Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

By Mai Nhat   July 1, 2021 | 08:31 pm GMT+7
Saigon-based artist Le Sa Long depicts courage and kindness amid the resurgent Covid outbreak.
Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

"Dong Sua Ngot Ngao" (Sweet Milk) is one of the latest artworks in the "Sai Gon Nhung Ngay Gian Cach" (Saigon Amid The Social Distancing Campaign) collection of artist Le Sa Long. Long first read about Dr.Pham Thi Thanh Thuy, Covid-19 frontline worker at Trung Vuong Hospital, online. The seven-month-old baby girl in the picture, having contracted the coronavirus along with her father and 25-month-old brother, was admitted to the hospital after her mother, a Covid-19 patient suffering respiratory failure, was undergoing treatment at another facility. Dr.Thuy decided to give the girl her milk, with the photos of her feeding the child going viral.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

Since the city entered a social distancing campaign, a lot of "zero stalls" have appeared, providing free food and essentials to the poor. Saigon is a land of generous people, with free iced tea, bread, "heroes" chasing thieves,"rice ATMs" , according to Long.

HCMC was been in a social distancing period from May 31 to June 29 with certain restrictions. Amid the pandemic resurgence, the city has to keep coronavirus restrictions. It requires the suspension of non-essential businesses and spontaneous markets, prohibition of gatherings of more than three in public spaces, and maintaining of at least 1.5 meters distance between people in public.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

"Tube ATMs" are used by Samaritans at Tan Sa Chau Church on Tan Binh District’s Le Van Si Street to maintain social distancing while feeding those in need.

Church members installed two-meter-long plastic tubes to provide food items while maintaining a safe distance.

"Free boxes of rice is poured into the tubes for the poor to collect. It ensures social distancing and prevents large crowds. Once done, we remove the tubes until about dusk," a church representative said Saturday.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

A woman hands a box of instant noodles to a lottery vendor.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

"Thien Than Mua Dich" (Angel In The Pandemic) captures a five-year-old Covid patient being taken to hospital after her father and grandmother tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The original photo, taken by a medic at Saigon’s Binh Chanh District, quickly went viral.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

"Nguoi Dan Ba Va Con Cho Nho" (The Woman and A Small Dog) was completed in early June, after Long met a trash collector on the street. She said: "No stores are open, so I have nothing to collect. How can I make money in this pandemic?"

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

A lottery vendor from central Quang Ngai Province.
"I have only sold a few tickets since morning, please support me," she told the artist. He later bought some and encouraged her. The picture is titled "Mo La Trieu Phu" (Dream To Be A Millionaire).

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

The picture of a father and son was completed on Father's Day (June 20). The father, whose wife passed away, worked as a motorbike taxi driver to care for his son. Due to the pandemic, he lost his job and has survived on donations.
"I draw Hung holding Tai, like he wants to protect his son. Tai smiles and points at Hung, like he wants to say this is my great father," Long said.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

Truong Sa Street is quiet amid the social distancing campaign.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

Ngo Duc Ke Street in District 1 wears a desolate look during a nocturnal bout of rain.

Sketchbook of Saigon's Covid plight

A banh mi seller bikes along Binh Thanh District’s Vu Huy Tan Street.

 
 
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