How covid-19 is affecting Thailand- an interview

Thursday, April 2

I am so excited to interview my friends Jon & Jenna Hudlow. I met them when we lived in Nepal in 2013, and they graciously showed us around Kathmandu on their scooters! It was our tradition every Tuesday to play volleyball together and then grab sushi! Such good times. The Hudlow's now live in Thailand and it was such a pleasure to interview them. Here they are below with their sweet son and a precious baby on the way....

1) Where do you currently live and what brought you there?
We have lived in Chiang Rai, Thailand the past 3.5 years. We moved with Love Justice International and Global Family Care Network after living in another nation in Asia for 4 years. We’ve been expats for about 8 years! We work against human trafficking and have based ourselves centrally in order to travel for our the work as it has expanded into 16 nations around Asia and Africa!

2) What do you love most about where you live?
Chiang Rai has a great international school and community, nature all around and a wonderful small town vibe that draws you into the quaintness of Northern Thailand culture. There’s no traffic, Thai food is amazing, and our regular coffer run costs only $1.50! Can’t beat that!

3) How has your city and country been affected by Covid-19?
We are not currently in Chiang Rai as we left the city to escape the smoke from some hazardous air currently being created by field burnings nearby. We are currently staying in a beach town outside of Bangkok, and lockdowns started this past weekend. Bangkok is on high alert and the country is taking suit. As of early April, the cases jumped from 272 to 1771 in a few short weeks, with only 12 deaths (so not too bad compared to USA.) We have great healthcare but many people are losing their jobs because of the decrease of 5-10 million of 18 million annual tourist from primarily China and other nations who stopped coming in January, which is significantly hurting the economy now. The famous sex industry bars and restaurants have come to a standstill in the abandoned red lights of Pattaya, and some parts of Bangkok and Phuket. A major water festival, Songkran, is coming up from April 13-15 which will find many infected people in Bangkok possibly traveling back to their small villages, potentially spreading covid even more. No foreigners are allowed into Thailand right now unless they are essential and neighboring nations with land border crossings have closed their borders.

4) How have you personally be affected?
We have been less affected by Covid 19, and have actually been more affected by field burnings causing very hazardous air in Northern Thailand this last season. We know the issues are hard close to home in the USA for everyone but it’s really been ok here in terms of Covid-19, so far. The main difference is the country is in lock down.

5) How have you seen God work in the midst of this time?
God is constant and never changing. We’ve experienced Nepal’s 2015 earthquake and blockage of goods from China. Those formative experiences helped us to recognize our neighbors’ poverty and serving others in time of greater need. We are thankful for our lives, the blessing of a new baby to come (it’s always a good time to have a newborn around), and in times like these it’s important to be mindful not to increase in selfishness. God will teach you this lesson time and time again but for us it’s important to recognize our privileges and not separate our personal circumstances from others around us.

Thank you Jon & Jenna for sharing!! Jenna's IG is @artfulbyjenna

If you missed it, I interviewed some a friend about how Nepal is dealing with covid! You can see it here:) 

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