My Street, My Life

Human Interest Story

© Tran Quynh Giang

In 2021, the HCA program is launching the “My Street” Campaign to capture young people’s observations, experiences and perspectives as they lived through lock downs, social distancing, online schooling, and no play during the pandemic in 2020. Our virtual microphone will visit different urban environments and capture young people’s voices, asking them how their street changed and city transformed during Covid-19, and in some cases how their city did not change and a street remained the same. A lack of change, due to an absence of city regulation or insufficient community adherence to safety protocols, impacted wellbeing in different but equally notable ways.
Participants will share what their streets were like and how they changed during the pandemic, and what became the new normal, including how it impacted the wellbeing of young people and their families, friends and communities.

Below is the participation of Tran Quynh Giang, let’s explore!

Hello everyone, my name is Giang and I’m 17 years old. This is my neighborhood.

My house is located right on a national highway running across Da Nang City. The highway is also adjacent to the beach where everyday people flock to. When I look out from my house, it’s often a crowded scene. For a visitor to the city, it’s easy to feel stunned seeing a great number of vehicles on that road, the bright and colorful sleepless neon lights gleaming from shops, restaurants and food stalls on the street sides. Everyday after 5pm, people move in groups to go for a walk, do exercises, or gather for food and drinks. The street seems to be a major part of their day.

But COVID-19 has changed everything.

The street is empty. No food, no music, no light and no people. It has become lifeless and strangely quiet. Only essential travels are allowed. And yes, the changes have affected all of us in many ways. We’ve changed our habits and people have changed their daily routines.

Life is contained between the four walls where stories, emotions and feelings are less made known. Most importantly, we have temporarily lost our social connections and interactions that we used to take for granted before the pandemic. The neighbours sometimes tell each other in desperation how much we wan the restriction to end soon, so that we can be back to the street as normal again. The worst thing is, owners from street food vendors now have to live on the government’s grants, since they completely lost all their incomes. And this for sure has impacted our neighbourhood’s economic situation.

Be that as it may, I myself and many others support the government’s approaches to tackle COVID-19 but also keep my fingers crossed for the days to come.

Tran Quynh Giang

youthon team