I would like to clarify…
I DO NOT HAVE CORONA VIRUS!
This week ‘Corona Mania’ has reached a new high on my run route. People are continuing to wear surgical masks everywhere they go, just as they have been for the last 4 weeks. However, now paranoia has reached a new level. As I run along the roads people are covering their mouths or running away from me. Just this morning, I watched one women, whilst driving, take her hands off of her motorbike to cover her child’s face as they rode by. I have been refused hotel rooms in two different towns and heard shouts of “Corona” instead of the usual “Hello”.
At first, I was cross and offended but now it just makes me feel sad. In the towns and villages where I have caused the most extreme reactions, I have been aware of a variety of ‘corona warning’ signs and banners. I have attempted to translate these banners and think they are advising to only spend time with family and stay away from foreigners to prevent infection. Vietnam currently has zero cases of corona, so it has done a great job at containing the outbreak, however it has also made me a threat and someone to be feared and cowered from.
The reason I am running is education. This extreme reaction reflects a lack of understanding and therefore a need for education. I shall keep on running!
Naomi (aka Nam)
P.S- The kindness of strangers continues and not everyone is reacting to this extreme.