We arrived in Bangkok early in the morning on 7th of November, did our RT-PCR tests at the hotel at around 10:00 a.m. and spent a day in our hotel room very excited about our upcoming adventures – I was searching for hotel deals for the next couple of days in Bangkok. As I wanted peace of mind, I had brought some ATK test kits in my luggage. I did a test for myself, and my wife did one, both were negative. So, we told our kids that this day will be tough, but the next ones will be great.
We went to bed early. At around 9:00 p.m. a phone call woke me up. At first, I understood that everything is alright, but it turned out that the hotel receptionist was only talking about my wife and my kids. She finished the sentence by saying my results detected Covid and we must go to the hospital in different cars.
Then there were a lot of questions from us and a lot of – I will call you backs from hotel management. During that night, they updated or changed the information every hour or so. Probably it was also a new thing for them, and they were forwarding my questions to the hospital.
As I was feeling very healthy, I was also afraid that the result is a false positive and I might get infected in the hospital. I did not understand – which hospital will they take me to, how much it is going to cost and what will happen with my family, when will they be allowed to leave the room? I made some desperate attempts to ask for a second test in the morning, but it was not an option.
That night was terrible, we could not sleep, kids woke up at 1:00 a.m. because of jet lag and we realised that not only our holiday was ruined, but the next days are going to be terrible for all of us and this experience might cost us much more than the hotels I was searching earlier that day. I wanted to hug my wife and kids to say sorry, but I am afraid to do it, because I’m covid positive.
Next morning, I got transferred to the hospital– in an ambulance, with sirens on. Only thing that I knew about this hospital was that it has 2.7 stars in Google reviews so I was afraid to go there. The nurse was very nice and friendly, she was the only English speaking person I met there that morning.
When I entered the hospital, I was hoping that somebody will check me and recognize that there are no threats to my health. They took my blood and left a catheter in my arm, measured my temperature and blood pressure. Later that day, another nurse came and took an x-ray of my chest.
Otherwise, they were mostly talking about my insurance and possible payments, and filling various hospital forms in Thai. I was shown 300,000 on a phone as medical expenses. I told them that I need to think about this and call my insurance company. Later I got presented another sheet of paper which shows that I must pay for my room and other daily services (written in Thai) 5,900 baht/day.
And then finally a doctor called me, that conversation was very hard to follow – as he did not speak English, but he was talking to somebody else (maybe somebody who did help with translation) for several minutes and then every 2 minutes he told me a couple of fast sentences in English. I mostly just tried to ask for some clarification and tried to reformulate my questions, but what I think he told me was that as I am in quarantine, he is not going to see me in person, but I must take antiviral pills because otherwise my lungs are in danger. These pills, also, will cost about 10,000- to 15,000 baht.
While I was writing this summary, a nice women came in who spoke good English, I got some clarification about why they want me to drink antiviral pills (because my weight is more than 90kg which is classified as risk category in Thailand) but I finally managed to arrange another RT-PCR test. I told them that I will be happy to pay for that. Not sure if it will give any improvements to my situation, but I had to try that.
Hospital staff is friendly, but overall felling is very depressing, with all the absence of information and smothering with bills and inability to meet family or go outside. Insurance is supposed to cover most of it, but I cannot feel sure about that until it is officially approved.
I cannot get away from the feeling that I let my children down by dragging them on this adventure, flying 11 hours just to get locked in a hotel room. I knew that I was taking a gamble when I chose to buy airplane tickets as soon as the Thailand reopening was announced. But I thought that we will play it safe and chances will be super small. We lost that bet.