Stay Where You Are (Saigon Lockdown)

Expat Life Aug 20, 2021

The news last night was a bit depressing. There were 4425 new cases in Ho Chi Minh City alone with community cases outpacing lockdown cases. Another peak in the below curve may occur this weekend.

As a result, HCMC announced the "stay where you are" rules starting on Monday, August 23rd. With 1.2 million people on the street, a full lockdown was needed to stop the spread of the Delta variant. In short, you "cannot" leave your house for any reason. Everything will be closed. The military is supposed to prepare enough food for the whole city. We are not sure if we can even go to the markets for food during this week. We should know by Sunday.

HCM City to begin lockdown from Monday, military forces to help supply food to people
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has urged the country’s pandemic hotpot HCM City to impose its toughest COVID-19 prevention measures ever beginning on Monday (Aug 23) as “everyone is asked to stay at home”.

Traffic Everywhere

Due the "stay where you are" rules starting Monday, more people left their homes to stock on food supplies. I hate these days. Today I could not get into Bach Hoa Xanh since the line was too long. Family Mart had very few items in stock. I wish the government sometimes would announce the changes right when the curfew started at 6 PM. Then they can tell people that they can go out the next day with their passes/vounchers.

Below are some of the traffic in the Co Giang Ward area. It has been a long time since I seen traffic like this in the city. It is about 75% from normal still. You can compare with a previous video clip in this post.

Heading to Bach Hoa Xanh on De Tham street in District 1.

In the above video, Co Bac is still blocked but I can walk down it if I want. They were just cutting down on traffic. At the end of the video clip, you will see the long line at Bach Hoa Xanh.

Walking towards Family Mart on Co Bac street. A week ago there were very few cars along the road and hardly any motorbikes.

Co Bac in this video clip was busier than I remembered. I made it to Family Mart but looking inside, I realized there was nothing on the shelves. The staff were unboxing more items but I really did not want to spend another hour waiting.

Family Mart was empty so I walked back along Co Bac towars De Tham.

So this was the first time I came back to the house empty handed. Tomorrow I will need to see if GrabMart had any vegetables that I needed. My Lazada order will be canceled. I am lucky, I still have about 10 days of meals left. I still will head out tomorrow to see if I can get more groceries and noodles.

What next?

Nobody really knows. I need to extend my current visa since it expired last Sunday. Unfortunately we are not allowed to go to immigration during the lockdown. My visa expires in 11/2022 but I still have to extend it every 3-6 months.

In roughly two weeks I can take my second Sinopharm vaccine. That will probably help lower my anxiety some.

I am still waiting on news whether my alleyway will be locked in for 2-3 weeks or not. That news should come tomorrow.

Gonna keep this post short. I will add some updates when there are new news. It is easier to do this than write a new post sometimes.

Stay safe.



A Japanese Amerasian's Journey from the Caspian Sea to Vietnam. I am a RPCV Kazakhstan and a former US Marine. I am also the Tech, Social Media & Marketing guy for Baba's Kitchen.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.