It is October tomorrow. Lockdown is ‘lifting’, well. Not sure how I feel about that, owing to the myriad readings I’ve been doing of permutations and combinations and mathematical modeling of risk factors in opening ‘too soon.’ Funny, earlier this week I was complaining about how endless this thing was, and now I’m like, waitaminut, this is a very rapid shift, and…. I’m not sure…….. what.
Also, various other things are coming into my mind, these days, based on, what else?, paperback reading, internet reading, podcast surfing, and conversations in the Zoom spaces of late that revolve around items like rain, cave syndrome, Oneness, Jiddu Krishnamurthi and David Bohm dialogues like this one,
how to make a decision tree that has reversibility, and… [deleted]…
And listening… Which is the point.
Listening and connecting. In a new way. To the New.
What’s NEXT? Let’s explore.
‘N’ is a project of S P A C E. Support this work or find out more about how you can be part of the virtual conversation, at our crowdfunding page.
It is later in September and closer to the Mid-Autumn festival here in Vietnam and we are waiting. Still waiting, but less ardently, I would say. There has been some resignation in my alley, and we are out and about in the ‘green zone’ that lets us move, I think, or at least, doesn’t seem to stop us from moving, if we chose to. I mean, it seems very up in the air and hard to understand. Very different from the time we all were very uncertain as the situation went from not-getting-better to still-not-getting-better and we were asked to stay home except sometimes for emergencies, then made to have tickets to go out once a week, then told that the army would be bringing us food so please just shelter in place.
That was August sometime. The days are blurry now. I remember these stories of people doing things like:
faking covid-negative certificates so people could pass checkpoints (‘it was a business opportunity’, said the owner of a print shop.... as reported in Tuoi Tre News: ‘Hieu later admitted that he advertised his service on Facebook, offering fake paperwork that helped people get through scrutiny at COVID-19 checkpoints during the ongoing social distancing bout in Ho Chi Minh City. Under the current social distancing rules, only individuals on essential duties, such as frontline workers and hospital volunteers, are allowed to travel in the city. After receiving orders, he used printers and blanks sourced from the Internet to forge travel passes. In the past four months, he has sold 24 pieces of forged paperwork, including ID cards for hospital volunteers, citizen IDs, driver’s licenses, and passports at the price of VND300,000 (US$13) each to a 38-year-old man…’),
posing as a doctor and telling patients over a group app that they could go home,
swimming from Cambodia to Vietnam to try to get out of quarantine, and
fighting off officials coming to take a woman off to a quarantine site only to have to break into her house and deal with her locking herself into her bathroom only to come out fighting, later, naked.
Those are the ones that stand out in my memory. I know there were other stories, that, looking for news of any kind, managed to catch my eye because we are fascinated by the weird and claps-hand-over-mouth unbelievable. I thought we would have been back to ‘normal’ by now, like many others, who had been waiting, waiting patiently, then anxiously, then resignedly. Is this how it has been, elsewhere, all this time, around the world, in lockdowns? It is our first real lockdown, here in Vietnam, and I guess I just kind of am like, ‘Oh.’
But, I feel we are turning the corner .I see this nice graph saying ‘falling’ and people are chatting more on the streets. I can hear more activity. Signs of life could be returning now, more and more we are hearing that the city is under pressure to open up again. Friends and acquaintances have not left their rooms for weeks. Ordering food, doing their duty, being good citizens. But not letting people go outside to walk and gain some fresh air and perspective, to look at trees, see others also moving, is, I feel, unhealthy in a very different way. It rains a lot, we’re in that season, and I read the news, and wait.
These are screenshots from the Reuters page about covid data, updated live, about Vietnam. More recently I’ve been going to this page, too.
In a story called ‘Ho Chi Minh City Under Pressure to Reopen Economy,’ journalists report:
HCM City has 515,988 people who still need to receive the first vaccine dose, according to Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy director of the city Department of Health. More than 1.8 million second doses are needed by the end of September when the current vaccination round ends. HCM City has imposed various levels of social distancing restrictions since late May.
