Editor’s Note: The following story deals with suicide. We don’t often cover these stories but as the context relates to the current Covid-19 situation in Chonburi and Thailand and related measures and restrictions that led to this tragic decision we decided to run this story. If you or someone you know needs help we have a list of resources here. Please reach out for support here if you need it
A young Cambodian migrant worker was pronounced dead from suicide this week in Chonburi after reportedly struggling with depression following recent Covid-19 related hardships in his life.
The victim, whose name was not disclosed per our policy, was only 24.
The incident took place around 6:00 PM on Tuesday, January 19th, in Mueang Chonburi at his rental home. Pol. Lt. Col. Somnuk Mumthong from the Samet police responded to an initial phone call about the incident. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The brother-in-law of the victim, who goes only by his first name of Mai, said his relative worked at the Ang Sila fish market, one of several markets that had been connected to an original outbreak of Covid-19 from Samut Sakhon. As a result, the victim had lost his job after business at the market plummeted due to fear and concern from local residents that they could possibly catch Covid-19 at the market, despite consistent reassurances from officials that seafood could not spread the virus and that the market was safe. Many shops were closed, some temporarily and some possibly permanently. With travel to Chonburi restricted as well to and from the province and migrant workers forbidden from being transported to other jobs Mai’s brother-in-law reportedly ran out of money.
According to Mai, many workers lost their jobs, and being migrant workers had no way of getting government support or funds. The borders are currently closed and the victim could not return to Cambodia currently unless he attempted to do so illegally and border patrols had significantly stepped up enforcement to avoid this happening. The victim’s wife and young child were in Cambodia and according to Mai, the separation was also part of the tragic decision.
If you or someone you know is feeling depressed, needs assistance, or someone to talk to please reach out. Here are some resources here: Please reach out for support here if you need it