COVID-19: Be Separate with Peace, but Don’t Be Together with Pain

The COVID-19 community transmission in the Capital City of Phnom Penh is still worrying as many new cases have been detected among sellers in the Orussey Market and some factory workers. Although the travel ban between provinces has been imposed, some citizens still take a risk to travel to their hometown. "Making sure you don't bring the virus home" is what Sothie and Samnang discuss today. 



Samnang: Hey, Sothie! Initially, the government is banning travels across provinces. In Phnom Penh, travels are also prohibited between some specific communes to reduce the chance of infection and transmission. Does it mean that the situation is becoming worse? 



Sothie: It is getting seriously worse now. Very recently, the number of cases per day has reached three digits. What is even more difficult is the spread between communities and the virus spread among sellers inside the markets. Those sellers have their residential home located all across the city. Later on, the transmission has occurred among factory workers. However, this can be easier to maintain since factory workers generally tend to live in one specific location. Regardless of how the virus is spread, it is a hard task to determine the origin of the infection. 



Samnang: So, now what?



Sothie: Due to these risk factors, the government has forbidden travels from one province to another. Then, they have put a temporary curfew in Phnom Penh during night time. Now, they have closed some communes inside the city where it is deemed most risky. 



Samnang: I have seen that the authority keeps banning, but the violators keep on violating, particularly those who miss their hometown very much. 



Sothie: Those are the reasons why authority and the medical staffs are facing more difficulties. One way to reduce the infection is to reduce the travel frequency and the number of a physical meeting. However, some people do not seem to understand this very well. 



Samnang: Well, they only say that they miss their hometown so much. They used to travel back home once a year. Now, they cannot go back at all. How is that?



Sothie: Everybody misses their hometown. Yet, the pandemic is attacking strongly right now. We cannot know who has the virus for sure. People fear one another. If you want your parents to stay safe at their home in the province, you, as their children, should not be mobile. Stay where you are and be cautious. If you pity your hometown neighborhood, please do not introduce the virus to them. 



Samnang: Nevertheless, some people still believe that there are no viruses in their hometown. 


Sothie: We cannot be for sure about where the viruses are. In this alarming stage, we cannot know who has or does not have the virus. Although the number of infection in the provinces is lower than that in Phnom Penh, the people in Phnom Penh still should not travel back to their hometown. If those in the capital city still risk traveling back home, they are more likely to bring along the virus into their communities. If you pity the medical staffs and the authority, please do not bring COVID-19 to your parents. Plus, the parents, themselves, also should not motivate their children to return home from Phnom Penh. “The value of life is more important than missing home. Be separate with peace, but don't be together with pain.” 

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