By Monday 8th February Vietnam was facing it’s 4th wave of the Corona virus and with a lot of concern as the holiday was only 4 days away. Many people had already finished work and had chosen to travel back home early and so it was a difficult job for the authorities to ensure prevention of the virus here. Shocking news came first thing in the morning that 4 of the people who tested positive yesterday are baggage handlers at Saigon (HCMC) airport, today they closed down an alley where they live in District 12;
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210208/ho-chi-minh-city-blocks-neighborhood-alley-as-local-residents-infected-with-covid19/59203.html
The total number of reported cases in Vietnam had now reached over 2,000 and people were definitely getting worried.
Despite the increase in cases recently there still hadn’t been any more Corona deaths reported and Vietnam was still on just 35 in over a year. An interesting article stating how low the death rate is over here compared to USA and UK can be found here:
https://vietnaminsider.vn/why-covid-19-death-toll-ratio-per-million-remains-extremely-low-in-vietnam/
Later that day we realised just how lucky we were coming back from Saigon when we did as more airport postive cases in HCMC were reported:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/871679/airports-nationwide-on-highest-alert-following-30-new-local-covid-cases-at-hcm-city-airport.html
By 5pm more cases linked to Saigon airport were reported and we suspected Tet could get cancelled:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/871724/govt-orders-hcm-city-to-strengthen-covid-preventive-measures-as-25-more-test-positive.html
One of the good things here in Vietnam is that swift, decisive action is taken to prevent as much spreading as possible and by the end of the day more lockdowns in specific areas were implemented:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210208/ho-chi-minh-city-seals-off-dozen-of-locations-amid-covid19-concerns/59210.html
Meanwhile, in our Phong Nha world, we were carrying on as normal…….

With Tet holiday coming up the loud speakers around the village had been fixed and were very much in use from 5.30am each morning now. On Monday 8th February extremely loud and distasteful music echoed around our building from 5.30am. Captain Caveman left for Phong Nha at 7am and had decided to go to Dong Hoi at 9am for a pre-Tet shopping trip. I wasn’t invited because it was raining and I would slow him down moving from one place to the next so I stayed at home. I had an apple and a gluten free cookie and then was ill with a bad stomach for most of the day. I did a lot of French on Duolingo, a few crossword type puzzles and some blogging, once the noise had calmed down a bit. For my lunch I heated up my leftover Sunday dinner and then the afternoon was even noisier so I tried to chill out by using Captain Caveman’s noise cancelling headphones which still didn’t completely block everything out. I watched The Dig, a film on Netflix and it was pretty good but a JCB had started ripping the banana tree garden up outside our living room window and I could still hear it. I’d got out some frozen meat for Captain Caveman to make pasta with for dinner but he forgot and made an incredibly salty French onion soup which I hardly ate any of. He had bought loads of stuff in Dong Hoi and had managed to meet up with our friend, Trang, at Tree Hugger for white russians and sandwiches.
That evening we settled down to watch some Netflix in the living room only to find the account was no longer accessible and the account had suffered an attempt at being logged in from Nghe An, a lot further north than we are.

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