After months of no community spread of COVID-19, we had a couple of cases here in Thailand.
Seems some Burmese generals were seeking entertainment, and some entertaining and enterprising Thais stole across the border to Myanmar where they’re in the throes of an outbreak. Not an outbreak of American proportions, but serious enough for a developing nation with a poor health care system to cope with.
There is rumoured to be an Myanmar-strain of COVID that is 20% more rapid in it’s spread, but I can’t find any source indicating that there is anything different than the same G-Strain which has been circling the globe.
But, anyway… it seems four ladies ducked into the wilds of Myanmar and then snuck back into Thailand, evading quarantine. They proceeded to engage and entertain in northern Thailand before climbing aboard mini-busses, planes, trains and cars, breathing on some 347 other people and infecting several dozen.
As has been discussed here, the border area has some porosity if you don’t mind getting your feet wet, or climbing a few hills. The government has belatedly strung up some concertina wire, stepped up patrols and kindly asked people to stop sneaking back and forth across the border as there are perfectly good quarantine facilities available.
It’s been most interesting watching and listening to the Thais. Heard on the street are comments like “COVID is rampant again here!” along with calls for punishing the offenders to the fullest extent of the law. It is not rampant. The culprits have been isolated as have everyone they’ve exposed.
On the streets of Bangkok, mask use had been tapering. There was a definite lackadaisical attitude rising. More masks around the chin or not wearing them at all. But with news of these cases, there was almost instant masking up. The subway guards, and the 7/11 shops are much more vocal in their admonishments.
News of a potential uptick has made everyone on edge. And striving for control, they reach for their masks. They want to do something to stave off an outbreak. No one wants to lose a family member, but perhaps more. No one wants to lock down again. Even if it means struggling for a while, going back into a stringent lockdown would be worse.