The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic is Greater than Holiday Celebrations

HCMC - I’d love to tell you that I was going out to buy all essentials during this pandemic, which is somewhat true, but… I had other motives.

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A birthday card made by my children – PHOTOS: HARRY HODGE

On my wife’s birthday, I wanted to get a cake. However, before any negative comments arise, let’s acknowledge that many parents, like myself, have been taking care of their children at home since May. They have been teaching and feeding them, dedicating their time and effort. So, let’s be understanding and kind.

While I understand the public’s concern about the pandemic and unnecessary shopping, I made two trips within two days. The first trip was to gather missed items, and the second trip was to buy supplies for a birthday cake.

Some might argue that I could have bought a cake online. However, after searching online, my hopes of surprising my wife with a cake diminished as the options were either underwhelming or overpriced. This led me to embark on a mission to gather the necessary supplies to make our own cake.

For over a month, I have hardly left my neighborhood. The farthest I have ventured was the Citimart, approximately three kilometers away, at the end of June. During these trips, I feared getting stopped by the police and being asked for a document that I did not possess (and may not exist) justifying my reason for being outside.

However, during this cake mission, I realized how much Phu My Hung has changed since I last worked in the area less than four months ago. “For rent / cho thue” signs are now prevalent, and the streets are empty. As I drove around, I noticed that some supermarkets were open, but the lines to enter were incredibly long. I quickly realized that my needs were trivial compared to others who were standing in line to apply for government allowances due to their prolonged unemployment.

People queue up in long lines at the supermarket

In the absence of a cake, my wife and I decided to make our own and provide a sense of normalcy for our children. We understand that shopping and celebrating her birthday outside may not be feasible at the moment, so we focus on the joy of making homemade cards and being together as a family.

We acknowledge that Vietnam is doing its best with the available resources, and we continue to make the most out of our situation. Although brighter days are ahead, and we will be able to celebrate outside with our friends in the sunshine, for now, we wish my wife a happy birthday with all our love – from daddy, Cherry, and Speedy.