On August 23, the city was placed under the toughest measures, ordering people to “stay where they are” except for emergencies. HCM City has recorded more than 326,000 cases since late April when the fourth wave began. — VietnamNews.VN
According to Wikipedia, ‘Reasons why the country had successfully prevented the virus in the past being overrun is the Delta variant, this strain is more transmissible than the previous ones but the government still using outdated policies and practices. After using the old methods – which had been very successful before, proved ineffective and the number of infections kept increasing, the government became confused and constantly came up with inconsistent anti-epidemic policies making scientists, doctors, and medical experts unconvinced.
‘After losing the opportunity to show they are an excellent example in pandemic control, the government is left with the harsher option of controlling information to keep its public image.* Then a chain reaction emerges. When trust with the central government reduced, each locality applies its own anti-epidemic methods that they consider effective while people resist lock down protocols. As a result, the outbreak became more severe, straining health care capacity.
‘Another reason is Vietnam’s slow vaccine rollout. After the success in suppressing COVID-19 in 2020, the authorities displayed complacency and not taking the opportunity to purchase vaccine and implement immunization program when the number of cases still low. As the Delta variant was rampaging in India and reaching Vietnam, the country’s communist party was still in undergoing a leadership transition. The 13th Party Congress ended in early February 2021, but cabinet positions were not filled until May and June to wait the National Assembly conducted its voting. This power change diverted the government’s attention away from the vaccine procurement campaign and disrupted anti-epidemic activities. The weaker response to the pandemic than the previous government because of an overemphasis on growth has a negative impact on Vietnam’s worldwide reputation, as well as on local trust in the administration, making a rocky start for Phạm Minh Chính‘s new government..
*This. Is the inflection point, according to me.
At the end of the day, it’s about trust. Transparency and dependability. If you suppress information, that’s not a good sign. I’m thinking many things, reading reports of the things going on in Vietnam that are being published outside of Vietnam.
I drink a glass of orange juice. No sugar, and a little ice. You have to ask for no sugar. It’s important, or it might be too sweet for you. Please make a note of it, when you are in Saigon.
Tôi uống một ly nước cam. Không đường, và ít đá. Bạn phải yêu cầu không đường. Nó quan trọng, hoặc nó có thể quá ngọt ngào đối với bạn. Hãy ghi chú lại nó, khi bạn ở Sài Gòn.
New Cuizines is underway for a more focused start in September thanks to crowdfunding support. With the help of a small team of collaborators whom I have interviewed and prototyped small test work to see how we understand one another’s expectations and what works (and doesn’t) and if it’s a fit (or isn’t), I will publish New Cuizines in a series this fall. I’m still in Vietnam, after all, and for once, I’m kind of like, cool with that.
To begin, we will start with “the first intentionally designed ‘Third Place’ in Saigon.” I put something together about it at Behance. Here is a link.
‘Why is the country’s previous effective strategy not coping?
‘One reason is the delta variant shows a very different transmission pattern than the previous strains. Another is Vietnam’s slow vaccine rollout which can be attributed to a mix of factors.
‘The government showed a level of complacency — a common trap experienced by many countries that had initial successes in containing the virus, including Australia, Taiwan, and New Zealand. The lack of urgency due to the low infection rates before the arrival of the delta variant made Vietnam slow in securing a vaccine supply. The shortage of vaccines, particularly for less developed countries, further led to Vietnam’s protracted inoculation process. As the delta variant was spreading in India and reaching Vietnam, the CPV was still in undergoing a leadership transition. The 13th Party Congress concluded in early February, but the cabinet positions were not appointed until May and June when the National Assembly conducted its voting. Arguably, that power transition process distracted from and protracted the vaccine procurement campaign amidst global demand.
‘The authorities also thought they could afford to wait for development of homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, with four in the works: Nanocovax by Nanogen, Covivac by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), and two others from the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (Vabiotech) and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals. Nanocovax, which passed three phases of human trials, is expected to seek emergency approval soon and be available by late this year.’
