Virus Hacks: Thailand going to great lengths to keep distant

Photo: Tawinun Phoemphun / Facebook
Photo: Tawinun Phoemphun / Facebook

A pulley system enforces “social distancing” at a Bangkok cafe. A self-immolating button-pusher that cleanses itself in fire.

The same ingenuity that brought us puppy water-bottle life vests during the Great Flood of 2011 and no-bag shopping hacks in January is kicking into high gear as Thailand adapts to the new normal of viral anxiety. As anxiety grows over the COVID-19 crisis, so too are the creative ways some Thais are finding to adapt and survive.

Located on the campus of Kasetsart University in Bangkok’s Bang Khen area, Art of Coffee recently built a Rube Goldbergesque contraption of pulleys, rope, and wheeled carts to deliver coffee while staying the recommended two meters away. The cafe said it spent only THB2,500 on the system.

The innovative system at Kasetsart University’s Art of Coffee recently circulated online.

Those who can’t avoid pushing elevator buttons to get home or to work, worry not, some buildings are so considerate they have installed boxes of toothpicks and cotton swabs for residents to use – and dispose.


What about the planet, you say? Instead of wasting a bunch of toothpicks and cotton swabs, someone devised an even brighter system using a lighter. Video of a person connecting a safety pin to a lighter went viral this week as a clever way to torch any hated virus trying to catch a ride into your bloodstream. Pretty convenient, and there’s a vengeance aspect that definitely looks satisfying!


Photo: Nikon Suksan / FB
Photo: Nikon Suksan / FB

Street food finds a way, as always. A photo shared online by Facebook user Nikom Suksan showed a food seller handing out plastic bags of food to customers at the end of a long wooden stick. Great social distancing, uncle!


Face masks have been hoarded and consumers have been gouged. Possibly by their own government! Some people can’t afford to buy them and certainly not change them regularly as is advisable. So they find other things to use. Like this woman in a photo of unknown provenance shared online.

It would make us chuckle if it didn’t speak poorly to the measures some are forced to take.

“Some people may think the photo is funny, but I don’t. Thailand has come to this point? The point where people have to struggle for their own survival. Fuck you, Prayuth,” @Namtan3713 tweeted.


‘I don’t know who should be more paranoid.’ Photo: Tawinun Phoemphun / Facebook
‘I don’t know who should be more paranoid.’ Photo: Tawinun Phoemphun / Facebook

And yes, it’s forcing us to re-evaluate all those situations we find ourselves in close proximity.



No Bags Given: Creative Thai shoppers embrace life after plastic (Photos)
Thai Flood Hacks celebrates inundated inventions

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