A personal observation
Visiting Vietnam from 7-12th February 2020 was indeed a perspective-changing experience for me. It was that time when the COVID-19 had just begun hitting India and was a little more widespread in Vietnam. Hence, to ensure the safety of my fellow travellers, I ensured that everyone wears a mask and also met the Indian embassy in Vietnam to personally discuss the situation and how the Vietnamese are dealing with it.
On reaching Vietnam, I observed something absolutely commendable. Everyone was wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Also, the receptionist of our hotel was using a sanitizer and asked us to do the same. She said that they follow this practice because they welcome visitors from all around the world and can’t say which germs they might be carrying. In fact, wearing masks, using sanitizers regularly and practicing social distancing are basic rules of a Vietnamese’s life. They truly define “Prevention is better than cure”, which is why the country has not reported a single death due to COVID-19, despite neighbouring the epicentre, China.
Some observations from my trip to Vietnam, which I strongly believe should be part of everyone’s lifestyle, regardless of the pandemic are:
- Face masks should be made mandatory for everyone:
This habit is one of the most effective preventive measures against air pollution. Vietnam is the second largest user of two wheelers in the world. Despite this, the Vietnamese are not much affected by it because of their practice of wearing face masks when stepping out of their houses. This also prevents them from germs which fellow commuters might be carrying and protects them from dust or other harmful remnants in the air.
- Maintain social distancing:
Maintaining physical distance is a good practice and indicates good hygiene. It prevents the spread of germs and promotes good health. Over gathering not only increases chances of spreading germs or viruses, but also reduces waste and pollution. Thus, indirectly saves the environment and will make the world a more peaceful and safe place to live in.
- The use of sanitizers should be made compulsory at gathering hotspots, hotels and tourist places:
Using sanitizers is a very basic hygienic habit that kills germs and bacteria off our hands. This must specially be practiced in crowd-packed areas, hotels and tourist spots because the public here comes from all over and it’s unpredictable who is carrying what harmful particles. Tourists come from faraway places and have travelled long distances to reach the destination. On their way, they might have attracted harmful microbes, which can prove dangerous to them and people around them. However, this can be prevented to a large extent by the usage of sanitizers.
These are basic hygienic practices and we must not wait for a pandemic to implement these. These modifications in our lifestyle are also the future of travel. They will revolutionize travelling and make it safer for everyone. I believe that if we implement these changes, we will live healthier lives. Let’s all vow to practice healthy and hygienic habits and stay safe.