Original photos from Vietnam News Express and Vietnamnews.vn, styled by DK
And we’ll grow it as a moral force in the world, finding out those terrible things before anybody else knows about them, and sending our response to them, so that next year, instead of us meeting here, lamenting how many terrible things there are in the world, we will have pulled together, used the unique skills and the magic of this community, and be proud that we have done everything we can to stop pandemics, other catastrophes, and change the world, beginning right now.
Phát triển nó thành lực lượng nhân đạo trên toàn thế giới, tìm ra những thứ tai hại trước khi ai đó biết về chúng, và gửi sự giúp đỡ tới họ, để trong năm tới, thay vì gặp mặt nhau ở đây, than thở về bao nhiêu điều tệ hại trên thế giới này, chúng ta sẽ hợp lực cùng nhau sử dụng những kĩ năng độc nhất và phép lạ của cộng đồng này, và tự hào rằng chúng ta đã làm hết sức để ngăn chặn các đại dịch bùng nổ, những thảm họa, và thay đổi thế giới bắt đầu ngay từ bây giờ.
The global pandemic your father believed was about to emerge. What factors determine the duration of a pandemic? A pandemic occurs when an outbreak affects many people over a wide area. There is plenty of evidence to support economic arguments for pandemic preparedness. Experience with past pandemics she says , show the H1N1 virus is likely to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come. What factors determine the duration of a pandemic, we don’t really know. The cause of the devastating Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 was initially unclear. And it’s now not just the nuclear threat; in our interconnected world, network breakdowns can cascade globally; air travel can spread pandemics worldwide within days; and social media can spread panic and rumor literally at the speed of light.
Đại dịch toàn cầu mà bố cậu tin hoàn toàn sắp xảy ra. Các yếu tố nào quyết định thời gian kéo dài của một dịch bệnh? Đại dịch xảy ra khi nhiều người nhiễm bệnh trên một diện tích lớn. Có rất nhiều dẫn chứng có thể hỗ trợ cho luận điểm kinh tế của việc chuẩn bị ứng phó với dịch bệnh. Theo kinh nghiệm từ những trận dịch trước đây bà cho rằng vi-rút H1N1 có thể chuyển sang dạng vi-rút cúm theo mùa và tiếp tục diễn biến trong vài năm tới. Chúng ta thực sự không biết những yếu tố nào quyết định điều đó. Nguyên nhân của đại dịch cúm 1918 ban đầu không rõ ràng. Giờ đây, không chỉ là hiểm họa hạt nhân; trong thế giới kết nối của chúng ta, sự sụp đổ internet có thể diễn ra ở phạm vi toàn cầu; đại dịch có thể lan khắp thế giới trong vài ngày bằng đường hàng không và mạng xã hội có thể lan truyền sự hoảng sợ và tin đồn với tốc độ ánh sáng theo đúng nghĩa đen.
I want to share something I found today online that sums up my feelings of what people say they’re seeing on the news about what’s going on here in Vietnam, and what it actually feels like to be here. Plus: this is the state of the city, here in Ho Chi Minh.
‘Today is Monday August 23, 2021, first day of a complete lockdown of Ho Chi Minh city for the next 14 days. Government’s extreme effort is to hope life will resume normal by September 15. And they need our help.
‘Just mins [sic] after the announcement was made last Friday, I’ve seen misinformation being spread all over social media with photos of military tanks rolling around downtown, soldiers in uniforms and heavily armed getting ready for battles at airport and so on. ALL that you see is not true.
‘I did a bit of research and was informed these were photos of completely unrelated events [that] happened years ago and also some photos were even coming from the conflict in Myanmar earlier this year.
‘It is true that Vietnamese government is deploying thousands of troops to help with logistics, food deliveries, medical support among others. NOT getting ready for war. As you can see real photos on this post from Tuoi Tre Online.
‘Just a quick friendly reminder, ALWAYS check for sources from reliable media outlets and especially government agencies. If someone makes a questionable/alarming post on social media network with unclear source, never trust it. Spend a few minutes double checking its facts.
