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No one can say that these times are ‘normal’ and that they will go back to how they were before. For many of us who live on Koh Phangan, most as long as they can support themselves or are supporting each other are somewhat enjoying an early low season. Quiet times, peaceful atmosphere and a chance to reflect whilst being at home and living the same slow life but just a bit slower.
Yes, a lot of people are struggling. As we know because Koh Phangan relies on tourism which there is none of at the moment, the Burmese community especially are greatly affected, losing their jobs, income and homes. Also many of the Thai people are affected in the same way but the island has really shown what a lovely place and community it is and are helping practically as much as they can.
It is a strange time, one which makes you think more than normal and makes you evaluate life. How are you feeling? Are you happy with your life here? Do you miss your friends and family?
We hope that you all have a network of support of people to talk to. This could be easy if you have been here a while, a solid ‘island family’ that you always reach out to in times of struggle. Or it could have been made quickly in this time of need, strangers that have come together to make sure their neighbours are feeling alright and looking after one another's mental well-being.
As we know, it is not just stomachs that need feeding but also the mind.
It can be hard to reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed or down, you might not be much of a talker or prefer not to burden others with troubles of your mind. So each one of us needs to remember to check in with our friends and Phangan family, if you sense that someone needs an ear, help them to open up and reassure them that you are there to help and they can trust you. Even if you don’t think you can help as such, as the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
We hope you are all ok, practice self care, look after yourselves and each other. Talk to family often, even if they are not here and if you really don’t have anyone and need someone to talk to then we at Phanganist are here for you, just message or email us. Love to you all x