It is now 3 years since the beginning of the COVID pandemic and since we started wearing face masks. Luckily, me and my family haven’t been infected till now. In India, most people didn’t take masks seriously to begin with. But now, masks are a mere distant memory of more inconvenient times. Which is why, it is such a culture shock to see how serious Thais still are about them.
In Thailand, it seems like masks are here to stay. Although, the government has removed the compulsions of masks, the Thais have decided to stick with them for now.
Almost every Thai wears masks, all the time, everywhere. On the streets, in shopping malls, at restaurants, in pubs and in offices. In offices, they wear masks even when sitting at their desks all day. When eating or drinking something, the masks are temporarily lowered for the bite/sip and then pulled back up. Basically, the exact opposite of Indians.
I assume Thais take off their masks when they are at home and while sleeping, however I have no evidence for the same. Overall, I think it is commendable how Thais are so serious about protecting their health and of those around them.
Of course, none of this compares with the Chinese, who have taken COVID precautions to whole new (crazy) levels. I still see people in full hazmat suits at airports everywhere and I know that when I look at their passports, they will turn out to be Chinese.
I recently got a COVID RT-PCR test done. It was negative. I also got a COVID antibody test done. That was negative, too.
This means I have never had COVID. This is weird, because as per most judgemental North Indians, I should be teeming with viruses.
I am living life as close to normal as possible in the last many months. I have been ordering food from outside, going to malls, pubs, restaurants etc. but with precautions like wearing a mask (properly, not like Covidiots) and maintaining social distancing. I have even been on a airplane three times.
This makes me wonder if most people in North India are focussing on the wrong things to avoid COVID all this time. Most North Indians are
Not ordering food from outside
Not stepping outside their homes at all
Being over protective of children
However, none of the above is stopping them from getting their maids to slave for them at their homes everyday.
It seems that most people focus on the wrong things and don’t exercise common sense and then cry when they get infected (Front line workers exempted). Even the country’s president doesn’t know how to wear a mask correctly.
The mall is where you get to see the worst of humanity, as I have previously noted here, here & here. These days, they are full of covidiots. On a recent trip to Ambience Mall, I decided to observe them in detail and discovered that there are different types.
The first type are the ones who wear a mask, but keep their noses out of the mask. Their aim is to fool casual observers into thinking that they are fully masked, but the joke is on you, as their respiratory tract is actually completely unobstructed. They can get away with this in 90% situations with minimal inconvenience of a mask on their face.
The second type are the ones who wear a mask on their chin. They don’t pretend to be complying with mask rules, but have a mask dangling from their chin just in case someone challenges them, when they can quickly move the mask up and cover their faces like nothing happened.
The third type are the boldest. They won’t wear a mask at all. They won’t even pretend to wear a mask, nor do they carry a mask in their hand. They are above all this pretentious bullshit. They roam around openly without a mask, just waiting for someone to challenge them, so that they can inform them who their uncle/father is.
The saddest part of all this? It took me less than 2 minutes of sitting stationary in the mall to take these photos.