A week ago, I walked in to talk with a young woman at the church building. She has a shop there, so I stopped by to say hi. She was lying on the couch taking a nap. I figured it was an after-lunch type of nap and tried to quietly close the door and leave. In doing that, I woke her up. After apologizing for waking her up, she told me that she didn’t feel well. The reason she gave for feeling under the weather was exactly that, the weather. She told me that the previous day she had opened her balcony door while it was raining to bring the cool air inside. It was a windy morning and apparently some of the rain had blown onto her hair. It is a common belief in Thailand that getting rainwater on one’s head will make you sick.
Now the weather has been changing of late. It goes from blistering hot and humid to rainy and windy. This constantly changing weather does bring sickness to more people, but it isn’t the rain on one’s hair that does it.
What started with one person being sick has now spread throughout many in the church. The main reason for this is that Thais do not fully understand how germs work, along with their outlook that whatever is meant to happen will happen. This translates to sick people still doing and touching everything, like they were healthy. They are cooking in the kitchen at the café, working in public places, and generally going about daily life as if they were well. Most of the sick people have felt sick enough to go to the doctor and get medicine, but not cognizant of washing their hands extra with soap. All this has led me to catch the cold that everyone else has right now, even though I tried to wash my hands extra.