Ricky Batten

Tips for coronavirus lockdown as an expat

Surviving these traumatic times

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Thailand, people living here seem to be in a constant state of panic, and understandably so. 

People all over the country are doing what they can to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus disease, whether it’s by wearing face masks in public or using hand sanitizers when they’re available. 

Many expats residing in Thailand are concerned about their health, especially those living with children and elders. We’re certainly going through a difficult time, one that none of us were prepared for. With that said, I hope these tips will help you through the coronavirus lockdown. 

Guidelines for expats in Thailand

The current coronavirus situation in Thailand calls for action and prevention. It’s more important than ever for people to follow the advice given to them by authorities. At the time of writing, 120 new cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours, along with two more deaths. Thailand’s total for coronavirus cases has just passed 1,770. The following key tips can be applied to your daily life as we go through these rapid changes: 

Stay at home

One of the easiest and quickest ways to spread the virus is by traveling. Staying in your place of residence is the safest option, not just for you, but for others as well. Since the government has called for social distancing, your home has become the best defense. 

While you probably don’t want to stay in all the time, doing so reduces the chance of coming across someone who is infected. If you do go out and get infected, you’ll also expose your family to the coronavirus upon returning home. You should be extra careful if your household has children, elderly, or people with pre-existing conditions, since contracting the virus could be fatal for those with an already weakened immune system. 

Not only do travel restrictions slow the spread of infection, but they also improve the health system’s ability to give patients the right level of care. 

Clean and disinfect your space

Since your home is now your place of safety, you’re going to have to take extra measures to keep it as such. You can begin by coming to an agreement with those in your household about what everyone will do to prevent infection. For example, exposed surfaces and certain areas of the home that are frequently touched and can harbor the coronavirus need to be cleaned regularly. This includes doorknobs, kitchen counters, light switches, remote controls, and faucet handles, to name a few. 

Cleaning removes contaminants from surfaces while disinfecting kills pathogens. Doing both on a daily basis will reduce the chances of it turning into a breeding ground for the coronavirus. 

Take advantage of online shopping

If you’ve ever needed a reason to skip a trip to the shops and order online, now is your opportunity. During this time, it’s been amazing to see how many businesses are making it possible to order online and receive goods at your door. Whether you’re looking to buy groceries, have food and water delivered, or even get equipment for your home gym, there are plenty of online services that make it easy for you. 

Just remember to be smart about handling deliveries, such as by minimizing contact with the delivery man and disposing of packaging safely. Some delivery services make contactless delivery possible now, which means your goods will be left at your front door or another area of choice to avoid direct contact. When contactless delivery isn’t an option, just practice safe distancing by staying at least one to two meters apart. 

Remember to exercise

With fitness centers, parks, and even condo gyms closed during the lockdown, it might seem like the time to take a break from your exercise regime. But staying home all day can really lower your levels of physical activity if you don’t make an effort to move your body. If negative effects on your health are not enough to keep you active, then you should know that physical activity will help ease your troubled mind and make stress more manageable as well. 

WHO guidelines suggest either 150 of moderate-intensity physical activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. You can also mix it up by combining both. No special equipment or large space is needed to meet these recommendations either. Doing chores, playing with children, and gardening all count towards your goals. If you’re looking for something more intense, look for an exercise class online or order some resistance bands from an e-commerce store. 

Preserve your mental health

Being under lockdown can really challenge your mental health. Whether it’s the stress of the unknown, the influx of news from social media, or your own thoughts, there are plenty of reasons for your mind to be overwhelmed at the moment. While physical activity is a good way to keep your body healthy and improve your wellbeing, there are also some extra measures you can take to give your mental health some TLC. For example, deep breathing exercises and meditation are tools you can use to stay calm. 

Remain calm

Taking care of your mental health will hopefully have a ripple effect on other areas of your life, such as how you react to stressful situations. When news of the coronavirus first escalated in Thailand, many people across the country acted on impulse and rushed to supermarkets, pharmacies, and banks to panic buy. Panic buying can be a huge problem because the surge in demand can make the situation so much worse. By remaining calm, you can come up with a thoughtful plan and the best way to go about it. 

Stay safe and healthy

If you need to go outside, remember to practice social distancing, wear a face mask, and use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash your hands yet. Doing your best to stay safe and healthy is the most you can do for yourself and those around you. Hopefully, things will get better soon. 

It’s times like these that people start to realize the importance of having expat individual health insurance in case the worst happens. Pacific Prime is a global health insurance company that specializes in helping you find the best insurance policy for your needs and budget, whether you’re looking for individual or family health insurance for expats

As an expert in the insurance industry, I’m more than happy to answer any of your insurance-related questions.  You can email me at ajarn@pacificprime.co.th 


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