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International student decides to face quarantine in Thailand earlier rather than later

A picture of the hotel room where Napat Sinthucharoen ’21 stayed for 14 days when he returned to Thailand in April. Sinthucharoen has to be awake most of the night because of the time difference between Thailand and the Midwest.

When you hear the word quarantine, you might think of staying at home and only leaving to get groceries or other essentials, but for Napat Sinthucharoen ‘21, the word means something entirely different.

Sinthucharoen stayed with the family of Michael Oehler ‘21 and Nathaniel Oehler ‘23 during spring break, and planned to go back to school after a week. However, once the news of school cancelation came out, he had to extend his stay.

Then head of school David Peters released an update that school would be held online for the remainder of the year.

This is when Sinthucharoen and his parents made the decision that he should return home to Thailand even though he would have to spend 14 days in quarantine after arriving.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, and we knew that I was going to be stuck in a quarantine, but it was going to have to happen eventually,” he said.

For the duration of this quarantine, Sinthucharoen was confined in what is basically a hotel room.

“I need to stay here for two weeks, and they provide us with a food box in front of everyone’s room at 8.00 AM, 12.00 PM, and 5.00 PM,” he said.

Being a traveler from the United States, Napat is considered a high risk individual, and his quarantine is handled very seriously.

“I’m not allowed to go outside at all, other than grabbing food, and tissue paper in front of my room every day,” he said.

Sinthucharoen doesn’t mind the quarantine, but the 12 hour time zone difference is the most annoying part.

“I’m fine with being in quarantine, but attending class from 8:00 PM to 3:24 AM in the morning isn’t very fun,” he said.

He also finds that doing work late at night is very difficult.

“Sometimes there is a quiz or test, and I’m not in the state that I can answer every question straight, because my mind doesn’t function very well late at night,” he said.

With limited resources available, Sinthucharoen is now having to get creative when it comes to simple tasks.

“With no washing machine, I have had to wash my clothes with my hands in the sink with detergent,” he said.

While it certainly is not the best situation, Sinthucharoen has made an effort to enjoy all the down time.

“When I’m not sleeping I am either doing homework, watching youtube, or playing League of Legends,” he said.

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