Here is an updated list of some of the most shared topics in the Lao social media this past week, based on reach and engagement on Facebook.
Where Not to Go
Lao Phatthana Daily News shared this useful poster of places that are high in risk of COVID-19 infections. The list includes markets, transport stations (passenger and cargo), offices, fuel stations, restaurants and entertainment venues, public toilets, hospitals, schools, airports, and airplanes. A large number of comments centered on why schools in Laos haven’t been canceled.
Songkran (New Year Holiday) in Thailand May Be Postponed to July
News that Thai authorities may be postponing its annual Songkran activities in Thailand to July shocked Lao social media users as the latter braced for the probability that their country would do the same to their Pi Mai celebrations. Feelings were mixed across all age groups on social media as a sizeable minority opposed the would-be decision and warned of the religious consequences of postponing such a sacred event (perhaps people could go to the temples and donate during the Pi Mai holidays using this digital solution?), while others would prefer to have it postponed or canceled altogether.
All Quiet On the Lao-Thai Border
On Sunday morning (March 15), the Vientiane-Nongkhai border, a time and place where typically large crowds of Lao people wishing to cross the Friendship Bridge into Thailand, was uncannily quiet. Ever since news of the “Peenoy” returning to Thailand from Korea broke, Lao people have been afraid to cross the border, fearing that many of them had returned to their homes in the northeastern Issan regions.
“Peenoy” means “little ghost” in Thai and refers to Thai labor migrants, estimated to be over 100,000, who worked illegally in South Korea.
Lao Firm Sends 1,157,465 USD Worth of Medical Supplies to Wuhan
Laos-based company Phongsabthavy Construction chartered a Boeing 737-800 plane of China Eastern (Flight MU 9005) to transport over a million dollars worth of medical supplies, including 200,000 N95 masks and 800,000 surgical masks, to Wuhan.
By and large, social media praised the gesture of goodwill to the Chinese people during this time of crisis while at the same time asking the charitable hearts of the construction company owners to look favorably upon their own people.