In Thimphu life is almost normal in as much as any place can be normal in the pandemic. There is no community spread of the virus at this writing. It's amazing. Almost a miracle. Over six months in to the global pandemic, His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wanchuck, the Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering, the Health Minister Hon. Dechen Wangmo and the Foreign Minister Hon. Tandi Dorji have led us, and protected us. They've taught us to wash our hands, wear masks, keep social distance, don't gather in large groups, and do all of this for the benefit of ourselves and everyone in Bhutan. We haven't been perfect, but Bhutan just now is a pretty cohesive society. Wearing a mask when we go out is second nature.
Norzin Lam this week in Thimphu.
Their Majesties the Fourth and Fifth Kings along with the Prime Minister have been visiting places in the south on the border with India as these are places where there have been COVID outbreaks. They are worried about their people and the virus' emotional and economic impact.
We're so lucky that we don't have to be hyper vigilant in Thimphu. But there are issues. My biggest problem is getting vegetables. We usually get vegetables at the weekend market. Before the pandemic, the Centenary Market down by the river had vegetables, fruit, eggs, grains and meat from all over the region, including India. But now it's closed as the government is worried to have so many of us congregate in a large place. So vendors have set up shop on the sidewalks, in alleyways, wherever they can find a spot. And so yesterday I went looking. I found a man from Tsirang, a farming region in the south, who had come to Thimphu, selling vegetables and eggs out of the back of his truck. I got cabbage, broccoli, eggs, and lemons. It was a good day.
Hong Kong Market in Thimphu