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What are your thoughts on adapting to the “new normal”?

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened uncertainty around the economy, health, finances, travel, and employment. It is key to adapt to these changes and navigate the future proactively. This situation, dubbed the “new normal”has resulted in a different routine so Vientiane Times asked for people’s thoughts on how best to adapt to changing circumstances.


Mr Khamphon, an official in Vientiane: Because of the pandemic, everyone needs to adopt a new routine to ensure they don’t take risks and will survive. It’s not easy to change our ways, especially when it comes to social distancing, but we must do this in order to stay safe. Unfortunately, some people don’t respect the rules and go out without a face mask or any other form of protection. I think the authorities should provide more information to make sure everyone understands and obeys the restrictions that have been put in place.   

Ms Khay Ketmany, an employee in Xaythany district, Vientiane: I think there are a lot of things to worry about, especially economic issues, our future, our careers, and our work. There are also some practical issues that are driving this anxiety. Today everyone in Laos is having to adapt to a new normal as we battle an unprecedented outbreak of the virus. We should try to change the way we behave and learn to be more careful, but not live with a sense of alarm.
Mr Johnny Inthasom, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: In my opinion, because there were very few infections in Laos until recently, most people carried on as usual. But because many people didn’t take precautions we are now facing a real outbreak of the virus. We are living in times that are different from usual. We should all try to adapt and learn from what’s happened in other countries, especially by reducing social interaction. Schools and universities have moved online and Zoom meetings that allow people to work from home are common. We must all behave responsibly and safely so that everyone remains happy and safe. 
Ms Somphathai Phetmany, a resident of Luang Prabang province: province: I don’t really know what is meant by the “new normal” or how to adapt to it. I only know that I must do what I can to protect myself and my family from the virus. And that I have to earn money somehow to help my family survive these times of economic hardship. It’s harder than ever to find a job and lots of people are unemployed. This all means we have to spend less.  I’m worried that the number of people with the virus will increase because most people don’t bother to observe social distancing. In my village, people still don’t understand how to adapt to the new normal.  I think the government should give people more information about it, especially in remote areas. This will ensure that everyone can adjust to and accept the situation.
Ms Noy Viphavanh, an employee in Vientiane province: I think the most important thing is that we change the way we live, especially with regard to our health. If our health is good, we will have stronger immunity against viruses. And if we are healthy, we can do most things better. I exercise by jogging and playing sports and I eat and drink things that are nutritious. We should strictly comply with government guidelines when going out because today everywhere is unsafe. Making changes to our routine and behaviour is something that everyone must get used to. I urge everyone to be more considerate about social distancing and practise good hygiene to protect themselves and their families.



By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update April 28, 2021)

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