The New Yorker:
On February 18th, Nga Nguyen, an Instagram influencer who likes travel and couture, flew from London—her “base”—to Milan, where she attended Gucci’s spring show. The fashion house picked up the bill for the flight and the hotel. Nga, who is twenty-eight, explained to me, “I have a very good relationship with all the brands, whether as a long-term client or just as a friend.” She was joined in Milan by her sister, Nhung, who is a year younger and lives in Hanoi, where she manages a luxury hotel that their family owns. A week after the Gucci event, the sisters took the Eurostar to Paris, for the Saint Laurent show; they then went to London, where they stayed at Nga’s house. On March 1st, Nhung flew back to Vietnam and Nga made a short business trip to Germany, where she also took a relative to a doctor’s appointment. In the examination room, Nga coughed slightly. “The doctor looked up and suggested a coronavirus test,” she recalled. “I thought he was joking.”
The doctor swabbed a mucus sample from Nga’s nose, and told her to go to the relative’s house and wait. She remembers feeling fine, but that evening she developed a fever, and her cough worsened. Two days later, she had pneumonia, and her coronavirus test was positive. A runner who can normally cover four miles in half an hour, she could barely walk. On March 12th, emergency workers took Nga to the hospital. She remained there for more than a week, then returned to her relative’s house, where she eventually made a full recovery. Now back in London, she feels “very grateful for the care” that she received in Germany.
When Nhung arrived in Hanoi, she passed through an airport checkpoint, and had no fever. But she began coughing that night. Four days later, she became Hanoi’s first confirmed Covid-19 patient. She spent two weeks in isolation at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, then went home to quarantine. She, too, has recovered and is thankful to the doctors who treated her.
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