All major shops are closed. Small shops are still open, but the local authorities might have a Choice crossword shirt check on these places. The central districts of Hanoi and HCMC are where lockdown was taken most seriously. In other parts it was more laxing. Shops that sell essentials such as food supplies still opened and full of supplies. Schools have been closed since January, which was continued from Tet holiday. This means students went on Tet holiday, when the pandemic broke out in China, and never came back until next Monday. There were several times when schools were set to open again but the plan was postponed due to second wave of the virus. Students have since then studied from home. All citizens, especially senior citizens are advised to stay home, and only go out when necessary (buying food for example). There aren’t police out in the streets to force you to stay home (communism, anyone?), but if you live in apartment buildings, the management boards of these buildings could set up check-in spots to control people who come into the building, as a measure of protecting its own tenants. Workplaces were still open, and it is up to the managers to let staff work from home or not. You can still go to work (depends on where you work). Grab bikes were still operating but Grab cars were suspended. Mandatory mask wearing in public places. You may not wear it, but if a guard see you they may ask you to. Ask, not enforce. Anyway, I have observed that most people did it willingly. Temperature check and hand santinizer in every place that you may still have to go to (the bank, for example).
So that was the lock down, or a Choice crossword shirt correct term to use would be social distancing. During the last third week, everything was gradually adjusting back to normal, mostly because people felt the risk was lower. Life went on not as unusual as we might have expected. We were not bound to stay home all the time but there was nothing to go out to anyway. I worked from home and went out only for food. Now I am not sure how strict the lockdown in Korea was, though I believed they did a good job and also had more resources than Vietnam. There are two reasons why the lockdown in Vietnam seems more full-on than Korea (though I am not sure about this; we did exactly what other countries are doing): 1. Korea had the capability to do pool-testing, which means they could test a large number of people for the virus and quickly contain the virus in these regions. Vietnam tested a lot but could only do it with the suspects, who had contacts with a confirmed case or with anyone that had contact with a case (one confirm case leads to five classes of suspects). This means Vietnam’s tactic heavily depended on restricting the contact with the virus. It was critical, then, to do a lockdown to make sure all the current cases could not spread any further. 2. Vietnam’s economy cannot afford a major shock had the pandemic gone further. It was critical to contain it as soon as possible.