In the context of the Wuhan pneumonia pandemic spreading globally even some countries and territories around the world have issued a curfew order to prevent the disease from spreading, where to go and what to do during the pandemic period is probably the most asked question of all time.
There is a place to return to, that is home because there are people to love. That is why the majority of international students from all over the world flock to their home countries during the time the disease spread globally.
Parents who have children studying abroad are always constantly worried when the pandemic is spreading every corner of the planet, of which Europe, the US and Australia have had the most cases, especially when Western countries treat diseases differently than Asia.
Facing an increasingly complicated disease situation, on March 15, the group “Vietnamese parents and students community against Wuhan pneumonia” on Facebook, was born. In less than a week since its creation, the group has attracted 2,833 parents to share their concerns at this very difficult time. To date, the group has more than 3,500 members.
Many questions are shared by parents on this group, such as: For children to return home or stay? Is it safer for me? Will I get infected on airplanes or at airports? How to bring the children when many airlines postpone flights, many countries banned transit? What to do to help me when the school closes the dormitory I want to stay? Where to stay safely during the outbreak?
While many universities have closed courses and organized online learning, many Vietnamese international students in the West have decided to return to the homeland due to the fear of being infected alone. For international students, most of them are young, the disease is dangerous everywhere but where there are parents, families, that place is the safest.
Like many Vietnamese students, Chinese students in the US also want to return home in the context that the number of US cases has exceeded 100,000 and China, their home country, is no longer recorded new cases.
The urgency is hotter because the number of flights is cut significantly. On March 24, 3,102 out of the 3,800 commercial flights to and from China were canceled, according to data from VariFlight.
Chinese students in the US, children of well-off families, are persuading parents to spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy seats on private jets to return home to avoidi Wuhan pneumonia in the host countries.
Chinese students in the US are now looking for ways to get back in spite of 60 hours of private flights, accompanied by many transits across the Pacific, almost the only option in the context of the world is tightening borders and banning commercial aircrafts.
Ms. Annelies Garcia, commercial director of Private Fly, a business specializing in booking charter flights worldwide, said: “Educational institutions and schools are the representatives of Chinese families contact and try to group together to arrange a charter flight, due to the lack of flights from the airlines.”
However, the chances for such flights are closing very fast, causing high prices. Air Charter Service provides charter flights for passengers from Los Angeles (USA) to Shanghai on a Bombardier 6000 with 14 seats. The price of this entire flight is about $325,300 D, or about $23,000/seat.
Another group of people who also tend to go back to Vietnam at this time is the labor export force.
Overseas Vietnamese on the basis of labor export are those who work for a definite term (usually under 2 or 3 year contracts) in the host country. After the contract expires, they will have to return home. So for them, Vietnam is still their home, their family. They do not have many connections with the host country, it is merely a place where they go to work, earn money to send home or accumulate capital for themselves, preparing for a plan to return home later.
When the factory where they work stops operating under local government regulations, they will have the mentality of taking advantage of the country to visit their home, visit relatives instead of staying without working in the host country, just around hanging around in rented apartments.
It is a common psychology of people but especially in Vietnam, where the association of families, lineages, native land is still very close. Even in the country, those who choose to work far from their homeland often flock to their hometowns on weekends and public holidays. That is also the main reason leading to the traffic at the gate of big cities congested at these times.
In Vietnam, many people have chances to go to countryside to avoid the pandemics.
Many people think that in big cities, people are crowded, the space is cramped, ‘people coming in and out’ from all over, the risk of infection is higher especially for children, the resistance is still weak.
Moreover, schools are closed and organize online learning for students.
Therefore, many people who have families in the countryside decide to take their children away from the city, away from the facilities in the metropolis, away from dating friends to go home to avoid the pandemics.
In the countryside, the air is fresher, the population is sparse, only local people live and travel, so the risk of infection is less.
Moreover, in the countryside, farm produce is cheaper and their quality may be higher. For many, returning to their homeland with grandparents is an ideal refuge for children this period.
Many people who can work online are also ready to return home, living slowly to avoid pandemics which is spreading with high speed.
Not only Vietnamese people want to go back to their homeland, but also many places in the world also witness the people leaving the city to find the open space and fresh nature for the chaotic days.
In France, before the curfew took effect from 12pm on March 17, the light capital of Paris witnessed the evacuation of the people of the capital.
Many Parisians flocked to the train stations in the city and onto the highway to escape the capital before the nationwide blockade took effect to stop the spread of Wuhan pneumonia.
People evacuated to the countryside where they owned a second home or went to their parents, friends’ houses or even rented houses so they did not have to stay in a cramped apartment in Paris.
In India, on March 21, before news of a curfew, millions of people left large cities and rushed back home. At train stations in many states in India, millions of people congregate to return to their homeland, despite the government’s advice to limit gathering in crowded places and avoid unnecessary movement.
In the latest developments, the Vietnamese government has issued new and more stringent regulations to minimize exchanges and gather crowds.
Speaking at the Government Standing Committee on prevention of Wuhan pneumonia disease on the morning of March 26, the PM instructed from 0h on March 28 (for a week or several weeks and will consider the following details):
- Completely stop religious rituals and strictly handle local authorities if over 20 local people gather.
- Close unnecessary services such as massages, discos, tourist and sightseeing establishments, entertainment and entertainment venues, cinemas, draft beer bars, restaurants, etc.
- For Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, including Hai Phong, Can Tho and Da Nang, it is necessary to close all service establishments, except food, pharmaceutical and medical examination and medical treatment establishments. All the unnecessary services are temporarily closed.”
“Stay at home” has become a slogan sent from all over the earth, humanity is joining hands in the effort to prevent the terrible spread of Wuhan pneumonia. So what do we do at home? Ms. Giang Ha, a French citizen living in Hanoi, gave us useful advice: We connect with the community, we write, we interview, we tell stories, we join hands to fight pandemics with the strength. Do all we can in all circumstances. In the fight against this pandemic, it is not that no one is left behind, but rather that never leave yourself. Be soft and strong like water.
Hoang Lan from Hanoi – Thoibao.de (Translated)