Every Cloud has a silver lining…
There have been several medical side-effects of COVID-19 noted, but I want to talk about social side-effects.
There is no social security in Thailand. So basically, if you don’t work and your family or friends don’t help you, you only have three options: to innovate, to steal or to die.
Poor Thais are not prone to stealing, and they have no fear of death (because of a belief in reincarnation). However, there have been some amazing changes in our little village and the nearest town.
Side-Effects of Covid-19
Our village consists mostly of farmers and farm labourers. Covid has hit the sales of produce because of the restrictions on travel.. This means that there is a glut of food in the local vicinity.
Well, one solution has been to instigate take-away services. At least three café/restaurants have sprung up with a take-away option in our village. This is amazing! Before Covid there were no delivery services, and there were no food websites or telephone contact numbers.
I should think that there will be no going back. Covid-19 has speeded up progress in our remote, sleepy village by necessity. People are coming here from all around to buy food, since delivery is usually not available if the client live more than a kilometre away.
Other people, especially in the younger generation have started blogging and monetising their blogs, or selling products via Facebook. Some are even writing seriously for the first time ever!
Older women have always made baskets and craft items like that. However, now they are beginning to think about setting up a village or personal website. What I can really say about the Covid-19 crisis locally is that it has sharpened many people’s wits out of necessity. Nevertheless, I can’t see people going back to their old ways. Not even when the threat of death from Covid becomes just a part of life. In fact, in a way, it already is in our village. Even though we have had only two cases here and no deaths.
In my opinion, the side-effects ofCovid-19 have accelerated social change in rural Thailand, and if here, why not in similar locations worldwide?