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The long way home: State quarantine in a Bangkok hotel



Last week, Globe reporter Wanpen Pajai returned to her native Thailand from the Netherlands. Beyond bureaucratic hoops, stringent health checks and now state quarantine, along the way she has also encountered human stories from people impacted by the pandemic.

State quarantine, being stuck in a hotel room for fourteen days, sits in that unique spot somewhere along the spectrum between a paid-for vacation and short-term prison.
Since April, Thailand has closed its borders and banned international passenger flights to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The hotel – a complex of eight-storey modernist blocks, each different shades of brown in the middle of rice fields and next to a small river – is in Samut Prakan, close to Suvarnabhumi Airport and industrial warehouses. "Turn on some soft music or Buddhist prayers. It can help you to relax." Within seconds, other people chimed in and confirmed the calming effect of Buddhist prayers – a soothing reminder that everything will be okay and to be in the present moment.

His spirit knows that I’m back home. It’s okay, I’ll go pay my respects when I’m out of quarantine

This article was written by WANPEN PAJAI

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