‘There are individuals out there taking advantage of the current situation to get more attention and views, we must always check for its legitimacy and stop spreading misinformation to avoid causing more distress for others…’
Cooking!, at times. But also just making sandwiches, sometimes, too. Lockdown continues in its strictest form for another month; which is a long time, but I guess, so is a year and a half and that’s how long I’ve been in Vietnam just kind of waiting for borders to open and meantime looking for fun things to make, and ideally, co-create. I love a good party. Anyway, the food is fun to try and so is learning about how to say things. A different language can open your eyes to an entirely fascinating new way of thinking.
Some new folks and I got together on a call. We talked on a call this week about ‘acculturation’ versus ‘assimilation’ or what I further went on to read is ‘integration’ and then there’s also ‘marginalization.’ All these big multisyllabic words to describe the feelings one traverses, in different personalities of whom we are as we approach those borders that delineate us from ‘something I don’t know yet’, and how we cope with the ‘acculturation stress’. Which is the updated word, it appears, for ‘culture shock.’
Did I have culture shock coming to Vietnam? In 2013, yes. In 2020, less. In 2021, I’m halfway to something else, scaling that barrier. Starting with pronunciation. Hopefully, steadily, two steps forward and one step back, doing more. Changing. Inwardly. And in so doing, perchance arriving closer and closer to the center of a New.
Which, after all, is kind of amazing and hard, yes, especially with this Delta thing and lots of time to read the internet while waiting for HCMC to reopen, for one, then VN, then.. the world. Or something. For today, ‘sandwich.’ Miếng săng uých. I like this.
A few weeks ago we shared with you the zine, S P A C E | ‘Fatigue.’
Honestly it was the compilation that resulted from a set of conversations that began in real life spaces here in Saigon, before the city closed. And observations. The culture of moving, constantly, through the day and routines such that no time was spared for basics like catching up with oneself, one’s friends, one’s sleep, even, became more and more commonly seen by us at Atelier S P A C E. Rather than the exception, fatigue was the norm. I could cite articles that led us to this conclusion, but I will leave it in the reporter’s notebook space which isn’t public like this one. Cool.
Một cảm giác mệt mỏi chủ quan dần dần khởi phát. Không giống như sự ốm yếu, mệt mỏi có thể được giảm bớt theo thời gian nghỉ ngơi. Mệt mỏi có thể có nguyên nhân thể chất hoặc tinh thần. Sự mệt mỏi về thể chất là sự mất khả năng thoáng qua của cơ để duy trì hoạt động thể chất tối ưu, và trở nên nghiêm trọng hơn khi tập thể dục mạnh.Mệt mỏi về tinh thần là một sự giảm thoáng qua về hiệu suất nhận thức tối đa do thời gian hoạt động nhận thức kéo dài. Nó có thể biểu hiện như buồn ngủ, thờ ơ hoặc giảm sự tập trung chú ý.
Về mặt y học, mệt mỏi là một triệu chứng không đặc hiệu, có nghĩa là nó có nhiều nguyên nhân có thể và đi kèm với nhiều điều kiện khác nhau. Mệt mỏi được coi là triệu chứng, chứ không phải là dấu hiệu, bởi vì nó là một cảm giác chủ quan được báo cáo bởi bệnh nhân, chứ không phải là một khách quan mà người khác có thể quan sát. Mệt mỏi và ‘cảm giác mệt mỏi’ thường bị lẫn lộn..
Mệt mỏi thường được coi là một tình trạng kéo dài hơn buồn ngủ. Mặc dù buồn ngủ có thể là triệu chứng của các vấn đề y tế, nhưng nó thường là do thiếu giấc ngủ ngon hoặc thiếu sự kích thích. Mệt mỏi mãn tính, mặt khác, là một triệu chứng của một vấn đề y tế lớn hơn trong hầu hết các trường hợp. Nó thể hiện sự mệt mỏi về tinh thần hoặc thể chất và không thể hoàn thành nhiệm vụ ở hiệu suất bình thường. Cả hai thường được sử dụng thay thế cho nhau và thậm chí được phân loại theo mô tả ‘mệt mỏi’. Thông thường mệt mỏi được mô tả như là một mệt mỏi không thoải mái, trong khi buồn ngủ là thoải mái hơn.
