Ho Chi Minh City: Re-Reading Memory, Declaring Reality
By Quyên HoÀng
The present intervenes in, penetrates, and (re)constructs memory. Its presence—textured, textual; bodily, incorporeal; fleeting, mortared, or excised—inscribes personal narratives and collective history whose lessons, we hope, inform the future. The anamnesis of Vietnam’s triumphant handling of the pandemic until May has been interposed by a reality inundated with undulating suspensions of certitude. Gone were the many months of the “not-so-new normal,” in which life preponderantly resumed after a 15-day nationwide lockdown in April 2020. Entered on stage were the Delta variant; the National Assembly elections in May; the general public’s habitual appetite for traveling on the national holiday that month—and Vietnam’s zero-Covid strategy was existentially challenged.