This made me think of life after the longtime lockdown and things we call “new normal” in Vietnam particularly Saigon Ho Chi Minh City where I have lived in almost for 20 years, the country’s largest with 10 million people.
On the first day the government lifts some lockdown restrictions, Iife is really and finally getting back to normal after many times we hoped the lockdown should be lifted sooner. The first sound when I hear in the early morning like usual before is the sound of different vehicles driving on the street with different noises, to make sure this is true, I look down the street and yes, many people I can see, this is real, we finally have many people again to make Saigon is the largest city of the country.
Having the first time again seen the city and driven around familiar roads is the new feeling for me. Roads are not really crowded like it is used to be but if we still can see healthy people moving on roads, that means life still goes on and it brings hope to many sick people who are trying hard to recover from the covid.
We find the new normal to living with the covid, we don’t hide or avoid each other if we have infected persons in our family, friends and community. People with serious symptoms will be moved to hospital for special care and for ones with mild symptoms stay home. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid the fact we are having more infected people in family and everywhere so we decide to protect uninfected people the rare ones by keeping them in separate room. It looks like opposite here in the family infected people will take care of uninfected ones to keep them safe, since if there are 5 people in family, usually have 4 people are infected and only 1 person is not yet. And 1 cannot take care of 4 at the same time, so 4 infected people take care of each other and 1 uninfected. That is the life we call “new normal” here in Vietnam.
We might have changed our culture a little as many families like to eat out in the evening and weekends. However, after the lockdown, seem many people prefer to spend more time at home and they only go out when it’s necessary as people seem cautious about robbery on some roads are still empty and very little shops and people on it. And many people are cautious more about getting the covid somewhere and bring it home that is not safe for other people in family that old people is more concerned. Restaurants here focus more on online orders, food stalls only open from 6AM to 2PM. After the lockdown, we lost many legendary traditional food stalls in the city, they don’t open again as owners are too old and they concern more about their health, we are sad to see them close forever as it is a part of Vietnamese’s culture is proud to introduce the favorite places to friends from other countries and the legendary food stalls are popular known to tourists for the reason they come and explore the city.
I have heard from my friends who working in buildings and our business partners in production areas, they are requested to test the covid like 2 times a week before they enter buildings and factories. Many factories are facing with the big shortage of workers, as many workers and some staffs have left the city for their hometown during the pandemic, so the current situation is very challenged for running business with not enough workers/staffs as some infected workers/staffs have to stay home for 2 weeks at least if they found getting the covid.
2022 is coming soon in couple of days so we are hoping there will have more good news on vaccines so everyone in over the world soon can feel the life again for travelling everywhere they want and for meeting their loved ones as well as new ones in their life. New normal will be soon back to normal where we are used to be stronger and open freely.
Thank you for reading. May the new season find you all joy and happiness with dreams come true. Best wishes from the Hoare Group.
Written by Vincy Tan