There hadn’t been a community infection of Covid-19 in Vietnam for over three months until last weekend. Then, in the city of Da Nang, a 57-year-old man fell ill and tested positive. The most alarming part is that nobody can figure out where he caught it.

Vietnam may still be a developing nation, but its pandemic response has been significantly better than countries that are many times wealthier. With the experience of SARS and MERS in living memory, Asian governments have responded swiftly and decisively almost every step of the way.

Over the past five years, Da Nang has risen through the ranks to become Vietnam’s most popular nomad destination. Now, however, the city is closed even to domestic arrivals, and the authorities are evacuating and repatriating the 80,000 visitors who were staying there. Many of them will be nomads on tourist visas.

Covid-19 has made the world more volatile than before. Things change fast and in increasingly unpredictable ways. For nomads, this makes it more important than ever to be living somewhere legitimately. The legal grey areas are losing their shine.

Exist on a 90-day tourist visa and you’ll be treated like a tourist. That’s no longer the best option in many places. As new visas emerge (more thoughts on that in last week’s newsletter), the nomad mindset around how and where to base will shift too.

Remote workers and freelancers are more desirable than ever for ailing national economies. Strangely, a pandemic that closed borders everywhere will likely make global living easier, more seamless and more appealing in the coming years.

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The Big Idea: Fake Culture

There's a lot of talk about fake news, but what about fake culture?

I saw a YouTube ad for The Matrix 5 the other day and almost fell for it. It occurred to me that people must see stuff like this all the time and assume it’s real. My mum is a big Matrix fan, so if I’d picked up the phone to tell her a new movie was going to be released, she would have quickly told others.

Within a day or two, the rumour would have spread further and further, everybody trusting the people they speak to and therefore the information they receive. How far would this nugget have travelled before somebody bothered fact-checking it?

Fake culture isn’t as damaging as fake news. Knowing whether a film is coming out isn’t as harmful as lies about masks in a pandemic, for example.

But the fact that this kind of material racks up millions of views without intervention tells us all we need to know about how well the misinformation problem is being tackled on major platforms…

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Maker of the Week: Dan Rowden

I discovered Dan and his work via the designer and publisher Alice Daisy Pomfret, who you might remember as our Maker of the Week from a few months back.

A Brit living in Mauritius, Dan is a digital maker and a lover of print magazines. He builds smart, useful tools and products that make it easier for non-developers to get things done on the internet, with an emphasis on the independent publishing industry.

Dan is also the host of the Mag Heroes podcast and has a collection of 650 print magazines and counting. I have no idea how that tallies up with his global living habit, but what I do know is that when an art form speaks to you, you find a way to make it work.

Handpicked For You

🎧 “The real reason you’re putting off work” - Is This Working?

Anna and Tiff are back with a new season of their work culture podcast. This episode talks about that old enemy we call procrastination, and concludes that, actually, doing the laundry is often a necessary step to create your best work.

🖥️ Royalty-free, curated icon database - The Noun Project

Access over two million royalty-free icons for your creative and digital projects. The Noun Project even has apps and plug-ins to integrate directly with your favourite Mac, Google, Microsoft and Adobe products. What’s not to love?

📅 The Art of Freelancing - Final Masterclass on Thursday!

It’s the final webinar in my trio of freelancing masterclasses this week. This last instalment is without a doubt the juiciest of them all: how to win better clients and make more money.

Use the code CTF10 for 10% off your live ticket or CTF25 for 25% off post-webinar recordings of all three masterclasses:

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