Tanet Vongvisitsin (Shan)
Accountant and Administrative Officer
Once hailed as a success story for its Covid-19 control, Thailand is currently going through a huge surge in Covid-19 cases due to the delta variant. As of 6 August 2021, Thailand recorded 693,305 Coronavirus cases and 5,663 deaths.
APCOM office is based in Bangkok, and since July 2021 Bangkok has been on lockdown until further notice, and we asked our staff to do a reflection on their Covid-19 experience in 2021.
Who would have thought that love can be found during the time of this pandemic? I started working at APCOM in November 2020, and was dating a guy then. But I was heartbroken by the end of the year. I then started using Facebook Dating which was relatively new, and met this guy in February 2020 – which I fondly call him “chat person” and everyone in the office knows him by this “name”. I was the first to make a move – he seemed kind and genuine.
I honestly wasn’t looking to have a boyfriend, I wanted someone to talk and connect with like-minded people. “Chat person” is a Thai chef. He was actually due to go back to work in England by the end of February, but had postponed his posting so we could spend more time together. Who knew that by the end of March we would be in lockdown, and that the pandemic is still raging now in Bangkok as we go into another lockdown in July 2021.
“Chat person” eventually left for England in May. I took time off work to see him off at the airport. I gave him an early birthday present, an Ipad as he likes to watch movies. We exchanged watches so we can remember each other when we check for time. He left some of his branded bags and belts for me to use. We knew our circumstances, but we didn’t know that there would be such a strong bond between us. Maybe because of the pandemic – it got us cherishing the things that we have. We are trying for a long distance relationship; we would video call each other once or twice a day. I imagine many more couples are having to do this if we can’t travel due to restrictions.
What I miss most is just being around each other, and doing mundane things together like going to eat at our favorite restaurants, and holding hands. I missed having that feeling that I have someone to care for and that I am being cared for. I remembered once, I said jokingly to my “chat person” that one day we will get married, and to my surprise he said he would like to get married to me! It is only a dream, of course, as same-sex marriage in Thailand is not legal, and now with the Covid-19 pandemic it seems to me that we have more pressing issues to worry about.
However, we hope it’ll be sooner when we get to meet each other again. England is doing well with their vaccines, but Thailand is not doing so well – so maybe I have to wait until next year to visit him in London. I would love to visit the Big Ben and Tower Bridge – walking along the Thames holding hands with my “chat person” again.