Author Topic: living alongside coronavirus  (Read 3517 times)

Offline thaiga

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People's livelihoods seriously affected by Covid-19: Poll

The spread of novel coronavirus has lowered the Thai people's incomes and savings while inflating their debts, according to a survey conducted by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted online between May 12-15 on 1,125 people throughout the country.

Asked to choose between multiple choice answers, 25.16% of the respondents said the virus had cut down their regular income; 35.38% said it had reduced side income; 27.91% said it had lowered their savings; and 25.07% said it had caused them to become more indebted.

Asked what they had spent more on as a result of the Covid-19 spread, 68.53% cited water and power bills; 44.89% mobile phone and Internet bills; 40.27% food and drinks; 20.18% medicine, medical treatment and health care; and 14.22% donations and merit-making.

Asked what they had paid less for, 60.62% mentioned transportation and fuel costs; 42.31% clothing; 41.51% travel and leisure; 38.67% the lottery and sweepstakes; and 34.31% ornaments and perfume.

bangkokpost.com
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London 'pub-on-wheels' pulls pints on people's doorsteps  channelnewsasia.com 

                       

Britain's pubs may be shut, but one east London brewer has found a novel way to keep the beer flowing: By packing his kegs into a van and pulling pints on people's doorsteps.

Driving a white van with the slogan "tactical beer response unit" on the side, Peter Brown, the director of Forest Road Brewing Co., spends his day fulfilling delivery orders.

But rather than delivering boxes of cans or bottles, Brown fills pint glasses for his customers out of taps on the side of the van.

"It doesn't fit as much beer as our bar would do on a normal Friday or Saturday, but what we do get is the pure joy on the customers' faces when they see a cold glass of beer for the first time in six weeks," he told Reuters.

"The look on their faces is just irreplaceable."   

Britain's pubs and bars have been closed for nearly two months. Government first advised people avoid them, then demanded they close and on Mar 23 imposed a countrywide lockdown in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the restrictions of lockdown, food and drink suppliers can still offer delivery services.

Even as many firms turn to delivering cans, last month the Society of Independent Brewers said many breweries were facing closure as beer sales had fallen 82 per cent.

Brown said he had seen strong demand for his pint deliveries: He was booked up until the end of May, and was investigating acquiring another van to serve different postcodes.

Customers are big fans of the service, and one suggested that Brown, who already delivers with a bandana over his mouth, should add to his outfit to reflect his superman efforts.

"The man's a hero, simple as that. Not all heroes wear capes, but this guy should," said Nick Bateson, a customer who is a festival organiser from London.

"Amazing beer, quick delivery, love it."

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Meet Rural Health Volunteers, the Unsung Heroes on Virus Frontline


As soon as a woman in her rural community registered a high fever, Auntie Arun alerted the local hospital doctors, who soon arrived in at least three cars, prepped to transport a COVID-19 patient.

Fortunately enough, the woman did not have the coronavirus, and the Moo 11 village in Nong Khai province remains free of the pandemic. Auntie Arun, or Arunrat Rukthin, 60, said she plans to keep it that way.

Arun is not a doctor, but a member of the nationwide Village Health Volunteers, known by their Thai acronym Aor Sor Mor – the unsung heroes on the frontline to monitor and protect residents from the coronavirus. They are also credited as one of the reasons why COVID-19 figures in Thailand stayed relatively low.

“We’re very ready, every village, subdistrict, district. We know everyone, who’s living where. We knock on doors, ask where people travelled to, and give our numbers to them so they can call. We distribute pamphlets about COVID and washing hands, and stick them up on doors,” Auntie Arun said.

The volunteers act as middlemen between rural residents and health officials, conveying medical facts and doctors’ orders to neighbors they’ve known all their lives. Their job is to knock on doors to check temperatures, as well as educating locals about hand-washing and social distancing.

“Some people are scared at home, so they call us, and ask us to come check their temperatures,” Auntie Arun said.

During a recent news conference, government coronavirus taskforce spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin also thanked the volunteers for quickly reporting a new case of infection in Chiang Mai province.

“It is the ability of Aor Sor Mor volunteers in the area who took the man to test for COVID-19,” Taweesain said on Thursday. “This shows how important local personnel are.”

What is Aor Sor Mor?

It is possible to watch some Thai news channels all day and miss out on the roles of these aunties and uncles taking up their civic duties in the countryside, since much of the mainstream coverage is occupied by doctors, experts, and other Bangkok-based officials.

But the volunteers have not entirely gone unnoticed. Back in April, the World Health Organization gave a shout out in a Tweet and congratulated them for their work.

