The AP's Hau Dinh set off from Hanoi for the seaside resort of Vung Tau in southern Vietnam for a long weekend in mid-July. The trip came just as the delta variant of the coronavirus began sweeping through Vietnam in the pandemic's worst wave yet, sparking harsh lockdown measures that left him trapped away from home. Nine weeks later, he's still there. Working, exercising, learning French and trying to cope with the monotony of the daily routine with no immediate end in sight.  

In another ominous sign about the spread of the delta variant, Idaho public health leaders expanded health care rationing statewide and individual hospital systems in Alaska and Montana have enacted similar crisis standards. The moves come amid a spike in the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. The decisions marked an escalation of the pandemic in several Western states struggling to convince skeptical people to get vaccinated. Crisis standards of care mean that scarce resources such as ICU beds are allotted to patients most likely to survive. Other patients are treated with less effective methods and in dire cases given pain relief and other care.