Expat Sprays Water to Disperse Crowds Amid Social Distancing

Scott Rickard, 33, sprayed water at his neighbors in an attempt to stop people gathering during the pandemic.

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Expat Sprays Water to Disperse Crowds Amid Social Distancing
Scott Rickard. Photo courtesy of Scott Rickard

Scott Rickard, who lives in HCMC’s District 7, reportedly saw a group of neighbors gathering on the street when he was watering at the balcony on Tuesday night, and decided to take matters into his own hands

“I guess they were doing some exercises. It’s 8 p.m. They were obviously flouting the curfew currently in force,” Rickard told Zing. “I don’t speak Vietnamese. So I used the water can to spray water to warn them. I had no choice.”

The Australian expat said he only did this for warning purposes, and no one got wet. However, some were left angry with his actions.

“I thought of reporting them to local authorities, but I was afraid they would have left by the time the police arrived,” he said. “Violators like this only worsen the pandemic, likely lengthening the social distancing period. I believe we all want to go back to normal life.”

Rickard has been living in Vietnam for 4 years. He said he had seen the country battling all coronavirus waves and was concerned he would contract the virus one day. He, therefore, only goes out to buy food and strictly follows the 5K rules.

Expat Sprays Water to Disperse Crowds Amid Social Distancing
A view from Rickard’s balcony where the neighbors gathered underneath. Photo courtesy of Scott Rickard

“There will be some people getting angry at what I did. However, I am also a Vietnamese citizen. I want to show my responsibility to the common issues in the community,” Rickard said. “I want people to realize that we expats love Vietnam very much. Vietnam is my second home.”

“I hope the Covid-19 pandemic will be contained soon.”

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s economic powerhouse, has become the epicenter of the fourth coronavirus wave which struck the nation in late April. It has recorded 137,008 local cases so far, the highest in the country. The southern metropolis has gone through multiple consecutive social distancing orders under Directive 16, with the latest one expected to be extended for a month starting August 15, according to VNE.

Directive 16 requires people to stay home and only go out for necessities like buying food or medicine or to work at certain factories or businesses.

People must keep a distance of at least two meters. No more than two people can gather together in public apart from work, schools, or hospitals. The majority of public transportation will be shut down and there will be no travel between localities.