Posted on April 30, 2020
There are several names for today's holiday in Vietnam. One name is Liberation Day - the anniversary of the day in 1975 when North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces captured South Vietnam's capital city, Saigon.
Another name is Reunification Day. Again, this is about that anniversary - this time emphasizing South and North Vietnam becoming one nation.
|On April 30, 1975, Vietnam went from|
being North Vietnam and South Vietnam (above)
to being simply Vietnam (below).
A final name for today's holiday is Victory Day. Same anniversary, but emphasizing that the North triumphed over the South.
Of course, historical events are never simple, and there were South Vietnamese people who were terribly upset that the North won.
As a matter of fact, around a million Vietnamese people left within the first two years of that "victory."
Today a united Vietnam can perhaps celebrate another victory - because that country is doing surprisingly well against the global pandemic. COVID-19 may have been eliminated there, thanks to the nation's swift action of closing borders, "contact tracing" (testing and quarantining EVERY person exposed to the virus from a known infected person), and lockdown / social distancing.
According to a news story from April 24, 2020, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 since April 16, and the numbers of cases and deaths in Vietnam - a nation that shares a land border with China! - is remarkable: only 270 confirmed cases and zero deaths!!
One reason that the Vietnam has done so well is that it is a single-party state, an authoritarian state.
Because of this, the nation's government is not as oriented on people's rights and liberties as many are. The government was able to use security forces and military personnel as well as police officers to enforce lockdown, mask-wearing, etc. Also, people in Vietnam are used to following orders and reporting to the government if neighbors aren't doing so.
Still, it's exciting that someone is doing great against this tiny worldwide invader...
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