

Q

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

A

Reach out and ask for help. You are not alone.

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