There was a brief scare around Hanoi when some new cases of Covid popped up and travel was restricted to some areas and there was some concern that the travel that is associated with the Lunar New Year was going to spread the virus to all points of the country since this holiday is a time when everyone who has family returns to see them for a week regardless of how far away it is.
There are a lot of people that work in the cities that are from rural areas, just like anywhere else in the world, so the concern was that this could result in a massive spread to areas that don't have the medical capabilities to deal with a Covid outbreak.
I am happy to report that there, at least up until now, has been no reports of that being the case.
image included only because it is a completely ridiculous situation and I never actually saw it implemented anywhere
I've always been a bit apprehensive to believe that Vietnam has actually been successful in combating Covid. They are the subject of praise in the media all around the world for how fantastic they were at handling the outbreak compared to other countries but just like Michael Moore would say in the fitness equipment section of a store... "I'm not buying it."
There is one of two things going on here in my opinion: The rest of the world has some sort of political or financial incentive to bump their numbers, or Vietnam is lying about the actual number of deaths. I can say this because I actually have feet on the ground here and I know people that live in both major cities in this country - Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The city I live in isn't super populated, but I would be willing to bet that at 1 million inhabitants in a rather compact space, it is more densely populated than most places in the world.
We did have some lockdown measures that we groaned about when they closed all restaurants for a few weeks but other than that, we have been relatively lockdown-free for the entire time. I know people all over the world and NOBODY has had as much freedom as we have had in the past year with the one exception being perhaps Sweden.
There was some chatter about Hanoi being locked down for a 14 days and no one was going to be allowed in or out but since it happened around TET, I think the government realized very quickly that if they attempted to enforce this, that the people would not abide and they could see a revolt of sorts take place (this is pure speculation on my part of course) I can say this because people that I know were traveling all over the place during the TET holiday, and although they had to wear masks on the plane and in the airports etc, basically everything was "business as usual."
The outside world refers to Vietnam's "success story" of one of having very strict lockdowns in effect and I'm here to tell you that this is not true, nor was it ever. If you are in USA or Canada, the lockdowns restrictions that you are currently dealing with and have had for upwards of a year, we had for about 3 weeks. These days there is literally nothing that you can't do other than unfortunately, come into Vietnam if you are not Vietnamese and already living inside of it.
For example here is what I did yesterday: I went to the beach and went boogie-boarding. I walked there unimpeded and without a mask, on my way there and while I was there I saw maybe 1 or 2 people that were wearing masks. I played some beach volleyball with strangers, none of which were wearing masks. I then went and had lunch at a pub / restaurant - where no one, including the staff - were wearing masks, then I went to another bar and the same story was the case. In fact, I could have gone and did anything I wanted to and not only was I not wearing a mask, but I didn't even have one with me.
So if you ever hear the media talking about how masks and lockdown measures work I'm here to tell you first-hand that this is a big load of cowshit. I live next door to China and we share an 800 mile border with that country that is mostly unprotected. People come in and out of China right now for migrant work and as far as I know, this has not been problematic at all.
Other than the absence of foreign tourism, which the city I live in depends A LOT upon, life is exactly the same here as it was before Covid.
So while I do not think that Vietnam would just stand back and let its population die, this absence of preventative methods leads me to believe that what all of you are facing in the west right now is a bunch of political trickery. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it because I am currently living it.