Tet is separated because of Covid-19


There is only one more week before Tet and Quang Thinh and his wife still have not dared to inform their 5-year-old son that their parents cannot go home.

“One year, 10 months apart, I still hope to reunite as a child. 47 years old, this is the first time I celebrate Tet away from home,” said Thinh. Every day, a couple from Hai Duong, currently opening a nutritious porridge shop in a coastal commune in Thanh Hoa, still calls their children. But no one has enough “courage” to say that they cannot be reunited during Tet.

Upon receiving news that Chi Linh City had 72 cases of Covid-19, the man was far away from his hometown, afraid that his family and relatives in the countryside had close contact with the patients. The weather in Central Vietnam was warm that day, but surfing the phone, his hands were shaking.

Thinh’s hometown is in Thanh Mien, about 50km from the translation center of Chi Linh. His family’s most recent return home was a month ago. The couple’s health is normal, so Thinh believes “there is no virus inside”. However, after the call home, the husband and wife of the porridge shop owner drove their motorbike to the local medical station to report the medical.

“It shows a sense of responsibility to the community and also a way to build the trust of an out-of-province salesman with local people,” he said. After the temperature declaration and measurement procedures, the couple went home, isolated according to regulations.

Because there is no risk of infection, he and his wife are allowed by the government to continue to open products to make a living during Tet days away from home. Every day, he asks neighbors to buy food for help, calls food agents to come, and places them at the gate. Buyers call to order porridge. Mr. Thinh put his food in the chair in front of the door. He leaves, new customers come to pick up.

Residents of Chi Linh, Hai Duong took samples to test Covid-19. Image: Ministry of Health.

Four years ago, Quang Thinh and his wife decided to join their children in Thanh Hoa to open a porridge shop to establish a career. For those years here, people in the commune with small children all came to his shop. “Translation time, understanding people encourage, and some people speak vulgar words. I do not mind, just think about being away from my children on Tet holiday, I love”, Mr. Thinh’s voice low.

When he was four years old, Thinh sent his hometown to school, cared for by his paternal grandparents. In a year, they spend the longest time together during summer and Tet.

This year, Thinh plans to return to his hometown on the 28th. As every year, the father will buy peaches and kumquats, the mother will prepare new clothes for the child. This year, when Tet comes, the translation will be “about”, you cannot return. “The inn is spacious to set up, but can’t buy Tet,” he smiled sadly.

Unlike Mr. Thinh, the Minh Duc – Huyen My family (the same 25 years old) lives in the heart of translation – Chi Linh City, Hai Duong. Mother Duc is a primary school teacher in this city, so she is in contact with many students and parents. If there is an F0 here, she could also be on the F1 list.

Right from the morning of January 28, when the media had not yet announced a new case, Germany had heard from his homeland. He immediately asked to leave the company and go home to quarantine himself. Huyen My has just undergone life-and-death surgery not long ago. They just returned to their hometown 20 days ago. The worry for his wife and parents at home took up his mind.

When Duc got home, Huyen My was in time to pack a mask, hand sanitizer and drugs to strengthen her resistance – which she still sells online, sent back to her husband’s hometown. Knowing his mother was stressed, Duc sometimes called back to encourage him. He also immediately made a medical report. Both husband and wife and parents in the countryside were instructed on home isolation for 21 days.

The outbreak of translation meant that Huyen My’s plan to return to her husband’s hometown to celebrate Tet was “broken all over”. Born and raised in Hanoi, she never had a Tet holiday. My parents divorced when she was 2 years old. Being able to eat a New Year reunion in a close family like her husband’s is also what My is very excited about.

Huyen My and his wife did not have an outbreak in the days.  Photo: Character provided.

Huyen My and his wife did not have an outbreak in the days. Image: Characters provided.

Since last month, the couple has discussed buying things for Tet. My said he would buy a lot of chrysanthemums, planted in a golden strip around the yard. She also packed the candy back home. At home, Minh Duc’s parents raised a flock of chickens, planted green vegetable beds to welcome the couple and their son back to Tet.

But translating until there is only half a month left to spring. “These days have been stressful, my family does not care about Tet or not. I just hope everyone in the family is healthy and will soon fight off the epidemic,” said her daughter-in-law Chi Linh.

This year should be the most meaningful year since marrying Hoang Hue, 30 years old, in Cao Bang. After four years of marriage, many times of oriental medicine treatment, she became pregnant earlier this year. The nickname “male perch” that the village tagged her has been removed. No longer obsessing about swimming with neighbors’ words because “she won’t be pregnant forever”, this spring, Hue was eager to return to her hometown.

“I have not been to class meetings in recent years because my friends are holding my children, I feel sorry for myself. But this year, the chat group announced the meeting, I registered to go immediately,” she said. She was born on January 7, but she still bought two more maternity dresses to go to Tet.

At the beginning of December, Hue showed signs of impending birth. Her colleague advised her to take leave early, but she wanted to work hard so she could stay at home with her baby more after she gave birth. Just a few days later, the epidemic broke out again. An employee in Hue company whose family is positive for nCoV. The pregnant woman suddenly became F2. Even though a colleague tested negative twice, Hue still had to isolate it in a room. Her husband works in the countryside, and for three consecutive days she can only call the delivery shipper at the door of the motel room.

Knowing that she could give birth before the due date, Hue could not return to her hometown. “The medical staff call me every day to follow up and it is important that I cannot be unconscious in the middle of when the country needs consciousness most,” she said. The only way Hue could have a husband by his side at the time of delivery was to pick her up by private car. After that, the couple separated at home.

“But he hesitated with this plan. He was scared, told to wait to hear more,” the wife was disappointed. For three days, lying alone in the motel room, she was both pained and upset because she could not go out in the middle of the time when she needed to actively exercise to give birth.

A Vietnamese panel won an epidemic in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City during the days of social isolation.  Photo: Huu Khoa.

A “Vietnam won a pandemic” panel in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City during the days of social isolation. Image: Huu Khoa.

After days of worry and anger, Hue assured herself that if she planned to give birth, she would run out of isolation. And if the “angel comes to the world” soon, the mother still believes she can safely pick her up. “In the middle of the capital, why do you have to worry about medical care,” she encouraged herself.

Mr. Quang Thinh also thought more positively. “Fortunately, where I live and in the countryside are not dangerous areas. Many families still have to separate, but they still get through,” he often encouraged when he saw his wife sobs. Mr. Thinh calculated that in a few days, he will ask the grandparents on both sides to buy Tet and encourage his son. Now with internet, the whole family will welcome the New Year online.

Huyen My’s parents-in-law “thanks to isolation”, realized that they were too busy over the years. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a long vacation,” the man who is now beekeeping tells his children. He intends that the chickens raised for Tet will eat gradually during the quarantine period. But he still saved a few children, so that on January 6th, the epidemic broke, the whole family would be out of quarantine.

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