When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Phaiwan Chala lost his job as a truck driver. When he couldn’t pay the rent for his room in Bangkok anymore, he became homeless.
The exodus of Isaan people fleeing the COVID-19 outbreak in Bangkok was, in part, a result of government incompetence. It is not justified that they are now bearing the stigma of “super spreaders.” It also begs the question: “Why don’t these people take jobs in their home provinces?” asks Pattawee Chotanont.
It is estimated that at least 6.5 million people across Thailand will be out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For landless farmers like Suwalee Phongam from Sab Wai village in Chaiyaphum, the crisis only adds hardship to a life already hanging in the balance.
The Isaan Record14/04/2020
Readers in Isaan share their stories of how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected their lives.