Vietnam returns to normal amongst happy locals and expats

Vietnam returns to normal amongst happy locals and expats

Vietnam returns to normal amongst happy locals and expats

Expats in Vietnam are savouring their new-found freedom as the entire country reopens.

It’s proof there’s life after lockdown, provided the government concerned does the right thing fast enough. That’s exactly what happened in Vietnam, whilst its near neighbours were struggling with the dichotomy of doing the right thing and the necessity of following their versions of political correctness. Vietnam’s social distancing ruling lasted just 22 days and was extremely effective, perhaps because it was obvious it would work if obeyed.

The country's version of opening up is comprehensive and includes local air travel as well as domestic tourism in the hope that the recession awaiting most of Southeast Asia won’t apply. Hotels are reopening and guests are booking, reassured by the fact that there were no pandemic-related deaths in the country. The border with China was slammed shut in late January, with all foreign visa entries suspended at the same time. During approximately the same time, Thailand racked up a total of 3,000 cases, a number which is now being questioned as inaccurate, Malaysia’s infections totalled just under 7,000 and Singapore’s 25,000 was nothing short of a disaster.

Expats living in Vietnam saw its government carefully isolating entire communities considered at risk, contact-tracing its citizens and quarantining all who entered the country by any means. Throughout the lockdown period, citizens were kept fully informed of recent cases and places to avoid by means of details broadcast twice a day via megaphones from trucks touring all areas. At any one time, everyone knew the locations of the most recent cases and could plan to avoid the risky districts. A combination of strict governmental management and relevant policies resulted in a miracle country-wide recovery from the threat of the deadly infection.

In Hanoi, expats and locals were excited when the lockdowns were ended, with many heading straight for favourite local coffee houses and bars. Before long, tables were full of young people thrilled to be able to be normal again and enjoy the café-focused youth culture of the region. Social distancing seems to be a distant memory, with happiness and friendship returning to an entire country and including its expats.

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