Mệt mỏi là kết quả của làm việc bình thường, căng thẳng về tinh thần, bị kích thích quá mức, đi máy bay, giải trí quá mức,trầm cảm, chán nản, bệnh tật và thiếu ngủ. Nó cũng có thể có nguyên nhân hóa học, chẳng hạn như ngộ độc, lượng đường trong máu thấp hoặc thiếu hụt khoáng chất hoặc vitamin. Mất máu mãn tính thường dẫn đến mệt mỏi, cũng như các tình trạng khác do thiếu máu. Mệt mỏi khác với buồn ngủ, nơi bệnh nhân cảm thấy rằng giấc ngủ là cần thiết. Mệt mỏi là một phản ứng bình thường đối với gắng sức hoặc căng thẳng về thể chất, nhưng cũng có thể là dấu hiệu của một rối loạn thể chất.
Mệt mỏi tạm thời có thể là một căn bệnh nhỏ như cảm lạnh thông thường như một phần của đáp ứng hành vi bệnh tật xảy ra khi hệ thống miễn dịch chống lại nhiễm trùng.
A feeling of fatigue, subjective, gradually sets in. Unlike illness, fatigue can be alleviated with rest. Fatigue can have physical or mental causes. Physical fatigue is the transient inability of muscles to maintain optimal physical performance, and is aggravated by vigorous exercise. Mental fatigue is a transient decrease in maximal cognitive performance due to prolonged periods of cognitive activity. It may manifest as drowsiness, lethargy, or decreased attention span.
Medically, fatigue is a nonspecific symptom, which means it has many possible causes and is associated with many different conditions. Fatigue is considered a symptom, rather than a sign, because it is a subjective feeling reported by the patient, rather than an objective one that can be observed by others. Fatigue and ‘feeling of fatigue’ are often confused..
Fatigue is generally considered to be a longer-lasting condition than drowsiness. Although drowsiness can be a symptom of medical problems, it is usually due to lack of good sleep or lack of stimulation. Chronic fatigue, on the other hand, is a symptom of a larger medical problem in most cases. It represents mental or physical fatigue and an inability to complete tasks at normal performance. The two are often used interchangeably and are even classified under the description ‘fatigue’. Usually fatigue is described as an uncomfortable fatigue, while drowsiness is more comfortable.
Fatigue is the result of normal work, mental stress, overstimulation, airplane travel, excessive entertainment, depression, boredom, illness, and lack of sleep. It can also have a chemical cause, such as poisoning, low blood sugar, or a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Chronic blood loss often leads to fatigue, as well as other conditions caused by anemia. Fatigue is different from drowsiness, where the patient feels that sleep is necessary. Fatigue is a normal response to physical exertion or stress, but can also be a sign of a physical disorder.
Temporary fatigue can be as minor as the common cold as part of a disease behavioral response that occurs when the immune system fights off an infection.
‘The most vibrant and economically wealthy city in Việt Nam has offered financial aid* to help people whose incomes have been slashed due to the city’s 14-day lockdown.
‘When HCM City coughs, the whole country feels the cold. Its daily number of positive cases this week has been consistently above 1,000 and topped 2,000 on Wednesday.
‘The Ministry of Health continues to send medical teams with doctors and other health personnel to help HCM City fight the pandemic. More than 7,000 medical students have been added to the health force to start work in the city’s quarantine camps and hospitals.’
“When a horse is sick, the whole stable feels the pain, goes a popular saying,” writes Nguyễn Mỹ Hà.
*Friends tell us how hard it is to do the paperwork to actually get to any package that might come out, and some people are waiting and waiting for previous similar things to come to fruit, is the word on the street, to our knowledge. Meantime the need for cash is real. So here’s what’s up…. Social sustainability-shaped things, up next, in S P A C E. This is where DK has been taking shelter since the outbreak of the virus, and thanks to help from friends and neighbors, gotten by with… being in a foreign land, unplannedly. Now, this. Support DK’s own effort to create small, paid writing and design commissions. These would be for people whom we have gotten to know and whose work we value and even cherish, at Atelier S P A C E Ho Chi Minh City. See ‘Book of Feelings’ at our recently updated crowdfunding page. Here is a link.
