How are the people in Vietnam

My life in lockdown: Corona crisis in Vietnam: "If you see someone who is coughing, you can inform the police"

In the series "My Life in Lockdown", GEO telephones people from Alaska to Zimbabwe: 7.752 billion world citizens are affected by Corona. How do you deal with that? Ha Le Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam answered our questionnaire today. Most of the restaurants, bars and hotels are closed. The police control the establishments and hand out respiratory masks on the street.

Corona situation in Vietnam on March 30th, 2020: 194 known cases, 52 recovered. Schools and universities have been closed since February, and many training centers remain closed until mid-April or even until May. The population is asked to go out only for important work and shopping. Many restaurants, bars, and cinemas are too; a curfew has been imposed in Hoh Chi Minh.

How do you work now

I sit at home, we live with six people in one and a half rooms. Actually, there's not much I can do. An IT internship that I wanted to write my thesis about has been canceled due to Corona.

How are you busy

I get bored, play computer games with friends, pet the cat. I actually wanted to go to the cinema with a girl I really like. But Mai, my mother, said it wasn't a good idea. Now all we can do is chat until the end of the month.

What is the biggest challenge for your neighborhood?

Many people live in very little space in Hanoi's Old Quarter. It is difficult to reconstruct who has been in contact with whom in infected people. When I came back from Germany, everything here was still full of tourists.


What does the health care look like?

We have few hospital beds, so the rules are very strict. Anyone coming from abroad has to be in quarantine for 14 days. So that there are no new infections, we should stay at home as far as possible until the end of the month. We also all need to fill out a health check-up form.

How do you find out more?

The government has set up very good pages on Facebook, Instagram and Vietnamese social media. She even had Corona songs composed, which are very popular. The Ministry of Health also contacts us directly via social media. And it publishes who is in quarantine. If you see someone coughing, you can notify the police. We have a couple of new cases because people hid their symptoms.

Do you have supplies at home?

Yes, but not many. Just for a month or two. Otherwise they will spoil afterwards.

What is your family eating tonight?

My mother is currently making fish soup. We also eat rice.

Is there anything good that has arisen in your neighborhood from the Corona crisis?

The streets are emptier and cleaner than they used to be. And I see that everyone obeys the rules: They wear masks and have their own disinfectant with them.

What are you afraid of?

From sick people who do not adhere to the quarantine.

What gives you hope

Vietnam has developed a corona test that can detect the virus within two hours. This is now being sold in other countries, including Germany. I hope that Vietnam is doing the world a good service with this.

If you were in power, what would you do now?

I don't have the expertise to do this.

What is your advice: How can everyone help overcome this crisis?

Don't go out anymore! Unless it's a matter of life or death.

What do you think the world will look like after Corona?

We will become more careful in contact with others. You Europeans like to hug each other as a greeting, in Vietnam we do this ourselves in the family if necessary on special occasions. And we only shake hands at official appointments.

When was the last time you laughed heartily?

Laughs. Yesterday, no, now. What a strange question. Even in war, people still laugh. We are confident but cautious in the corona crisis. We live in the here and now.

Interview: Ines Possemeyer

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