Many people have asked us how is coronavirus situation in SE Asia. Is there the same or worse panic like in Europe or USA? I am not sure. It is very hard to say. Asian people wear face masks anyway when they have a cold, or allergies or simply to protect themselves from air pollution. We didn’t notice more people with masks on the streets. It seems to be about the same. But that said, many shops and pharmacies have a note that face masks are out of stock. Same goes with hand sanitisers.
Covid-19 precautions in shopping malls
We did notice that there is sort of fewer people on the streets and in shopping malls, but maybe it’s just an illusion. We’ve obviously never counted how many people are there on normal days. That’d be creepy 😉 But it did feel a bit less busy last month. We’ve also taken quite a few taxi trips during our stay and we didn’t notice any special precautions that drivers take. It looks like life goes as normal.
Supermarkets and shopping malls have now infographics with instructions on how to protect from the coronavirus and often there and alcohol gels on the counters for customers to use. On the other hand, we noticed that in restaurants cutlery are still placed on the table even if nobody is sitting there, so it can freely catch all germs around as usual.
Malay people say they don’t have so many covid-19 cases because they eat very spicy food and the virus doesn’t like heat. Obviously it’s just their belief but since we don’t know much about the virus yet, everything is possible, right?
As for us, we don’t use face masks at all. Granted, we don’t often go outside, like once or twice a week haha. Nevertheless, when we go outside, we usually are in very crowded places. I have always had a hand sanitiser in my bag, even before a covid-19 outbreak so that is nothing new to me either. We travel around Asia for over a year now and so far nothing bad has happened to us. Fingers crossed it will stay this way.
Kuala Lumpur Airport during covid-19
An interesting view was Kuala Lumpur International Airport. We’ve been to this airport a couple of times before but it was the first time it was so empty. It was a bit creepy actually. There were hardly any people around. Nice for fast travel though. The fastest security and passport check as well as boarding we’ve ever had. We noticed quite a few white people wearing face masks. That was definitely unusual. Also, hand sanitizers were placed all around the airport. Something I didn’t see before, or maybe never paid attention to it.
Coronavirus precautions in Vietnam
Our plane was more than half empty, but also here we noticed some white people with masks on all the time. When we landed in Vietnam though I’d say 90% of people wore masks. We’ve also seen some people in plastic raincoats (?) and hats with plastic in front, sort of like beekeeper hat. Very strange. The airport in Vietnam was a bit crowded but it was caused by a new procedure.
Just before immigration gates were some tables with medical staff asking to fill up a health declaration. That obviously stopped a lot of people for a few moments causing a bit of mess. Once you’ve done that though the rest was a breeze. On a local flight in Vietnam, all passengers were asked to wear their masks on the plane. Those who didn’t have a mask received one from the stewardess. Life in Vietnam seems to go just normal. We didn’t notice anything much different than before. Well, apart from hand sanitisers in common places like lifts for example, mandatory face masks in big shopping malls… and a catchy song on the radio.