A book that popped to mind while I was perusing uncanny numbers of news sites, from January through May 2021, was Thomas Kunh‘s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, How do we know we’re on the brink of something major shifting? Maybe you remember; maybe it impacted you, too, quite heavily… 2008… I and others of my cohort saw that year’s financial crises and [some of us] thought maybe capitalism was gonna get gone. [deleted]. Then, no.
Bailouts came, some of us left the United States, and I don’t know what happened next. Who really knows. Well. I guess not knowing is part of it. The whole thing about the book that I wanted to tell you about. I’ll put some of that here now, in a second. But yeah. This pandemic is showing us more, though, about [deleted]. It’s pretty basic. It’s about… Fairness. Or? Tell me what I don’t know and I’ll read more about it and teach myself things. What now? I’m curious.
‘Since [Kuhn] considered problem solving to be a central element of science, Kuhn saw that a new candidate paradigm “must seem to resolve some outstanding and generally recognized problem that can be met in no other way.
There’s more. ‘Second, the new paradigm must promise to preserve a relatively large part of the concrete problem solving ability that has accrued to science through its predecessors. While the new paradigm is rarely as expansive as the old paradigm in its initial stages, it must nevertheless have significant promise for future problem-solving. As a result, though new paradigms seldom or never possess all the capabilities of their predecessors, they usually preserve a great deal of the most concrete parts of past achievement and they always permit additional concrete problem-solutions besides.
In other words, you don’t know all the ways of fixing it. You probably don’t even know the ‘it’ center of ‘it.’ [deleted] … and that I sound like a Stoic. [deleted]. That’s why I do it. Make S P A C E.)
The way we work isn’t working, so let’s try something new
According to WHO, this group of people will look at how human activity affects the environment and wildlife habitats. For example, how is food going to be produced and distributed? What about urbanization, and infrastructure?International travel and trade, too. All of these are activities that lead to biodiversity loss and climate change, plus putting more pressure on the natural resource base. Guess what this does? Sets the table for the emergence of zoonotic diseases. And who the hell knows whatever else. [Update: A lab in Wuhan was making covid and it leaked? [deleted] and we don’t know anymore what to believe. HT MT, good conversation the other day, re epistemology et al.] Well, I’m sure someone knows. Someone who studies this stuff.
[Aside: Here is where I normally would go and reach out to one such person. But I think they might be kinda busy right now, and this is more or less a vanity blog, and no one is asking me to do anything like find out, so. I just. Won’t. Instead I’ll put another pretty picture here…]
“Human health does not exist in a vacuum,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said. “Nor can our efforts to protect and promote it. The close links between human, animal and environmental health demand close collaboration, communication and coordination between the relevant sectors.’ [Emphasis mine]
… Và có lẽ ta nên dành ít thời giờ ở trường đại học làm đầy đầu óc của sinh viên với các nội dung qua các bài giảng, và nhiều thời gian hơn thắp lên sự sáng tạo của họ, sư tưởng tượng và khả năng giải quyết vấn đề của họ bằng cách thật sựnói chuyện với họ.
Mục tiêu của bất sự phát triển của bản thân cũng nên tập trung vào tăng trường bền vững dài hạn chứ không phải lợi ích ngắn hạn. Trong kinh doanh chẳng hạn, ‘hack tăng trưởng’ tập trung vào tối ưu hóa tài nguyên cũng như tạo ra khách hàng tiềm năng. Nếu hoạt động kinh doanh của bạn là một cái xô và khách hàng tiềm năng là nước, bạn sẽ không muốn lãng phí tài nguyên bằng cách đổ nước vào một cái xô bị rò rỉ.
Phương pháp? Atelier S P A C E:)) Đây là những gì chúng ta làm…
‘Giải quyết vấn đề, khả năng đối phó với sự phức tạp và giao tiếp. Nhiều chuyên gia trẻ thiếu các kỹ năng mềm và cứng cần thiết để quản lý và thực hiện các dự án một cách độc lập. Tại Atelier S P A C E, mục tiêu của chúng tôi là giúp thu hẹp khoảng cách kỹ năng đó.’