New (not) Normal

The week has started with change; from abnormality to a “New Normal” way of living

For a month or so, Thai people have lived in an “abnormal” circumstance as the state of emergency was declared and restrictions imposed against their normal livelihoods in attempt of the state to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the trend that is also occurring in several parts of the world.

As the country had observed a declining trend of the spread of the virus, with the number of new confirmed cases having fallen from over a hundred to one digit over the past week, the government then decided to put a plan to ease some restrictions on the table, by which the Cabinet endorsed on last Tuesday.

Under the new Cabinet resolution, extension of the state of emergency which was first enforced from March 26 to April 30 was approved, enabling four key restrictions to remain in place for another month including the curfew between 10 pm to 4 am.

However, the Cabinet also approved the easing of some restrictions for some businesses and acitivities so that social and economic activities could be resumed to some extent.

This will be divided into four phases, based on epidemiological risks and needs. The first six picked for the first phase largely involve people’s basic needs, ranging from markets and supermarkets to restaurants and beauty salons. (Read: “New Normal” officially instructed )

Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, the CCSA’s spokesperson called this as “the turning point”, “the transition”, “change”, “the New Normal”, but whatever it is, it has now become a new way of living that Thai people are trying to live on while still much struggling, as seen in the past few days.

Beauty salons and barber shops are allowed to reopen with hygienic and disease control as well as social distancing measures required. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
A salon owner shows a clip of his shop’s cleaning. Several salons have invented their own protection gears including plastic curtains to shield them from customers. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
A hairdresser tries spraying disinfectants in her salon. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
The city’s famed Erawan Shine has re-opened to visitors since May 1 with new requirements of some hygienic measures. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Traditional dancers return to the stage at the Erawan Shine with mask shields on their faces. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Dancing in the mask shields, the New Normal way at the Erawan Shine. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Social distancing in one cafe; please do not lift the chair down dear customers! (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Some restaurants arrange “social distancing” for their customers with various tactics; from keeping tables at least one meter away from one another to corriboard installments. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Temperature checkpoints are popularly deployed in front of public venues including markets and supermarkets. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Security officers inspect one food market to see whether it is ready for re-opening. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Fresh and food markets and stalls are equipped with simple protective gears like plastic sheets. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Fresh and food markets and stalls are equipped with simple protective gears like plastic sheets. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
Alcohol is generally served at customers’ convenience. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
People flock to public parks, which are re-opened for them for exercises, with masks. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)
A nun’s “New Normal” livelihood. (Photo: Sayan Chuenudomsavad)