‘New Normal’ in Covid-19 Era: A nursing perspective from Thailand

Suggested citation: Gunawan, J., Aungsuroch, Y., & Marzilli, C. (2020). ‘New Normal’ in Covid-19 Era: A nursing perspective from Thailand. Journal of theAmerican Medical Directors Association, 21(10), 1514-1515. [Free Download]

The new normal in Thailand has increased healthy behaviors. Physical distancing signs abound, barcode scanning devices are in use, and increased hygiene measures are normal, much to the celebration of nurses. The hygiene measures include the distribu- tion of face masks and the abundance of alcohol hand-sanitizing gels and hand-washing facilities for protection against spread of the virus. Following the lead and teaching of Florence Nightingale, a nursing pioneer, nurses understand the value of frequent hand washing, using clean water, selecting good food, and controlling infections.2,3 Nurses are happy to see our community !nally aware of their health.

However, although there are positive outcomes from the con- ditions like improved hygiene, there are negative outcomes, too. This is much like the yin and yang concept, whereas yin represents darkness and passivity and yang represents light and activity. These opposing concepts are necessary to maintain life’s balance and harmony.4 The negative stigma and discrimination against those infected with or suspected of having COVID-19, and even doctors and nurses, is crippling because they are considered a source of viral transmission.5 Furthermore, although some areas are considered green zones, or areas free from COVID-19, many people exhibit feelings of paranoia and people are afraid to have physical contact. In fact, in this dif!cult time, instead of people coming together for the greater good, some people may become more individualistic and exhibit feelings of isolation. The new challenge is to increase social capacity and increase the feelings of value to helpfulness to one another.

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