Covid in Vietnam

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Craziness is in the air.

My crazy moment was when I was riding down the street to the ATM and saw a dog wearing a mask.

People are spooked and so are the animals apparently.

The new Delta variant have people worried. The Government of Vietnam have bought in the decree, directive 16. This practices social distancing. And I say “practice” for a reason. People are becoming complacent and masks are being worn at chin level. You can muzzle the dog, but not the people.

Caught without a mask, the Canh Sat (Police) will fine you 3 million dong which is about $130 US. A huge amount for a lot of Vietnamese.

There is food on the shelves of supermarkets now. We went crazy and bought enough for 3 months. Hold on, that’s how long it has gone on.

Crazy number 3. Our fridge stopped working. How do you eat 2 months of food. You don’t, you give it away.

The 2nd of August 2021.

I have been here 15 years and thought nothing can shock me anymore. How wrong was I. By 8am there were another reported 3,000 new cases of Covid around the country.

To the end of July 29th there were reported 128,413 cases with 31,780 people recovering and officially reported 863 deaths. The World health organization have reported 157,507 cases with 1,306 deaths. WHO.

From a vibrant bustling city, Ho Chi Minh has turned into a ghost town. The normal bustling coffee shops, bars and restaurants are all closed and many expats have gone home and the locals are suffering.

We have been in lockdown mode for 3 months and everyone is hurting. No work, no money, no honey.

A lot of English Teachers have gone home and those that remain are picking up work where they can. .On line teaching, remote tech jobs and selling their stuff. Cheap motorbikes abound. Prices go down when money’s not around..

Curfew is a word associated with control. Here curfew is not just a word. All citizens of Ho Chi Minh City must be behind doors by 6pm. 6pm to 6am. Let’s see what happens in 9 months time. The Covid generation.

Shopping with Covid.

Go to the shops, show a docket. A Vietnamese lady was knocking on my gate. Gates, locks and spiked fences keep those burglars away. She shoved a piece of paper in my face. And in my basic Vietnamese I understood she said. “need it to go shopping” So we have set days we can go to the shops to buy food. Great if you don’t have a fridge.


Most Vietnamese still shop at the traditional markets. But these have been closed by the Government and you can only shop at Supermarkets or the local green stores called Bach Hoa Xanh.

If your local shop is open, they have given a special gift to the local authorities. $$$. There is a twenty million dong fine if they are caught trading without being NICE. Welcome to Vietnam. A quick rule of thumb for monetary conversions is halve it and take off a bit more and some zero’s. About $900 US.

You will get used to it after your first taxi ride. Beautiful people who love money.

Gas (petrol) has amazingly come down in price. But no one can go out or travel far . Just about everything else has gone up. Meat, vegetables , rice, all the prices have gone up.

Can I teach?

Yes you can, but it will be on line. The “scuttlebutt”, gossip, call it what you will, is that schools will re-open in September. I have been here a long time and I am waiting to find out the same answer.

Crazy number 001.. When I first came to Vietnam I was teaching in an English center. Lots of great students, long hours and ok money. I was tired so my friend organized a “Xe-Om” for me. A “Xe-Om” is a motorbike taxi. So here I am, really tired and saw someone who waved. Kool, I thought. I am going home. I jumped on the back of the motorbike and said, Di Di. Go Go.

He turned around and gave me a sheepish grin. Very nice but bemused. Then one of my students came out and said, why are you on my dads’ motorcycle. I looked around and saw my “Xe-Om” driver laughing and gesticulating uncontrollably. OMG.


Teaching in Vietnam will be back to normal in September. Rumors. The government will have the Corona virus under control by September. Rumors..

What I do think is that any teacher who comes to Vietnam will be required to have the Covid vaccine.

Some websites are talking about free food and gifts for all. My family and the people in my street are still waiting. What is said and what happens are two different things. 1.5 million Dong for each family. I must be blind.

I do not want to debate if it has been tested enough or whatever theories there are. But I am pretty sure if you want to walk into a classroom you will need to show that you have been vaccinated.

A Message.

Vietnam is a strange and wonderful country. The people here are the same as everyone. Beautiful, ambitious, challenging and sometimes obnoxious. We all bleed the same color. We all come from the same world. One day we will all realize that.

This is the time for those who can to help. Help your family, help your friends.

We are all living in crazy times.

Wrap it up.

After I started my website,, I never thought I would be writing about Covid-19 or directive 16 or the Delta version. I just wanted to help teachers. Now I want to help my neighbors as well.

Vietnam has suffered a lot in the past and here is a small record of what happened and their new History.


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4 thoughts on “Covid in Vietnam”

  1. Covid has adversely affected the whole world and has drastically changed many things in everyone’s day to day lives. I can relate to what you have mentioned here, about the situation in Vietnam. 

    Unemployment, rise in prices of essential commodities and food supplies, and strict curfews are among the few things that I find to be overwhelming.

     I hope the situation in Vietnam as well as other countries improves soon.

    Let’s hope for the best!

  2. Vietnam is a lovely country with beautiful people. One of the things that has always driven me to Vietnam is it’s food. But I am sad to hear how the country has been affected by COVID-19. I wish better days are ahead.

    On a lighter note, I also saw a dog wearing a face mask about a week ago, LOL!

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