These two colors together portray the general theme of the current mood across the globe attributed mainly to the depressing scenario caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the prospects of a positive recovery help in bringing a ray of hope to millions across the globe.
Vietnam is not traditionally a Christian country, but Christmas is now part of the many festivals that the country celebrates in a big way. Festivities of Christmas often seem to flow and merge with Tet Lunar New Year which follows immediately after. People across the country become more at ease during this time and reward themselves with something or the other after a year of hard work. Shopping for the house and family, decorating homes and making travel plans are in full swing during this time. Hence, the excitement raised during the Christmas festivities also permeates into Tet activities at this time of the year.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has dulled the mood in this festive season and the atmosphere around is not as lively as in other years during Christmas. Streets are not as crowded or as beautifully decorated as in earlier years and only a few shops are putting up Christmas lights and festive decorations. Many houses and shops along entire streets are even dotted with sign boards offering the properties on rent.
At the beginning of December, the four cases of community infection found in Ho Chi Minh City washed away what remaining hope and joy there was left for the year end festive season. Now, many events organised by businesses to promote investments and travel have been postponed or cancelled altogether. The tourism industry which made the maximum revenue during the holiday season has been dealt a painful blow. The Covid-19 pandemic has been cruel on all fronts and the impending uncertainty is continuing to test everyone.
People feel lost as they see that this entire year has been wasted in fear of a pandemic they have no knowledge and control of. The economy is reeling under poor domestic consumption and year-end aggregate demand growth. The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented shock in the history of economics, where nothing is certain in the future, and which has frightened most people and dulled minds. People are now only praying that the vaccine will soon bring about the relief they so much look forward to in the coming year.
Needless to say, the economy has no miracle policy and all solutions revolve around stimulus policies or packages. Perhaps the most meaningful Christmas present for all countries at this time would be to receive the right vaccine to prevent and contain the Covid-19 pandemic so that life is once again restored back to normal.
Although the world map is still covered in red showing a negative growth in economy, there are a few green spots over countries that continue to hold positive growth in the economic front. One such country is Vietnam, which proudly and effectively contained the Covid-19 pandemic and retained a near 3% economic growth, the slowest growth rate in last forty years but a rare achievement in the current prevailing time in the world. This itself should be seen as a great gift that will support all economic efforts in 2021, mainly because of the implementation of many successful new era policies and support packages.
When winter finally ends before the Tet Lunar New Year in 2021, Vietnam will be ready to enter a new and important phase of economic growth, with new opportunities and a bright golden future where the efforts of all citizens will play the most crucial role in uplifting the economy once again.