Illustration by Trịnh Lập
By Minh Thu
Enterprises and members of the public have teamed up with the Government to tackle the deadly novel coronavirus, and Vietnamese artists and influencers are also getting involved in the fight.
In different ways, they're showing the responsibility they feel towards the community and spreading a message of solidarity, sharing and optimism they hope can help defeat the pandemic.
Pop singer Hà Anh Tuấn was the first celebrity to offer financial aid by donating VNĐ1.95 billion (US$83,700) for the installation of three negative-pressure isolation rooms imported from Germany.
Tuấn told local media this was an opportunity and privilege for him to contribute in a small way to the country’s efforts against the epidemic.
“It’s something I need to do,” he said. “In a good times or hard times, living and sharing every moment with my community is an honour.”
The act inspired other artists to join the fight.
Singer/actress Chi Pu donated 5,000 protective suits for doctors and other medical staff, and VNĐ1 billion ($42,900) in cash for work relating to preventing the epidemic. Hà Nội's Department of Health will allocate the donation.
Min, the co-singer of the famous Ghen Cô Vy song that has gone viral on social networks, presented 10,000 medical masks and 500 bottles of hand sanitiser to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, where a number of COVID-19 patients are receiving treatment.
Singers Tùng Dương and Phạm Thùy Dung donated 2,000 protective suits for border guards, and also called on other celebrities to step up.
Until now, many others including singers Tóc Tiên and Hoàng Thùy Linh, painter Tào Linh and dancer Linh Nga have donated money to buy protective gear, masks and hand sanitiser for medical workers and soldiers on the front line.
Help in words
People have also been spreading messages of support expressing the determination to fight the epidemic. It’s easy to see the posts when you search on social networks with hashtags like #PrayforHanoi, #VietNamquyetthangdaidich (Việt Nam will definitely beat the pandemic), #VietNamLeavesNoOneBehind and #StandwithVietNamGov. The influencers do not stand beyond the circle.
With their huge numbers of fans and followers, they are actively sharing useful information and encouragement.
Through his Facebook page, comedian Trấn Thành expressed his love and concern over the outbreak in Hà Nội.
“Take care, and together overcome this difficult time, Hà Nội! Don’t elbow each other for goods at the supermarkets. Don’t share fake news. If you don't feel good, please go to the hospital, immediately," he said.
Singer Lynk Lee has strictly followed quarantine rules when she returned from South Korea, and is posting updates of her experience on Facebook.
“The quarantine zone is peaceful and comfortable,” she wrote.
“At first I was nervous about being isolated. However, things are easier than I expected. It’s like taking time out to have a break as we can talk to people, watch films, see what’s new on Facebook, play games together and sleep. I was so busy I'd ignored these simple things.”
Lee told Việt Nam News that being quarantined was a memorable experience that was obviously necessary for her safety and other people. Through the social network, she wanted to tell people that quarantine is not something to be scared of. She also expressed her hope that the epidemic would be wiped out soon.
“Some people realise that I am a singer even though I wear a mask. They ask me to sing, so I sing for them. The people are all nice and we strictly follow the regulations set by doctors.”
Apart from Ghen Cô Vy which caused an online phenomenon, other songs are going viral including Đánh Giặc Corona (Fighting against Coronavirus) composed by maths teacher Lê Thống Nhất. Many singers, students and groups of people have been singing along with him.
“I think the song has been successful because it's upbeat and offers simple messages such as wear masks when you go out, wash your hands regularly and call a medic when you have symptoms,” Nhất said.
“Through the song, I'm calling on everyone to get involved. We can’t beat the epidemic without the involvement of the whole community.”
Singer Việt Tú and musician Tô Vân created the song Ngủ Một Chút Đi Anh (Please Have a Break) dedicated to Deputy Minister Vũ Đức Đam and other leaders of the Government who are at the front line of the health campaign. The song expresses gratitude and empathy for their work. It has received wide applause from many people as well as doctors and soldiers.
While artists have enthusiastically worked with the authorities to fight against the epidemic and spread positive messages, one individual drew public attention for a revolting statement. Actress Trà My, 28, provoked anger after posting on Facebook that “we should thank COVID-19 because the global population is too high, so the deaths will free up more space on Earth”.
Unsurprisingly, the post was widely criticised in the media and on social networks because it’s inhumane and ill-favoured. Though My explained that she was just being fair and frank, it was roundly condemned for being unproductive and heartless.
Day by day, the Ministry of Health continues to count new COVID-19 patients, and celebrities are trying to work with the authorities through financial support and their positive influence. VNS