 

The Village Health Volunteer network was set up in 1977, after the Thai Ministry of Health partnered with the Japanese government to develop a primary health care system in all regions nationwide.

The concept was also an embodiment of Thailand’s pragmatism. In a column, former deputy PM Wiraphong Ramangkun said the Aor Sor Mor was inspired by the Thai Communist Party’s local version of the rural “barefoot doctors” in mainland China – despite the widespread anti-Communism sentiment in Cold War Thailand.

Each of the 1.04 million Aor Sor Mor volunteers is expected to provide basic health information to local residents, and coordinate doctors’ visits to 15 to 25 households.

The project’s foot soldiers are ordinary senior citizens in rural communities, like Pompaeng Phaholtap, 60, a volunteer in charge of 15 households in her village in Nong Bua Lamphu province. She has been working for the program since 2001.

Since the pandemic broke out in January, Pompaeng has been delivering prescription medicines from doctors to the elderly in her neighborhood so both parties can practice social distancing.

“Some people call us to visit their house because they want us to give them more information about COVID, even if they already heard it before. They want to hear us say it,” Pompaeng said. “We’re the ones taking care of everyone, from newborns to the elderly.”



The People’s War

While they are not trained to operate like professional doctors and nurses, the volunteers play a crucial support role in the country’s public healthcare system by doing their best to prevent people from falling sick in the first place.

“We are only doctor’s helpers,” volunteer Phannarath Phanpong said. “We don’t do things beyond our reach. We keep people away from diseases and help reduce the workload of hospitals.”

lots more here on these heroes of our time  khaosodenglish.com

                                                           
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Offline thaiga

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Making ends meet  nationthailand.com
A jewellery shop owner has become a barber on a street as the Covid-19 crisis forced him to seek a new way to have some income.
Burin Ploywong, 62, owned a silver jewellery shop in a shopping mall which was closed due to the lockdown measure. He then decided to grab a hair clipper and ran a barber shop on the corner of a street in Suksawat 30 alley from 10am to 6pm. He gets 10 to 20 customers a day who ate drawn up his Bt50 per haircut price and it is not crowded like other salons.
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Offline thaiga

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Re: living alongside coronavirus - The long wait for handouts
« Reply #64 on: May 28, 2020, 11:32:33 AM »
The long wait for handouts



Some 1,000 locals in Chonburi province were queuing up from as early as 1am on Thursday (May 28) at Soi Thappaya 5 in Banglamung district to receive handouts of food and consumer products provided by the Norwegian Seamen's Church Pattaya.

The church distributes 2,000 packs of the handouts at 9am every Thursday to people who have been affected by the Covid-19 situation in Pattaya, the famous tourist city that has been shut down to avoid the outbreak.

At around 3am, police officers from Muang Pattaya Station came to disperse the crowd as 11pm to 4am are curfew hours imposed by the government. However, a news source said that the crowd dispersed only temporarily and queued up again once the police had gone.

One of the villagers, whose house is located near the church, expressed concern that the gathering of the crowd could increase the risk of Covid-19 spreading as social distancing measures are not maintained in the queue, which is almost half a kilometre long. “Furthermore, their loud chattering is really annoying and kept us up until dawn,” they added.



nationthailand.com
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Help on the way for monks doing without alms



Prime Minister’s Office Minister Thewan Liptapanlop said on Thursday (May 28) that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned him the job of helping Buddhist temples nationwide that have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown measures.

“The National Office of Buddhism has submitted a list of about 40,000 temples across the country that have been affected by the outbreak and lockdown measures, which are preventing people from visiting temples to make donations and give alms,” he said. “Approximately 200,000 monks have been hit by a shortage of food and other necessities.”

Thewan said he will send the list across to the Finance Ministry to come up with an estimate of how much will be needed to solve the problem.

“We are also looking at the measure that was used in 2009, when Buddhist monks in the three southern border provinces [Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani] had to go without morning alms due to security reasons,” he said. “Back then the Cabinet approved a Bt100 per day handout to each monk so they could buy food and other necessities.

“If the plan is approved, we will possibly require Bt400 million to Bt500 million per month to help all affected temples. Money will be paid to each temple, which can then work out how it can be disbursed among the monks.”

nationthailand.com
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Offline thaiga

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Fabulous 103 helps the Pattaya hungry every single day

In addition to Thai local government and commercial input, foreign sponsored or backed organizations have been significantly addressing the food needs of perhaps 50,000 Thais who have been left jobless by the Covid-19 pandemic which has virtually closed down the Pattaya tourist industry.

