Covid-19 and TEFL in Thailand

Situation in Thailand

As of March 2020, Thailand has been relatively quite about the corona virus outbreak. There have been a few cases and stories that have caught the headlines. The situation is not comparable to China, South Korea, or Japan. The Thai public have so far been calm although there is a feeling of unease in public. The overwhelming majority of schools are still open, however, a few schools have been ordered to close for the rest of the school year as a few cases have emerged and also due to some schools choosing to take their students to field trips to more effected countries.

Why hasn’t Thailand been hit hard so far

There are a few theories floating around in Thailand as to why the country was not hit harder by the virus. Here are a few of them:

PM Pollution for the Win

Particle matter (PM) pollution has hit Thailand hard in the past few months. This drove people to wear protective masks in public even before the corona outbreak. Protective masks have been difficult to find months before the outbreak. Some people in Thailand believe wearing the mask before the outbreak protected them from the virus.

Geography, Culture and Hygiene

Thailand’s geographic location makes it a hot and humid tropical country. This has shaped certain hygienic practices. For example, most people in Thailand shower 3 times a day because of the heat and humidity. Once in the morning, once after work and once before bed. In some people’s eyes, this has protected the country from the outbreak. in addition, some cultural practices such as greeting each other without physical contact help curb the spread of some viruses.

What is it Like to Live in Thailand Now?

Honestly, life hasn’t changed much. Most business are still open(although without many customers). Most shops and condos(buildings) provide sanitizer liquid for their customers. Some condos have started checking their residents’ body temperature when they exit and enter. Public gatherings are fewer than before but not rare. As a TEFL teacher you won’t really have to change your lifestyle other than taking the general precautions. Contracts are still being honored. Having said that, some are anxious about any turns of events due to the unpredictable nature of the situation.

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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