I’m writing this mostly as a voice of a person now unable to leave Vietnam nor really wanting to. The US embassy has advised that US citizens that can should remain in Vietnam indefinitely. To stay here I believe you need a mindset that life is a day to day affair. Vietnam is not a difficult or expensive country to remain in. Just consider the following:
The borders are locked. It’s almost impossible to get in now unless you meet stringent prerequisites.
International flights have been curtailed and will soon be stopped. There is no reason to fly domestically anywhere.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has texted everyone with the rules for self quarantine and distancing. They do not stop exercise or walking in parks or trails. They do require face masks and they require no matter who if you have landed since 1 March to fill out health check and mandatory quarantine no matter if foreigner or Vietnamese. I came in two weeks before but have done the online health check.
If you find yourself in a similar situation try to take life day by day. Nothing is going to be any different until it is different. If in Southeast Asia use local resources like google maps to your advantage. Be careful at a reasonable and prudent level. Get the grab app and you can order food online and have it delivered.
For me I have the resources and have lived in Southeast Asia for some years. I have the basic things like an unlocked iPhone and a good data plan. I know my neighborhood and they know me. I’m not denied basic life needs like fruit, water and others.
Do not fear and be calm and take the day to day. I have Vietnamese friends that care about me and family in the United States that do as well. It’s more difficult for them. My daughter living on fixed income in Florida has a variety of issues around food and basic necessities. Rent at one point became an issue but the state government is providing assistance.
My main message is to accept that life is going to have a great deal of unknowns and don’t stress over things you don’t know. Be brave and resourceful. Get out and exercise. I walk and practice social distancing and record life with my camera. Practice good hygiene. Try living a simpler life. Keep your head in the present and don’t fret tomorrow. It will come and offer good and bad things no matter what you do.
If you find yourself like me and will be staying for an indefinite time try recording in a life journal day by day. When you look back in some future time you will be amazed at your courage and fortitude. Try taking pictures of life now in your country. Don’t worry about what it may mean tomorrow to stay. It likely is safer than America is now especially if you find yourself in Southeast Asia. Don’t be afraid of the government or immigration in your country. Just take on what life offers and see the value every day.
I’ll stay here until I don’t any longer. I don’t know when that is. My own embassy has little in the way of assistance programs. So here’s the final piece of advice:
don’t look back. You are not going that way
Just stay to today. Tomorrow will come and show you new things. We live in a time of great change and countries and governments are doing what they can and must do.
Think about starting a blog and give a new look to your life. Keep that daily personal diary. It’s all gonna change but we don’t know to what or when. This means you have the moments of today.
Live on folks. I am.