The plight of Thais working in bars and the night-time entertainment industry has been well publicized, but the unemployment problem has also affected those employed in hotels, which were closed in April and are even now mostly under lock and key, restaurants, markets and tourist attractions.

Many charitable organizations have donated cash to pay for thousands of meals of rice or noodles, chicken or tinned fish and fruit or biscuits plus, of course, bottled water. Those previously mentioned by Pattaya Mail are Pattaya Hand to Hand and the Norwegian Seamen’s Church Abroad. Private individuals include Swiss national Olivier Gachoud who is co-sponsoring 300 free meals a day until mid-June. But there are many others.

Special tribute should be paid to the Fab 103fm Team which has already raised over one million baht in donations and looks to be heading towards one and a half million in the not too distant future. Fabulous 103, a BBC world service partner, has been broadcasting by radio in English since 2012 and has in the past raised hundreds of thousands of baht for children’s charities.

The Fab team has distributed food directly to the needy, but its main contribution has been to give supplies of rice, water and other staples to others who are cooking and supplying groceries to those urgently needing them. Organizer Thomas Robson said, “All we need is a photo and a copy of the certificate issued by City Hall which allows the authorities to monitor health and safety issues, especially social distancing.”

pattayamail.com
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UPMC Heroes without Capes ride again


The recipient of the final bag of food was a young girl of about 7 years old, and she was also awarded with her own brand new bicycle!

As we all know,the devastating COVID-19 outbreak has brought Thailand and the world to its knees.

So, the Pattaya Union of Motorcycle Clubs (UPMC)are continuing to do the right thing by keeping their shoulders to the wheel. Their good work is helping to ease the pain and suffering of the throngs of needy people that show up for their weekly charity food distribution at the Chaiyapruek Indoor Stadium.

On Thursday,June 4th, the UPMC held their fourth food distribution. Once again Ghost Writer in the Skyarrived with over 60 cases of iced down bottles of drinking water, which was greatly appreciated by the masses of people huddled under the shade afforded by the stadium venue.

At precisely 16:00 hours, the announcement was made for all those people that were holding their ‘coupons’ to line up and the handouts began, and once again it seemed evident that there were a lot more people than available food. Those without the coupons were left sitting and watching the others retrieve their bags of rice, praying that there would be enough left for them.

Yet again, a Good Samaritan appeared out of the blue, this time it was the good folks from Global Insurance Company who showed up with 900 eggs, while a group that wishes to remain anonymous, using money that was raised in Germany, showed up with another truck loaded with at least a hundred 5 kg bags of sweet Thai Jasmine rice.


A happy woman walks home with a 5kg bag of rice, thanks to the Pattaya Union of Motorcycle Clubs.

It still appeared that some may go home empty-handed, as there still seemed to be not enough packages for everyone.

But, you know the UPMC, they never say never, and out of nowhere appeared even more bags of rice, cooking oil, and tins of sardines.

The recipient of the final bag of food was a young girl of about 7 years old, and she was also awarded with her own brand new bicycle!

The UPMC has scheduled their next giveaway in two weeks’ time, on Thursday June 18th, when they plan on doing their fifth food distribution as well as holding an auction of new and used motorcycle parts, new motorcycle helmets, saddle bags, and shirts kindly donated by various clubs in the area, and from other motorcycle clubs from around the world.

full article  pattayamail.com
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Re: 8-year-old boy performs traditional dance for donations
« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2020, 08:37:24 PM »
8-year-old boy performs traditional dance for donations

A 8-year-old boy performs traditional dance Manora at a market on Koh Samui in exchange for donations. His parents are reportedly working as food vendors after losing their jobs in tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic. twitter.com/KhaosodEnglish
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Some Thais trust spirits more than social distancing


Kitsana Phattharasirisap, a spiritual consultant (centre), prays during a consecration ceremony for a spirit house at a new condominium complex in Bangkok, May 18, 2020. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)

These spirits were not wearing face masks. They appeared well fed, untroubled by the hunger pangs that have afflicted some Thais during the lean times of a pandemic.

But despite the spirits being so coddled — or perhaps because of it — the spiritual adviser accompanying them looked nervous.

These spirits, or at least the pair of figurines representing them, were too tubby to fit through the door to their new spirit house at the Baan Pitak condominium in Bangkok.

For the next hour or so, incense and incantations swirled. A gong pierced the steamy air.

Then, holding his breath just a little, Kitsana Phattharasirisap, the spiritual adviser, rose to his tiptoes and nudged the statues through the intricately carved entry to their new abode. Magically, they fit. A diet of prayers had slimmed them down in under 60 minutes, he said.

“If you don’t believe,” Mr Kitsana said, “then it won’t work.”

