We are all looking at the inevitable effects of Covid-19 for ourselves, our families, our jobs, and our businesses no matter where we are in the world right now. As we watch the stock markets plummet, the shops closing, schools shutting down for months in many countries, we are also looking at the effects of this pandemic on our work in Vietnam.
As an organization that relies on international assistance for our programs as well as our funding, it is important to acknowledge how our work will be affected by the current state of Vietnam’s ban on visas for certain countries which are limiting travel. We employ both Vietnamese and internationals in our work, but for our veterinary program we are working hard to reintroduce this year, we cannot escape the need for internationally trained vets to manage our clinic. If they cannot get into the country, we will have a lot of trouble recruiting them, and if they are from countries which are basically locked down as many are now, they are not moving anyway.
As the world economy takes a nosedive, we expect our donations to drop as well. People who are not secure with their own income will not be tossing it away right now no matter how much they believe in our work. This is a significant problem for an organization that relies on individuals for keeping us going, and while we have worked hard to change that over the years, it is not going to be an option now to develop alternative income sources if we are to keep the animals fed and our overhead paid whether or not we are able to press forward with more veterinary work at this time.
As the situation changes so much daily, we have a hard time making plans. The events I planned on using as opportunities to finally do some very serious face-to-face networking and fundraising are being canceled one by one at this point. Right now I am looking for a place to sit still for a month or more in the UK and just work online as much as I can until travel restrictions lighten up.
This will take time to work out the next steps in light of the rapid changes taking place, but we will be sure to keep our supporters updated during every step of the way. We encourage all our Facebook fans to stay safe, sit still, and hang in there. Even if you are young and healthy, catching the virus will still be disruptive and you can spread it to those who are not so young and healthy for whom contracting the virus could be a death sentence. We wish you all good luck and we will keep you all informed as things develop.
Even though I was denied my chance to fly our rescue kitty Joseph with our very first rescue, Squirrel, who lives in Berlin where she came for medical treatment 2 years ago, I did get some cuddle time in with her and got to remember why it is that I do the work we do and know well why we will never quit.