(Update: I was ignorant at the time)
If you haven’t heard about the Coronavirus, you might as well stop reading because I don’t have time to lift up the gigantic rock that you’ve been living under. The Coronavirus has been Fox News’s latest obsession. I go back and forth whether I should be scrubbing my hands as fiercely and frequently as mom constantly tells me, or press an elevator button before eating a sandwich without thinking twice. That said, regardless of whether or not there will be a large outbreak in SE Asia at some point, the lives around me now are being directly effected by the Coronavirus anyways.
Most of my friends are expats who teach English in Vietnam. Tet, the Lunar New Year, was a 10 day celebration where school was out and they were not paid. Not even a week later and every school in Vietnam shut down, and has been for the past two weeks to prevent an outbreak. That’s nearly a month of no pay for 90% of the expats living in Vietnam, and this will likely continue. My friend, who pinches pennies like the lead in “2 Broke Girls”, has been as emotional as one of the women in “The Real Housewives” after they try to make amends with someone over dinner, and ends with broken wine glasses on the floor.
Expats are not the only ones hurting. The government has been shutting down hundreds of local businesses. Thousands of people are losing money and opportunities. The police are even on the hunt for everyone in the country from China, and regardless of how long they’ve been here, they put them in the back of their trucks like animals and quarantine them for 14 days. A girl from China has been in Vietnam for months, and this week she’s been hiding out like Ann Frank because they’re looking for her. The song that instantly comes to mind is “This shit is bananas b a n a n a s!”
They’ve built several hospitals throughout Vietnam in preparation for this outbreak. I think that’s a wonderful way to be proactive. Yet, when it comes to other things they’re doing such as caging up humans like animals against their will just because of their race, and having no form of compensation for thousands of people, I’m like… Yo bro, can you chill?
WAIT. I understand with such little notice, only so much can be done. I get that first and foremost this must be contained rather than simply having what we need for when it comes. I do appreciate their thoroughness and care to contain the Coronavirus, but could their be another way to move through this without creating such detriment and chaos to the entire country? Keep in mind we have just about as many ill here as we do with other countries like Germany and the US.
I’m very open to the fact that I might be so ignorant about this. They’re very well could be people reading this and thinking “This bitch is an ignorant millennial that thinks things will be solved with positive vibes and some hand sanitizer.” I’m just speaking my mind based off of my experiences and conversations that have led me to this point writing you all now. All of which has me question “Is there another way?” I don’t think hand sanitizer and positive vibes are going to be enough to solve this, but I hope something does quickly so they find a way to get this country up and running again.