Many Thais do believe in such spirits, and Mr Kitsana, 47, thinks this may help explain why the coronavirus pandemic has so far largely bypassed the country. The kingdom has recorded only about 3,130 cases of the virus, with 58 deaths, despite having had the first confirmed case outside of China.

“Thai people respect ghosts and spirits,” he said. “Every day we pray, and, you will notice, our country has not had many cases of coronavirus. The spirits listen to our prayers.”

In every crowded corner of Bangkok, whether by a tin-roofed shack, a glass-plated skyscraper or a marble-pillared government hall, there are said to be spirits who need placating. A coronavirus lockdown is no excuse.



The spirits also require spirit houses, which look like dollhouses mounted on pedestals. These range from a few pieces of plywood hammered together to create a miniature bungalow to gilded structures with ornate spires that cost tens of thousands of dollars. The figurines, sized to live inside, typically fit easily in the palm of a hand.

Spirit houses are common throughout Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, although the architecture differs by country. While not everyone believes, the practice is widely respected, and the houses are an ordinary and integrated part of Bangkok’s cityscape, like church spires in an American town.

All these spirits expect sustenance such as a bunch of bananas, a cooling coconut or a mound of sticky rice. The offerings are usually placed at the front of the spirit houses in the morning by homeowners or building staff members, along with incense and garlands of marigolds and jasmine. Ants or rats may raid in the afternoon.

The spirits are not unreasonable, said Nongrak Puwasawadi, a self-employed spirit communicator, who enters a trance and advises people on the spirits’ druthers. In times of economic crisis, they will scale back their expectations.



full article bangkokpost.com
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Re: living alongside coronavirus - bargirls transform into waitresses
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2020, 07:58:26 PM »
With restaurants opens, bars closed, Pattaya bargirls transform into waitresses


With Pattaya’s restaurants, market and food stalls now selling alcohol while bars remain closed, pubs have started adding kitchens and bargirls have turned to waitressing.

With Pattaya’s restaurants, market and food stalls now selling alcohol while bars remain closed, pubs have started adding kitchens and bargirls have turned to waitressing.

May, 28, has worked in Pattaya’s bars for eight years, but has been out of work since mid-March. But she still has foreign “sponsors” sending her cash and has been selling off her luxury shoes and handbags to get by.

May rode high for years, earning many times more as a bargirl than what other Thais make in a month. Covid-19 has been the great equalizer. With her revenue stream cut off, she’s now looking at a life as a waitress, at least until the bars reopen and tourists return.

Thanet Supornsahatrangsi, president of the Chonburi Tourism Council, said Thailand will be making do with domestic tourists for the foreseeable future. The government is launching measures to subsidize travel by Thai families and medical workers starting in July.

That’s not going to help May, but it has made her explore other ways to make a living.

pattayamail.com
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State banks to hand out free lunch boxes


A woman takes a free boxed meal at Lan Jarumaung area in Pathumwan district, Bangkok, on April 28. The food was donated by people to those affected by Covid-19. They could take one box each. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Finance Ministry has instructed state-owned banks to provide free lunch boxes to people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said on Friday the government was trying to get the economy moving again, but nobody knew for sure when the pandemic would end.

The free meals to be offered by branches of state banks across the country would be just one more  measure to assist people hurt by the spread of the coronavirus, Mr Uttama said.

He spoke after meeting with senior executives of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Government Housing Bank, Government Savings Bank and Krungthai Bank. The minister asked they get feed-back from their branches on implementation of the project.

This was short-term assistance, he said. It was also necessary to look ahead, for ways to create jobs so people could have an income, he said.

The post Covid-19 economy would be evaluated later. What the government was doing now was to strengthen the internal economy, such as the 400 billon-baht budget slated for social and economic rehabilitation that would benefit communities under the sufficiency economy philosophy, Mr Uttama said.

bangkokpost.com
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Re: electric fence keeps drinkers back from the bar (video)
« Reply #72 on: July 15, 2020, 09:59:50 AM »
electric fence keeps drinkers back from the bar - pub landlord in Cornwall, southwest England, has devised a shocking method to enforce social distancing at his bar - by installing an electric fence.

When pubs and restaurants reopened on 4 July, Jonny McFadden realised customers at The Star Inn would not be able to act as they had done before the coronavirus lockdown if they were to adhere to government advice.

Mr McFadden says "a little bit of rope" would not have made much difference to drinkers' habits, but they take much more notice if they're at risk of an electric shock.

Despite early concern from his insurance broker, Mr McFadden has been assured that the fence is legal as long as a warning sign is clearly attached.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

 



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