Ho Chi Minh City is coming back to life!
For several months, Ho Chi Minh City has seen a series of government-mandated lockdowns which have been communicated through seemingly-endless directives, official communications, regulations, and determinations. One result was an incredibly strict, yet effective COVID-19 response. Another result was a virtually empty city. Streets previously swarmed with motorbikes were empty. A normally smoggy sky was bright blue. The constant buzz of construction and karaoke fell silent.
However, a few days ago, the Government of Vietnam issued new guidance that released the city from its 6PM curfew. Residents can once again go to work and to the grocery store, as long as they have the correct QR code showing their vaccination status.
Ho Chi Minh City’s government and citizens have sacrificed a great deal to keep their neighbors safe. For example, just this week, a reported 100,000 rural workers who were stuck in Ho Chi Minh City during the latest lockdown were finally able to return home to their families. And the pandemic is far from over: risks of rural outbreaks remain high, vaccination drives continue throughout the country, and strict quarantine and mask rules are still enforced.
However, the general sigh of relief is almost as loud as the backyard karaoke that has once again resumed across the street from our apartment. Welcome back, Ho Chi Minh City!