It has been a difficult month for me to do anything in Bangkok. This Bangkok coronavirus has literally disrupted so many businesses and things are taking too long to get back to normal. Girls are out of jobs or they have returned to their villages. Traffic on the streets is almost dead and tourists cannot be seen anywhere. The economic downpour this has brought is terrible and the weeks ahead don’t look so great either.
Songkran is Cancelled
This may be the first time in my life that I do not know what to do in Bangkok. Additionally, with Songkran being canceled, there is nothing to do but wait till all this madness is over.
Recently, I heard that the Police and government officials in Bangkok banned the sale of alcohol for eleven days as an attempt to degrade the rate of spread for the COVID19 virus during the Thai New Year, or Songkran, which begins on Monday.
More than half the country’s known coronavirus cases have been seen in Bangkok. Authorities in Chiang Mai, Phuket and several other provinces have also called for similar alcohol bans.
Bangkok Coronavirus Bans Alcohol
“The announcement prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages at all shops,” says Bangkok Metropolitan Administration spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang. “We ask that all of you cooperate with the laws of our government.”
On Friday, Thailand had more than 2,500 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 33 fatalities. Thailand’s issued a state of emergency last month in an effort to encourage social distancing and slow the spread of the COVID19 virus.
The decision to halt alcohol sales in Bangkok came ahead of what’s usually a long holiday weekend to mark the beginning of Songkran. We all know that Songkran is normally a booze-soaked, day-long event that involves water fights and absolutely no social distancing. Songkran celebrations have officially been postponed this year in the neighboring country of Cambodia as well.
The ban on booze seems especially cruel to some, given the timing. Thailand normally prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. And under the state of emergency, there’s a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew. That meant anyone who wanted to stock up had just a few hours to do so. I saw a lot of people running around trying to make sure they have enough alcohol. The 7Elevens cant keeps up with the crowd.
Accidents will Stop due to Bangkok Coronavirus
There might be an upside to the alcohol ban, however. Fewer road fatalities have happened, which usually spike during Songkran, a period known informally as the “seven deadly days” for its high rate of inebriated driving. Thailand has one of the world’s highest rates of road fatalities otherwise.
Stay Home & Stay Safe
Personally, I am happy that things are controlled in Bangkok. I can’t wait for this period to get over and start reporting back to you. Earlier, I had written about mongering in Bangkok with the outbreak of coronavirus in the air. That should be highly disregarded now.