Hanoi is in a fierce fight right now against Covid-19, but it’s confident of winning the battle because the capital city has never been permanently defeated by any enemy.
Strange, difficult days
A world that had been rapidly changing with globalization and the 4th Industrial Revolution has suddenly slowed. Humankind, seemingly capable of conquering anything, now seems small and weak against a microscopic virus.
Vietnam has been able to contain the epidemic better than many richer countries have. Vietnam stands now as a beacon of hope: hope for overseas Vietnamese returning to the safety of home, hope for foreigners who have adopted Vietnam as their second homeland, and hope for humankind that there exists a stronghold against their common enemy.
The people of Vietnam, after an initial instinctive anxiety, have shown the same resilience they have shown for thousands of years. They have responded bravely to the call of their leaders to look after each other’s health and protect each other’s lives and not allow anyone to be left behind. Sneering cynicism has fallen mute before Vietnamese people’s humaneness and kindness.
Patriotism is stirred by seeing their leaders’ tired faces after sleepless nights spent directing the fight against the virus and persuading the public to make people’s lives and health their top priority.
From this fierce fight, stories of good deeds keep emerging: 95-year-old heroic mother Ngo Thi Quyt making facemasks to contribute her small part to the national effort, children donating their lucky money to the fight against Covid-19. Moving stories shared on social networks recall stories of the last wartime, when students volunteered for combat and aging war veterans said they were ready to return to the front.
This fight is difficult but it carries the benefit of giving humankind a pause to think about their behavior toward nature and toward one another. It is testing every country’s resilience, social cohesion, and the adequacy of its political regime. It is motivating every person to examine his or her lifestyle. In Vietnam it is recalling a tradition of solidarity in the face of an enemy and a tradition of helping one another in difficult times.
Love and faith
The pandemic is an alert for humankind and a challenge. The Vietnamese people need to remain unified and resilient, because every challenge is always followed by another, and the path to victory is always through danger and difficulty. Now is the time for every Vietnamese person, family, organization, and business to prepare for the challenges that are coming.
The fight will be long and difficult. National and individual resources are limited. But Vietnamese can feel confident that Vietnam, led by a political regime which always puts the people first, will ultimately win this new war.