As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world and across Cambodia, schools, universities, government institutions and offices have been closing down in a preventative measure advised by the Cambodia government. With the public recommended conduct work and study through online platform.
To find out more, the Youth Today team has conducted a series of interviews with Cambodia’s young students and workers. Asking how they are handling restricted living and what it’s like for them under quarantine:
Som Minea, 19, a freshman majoring in International Business Management (IBM) at the Royal University of Phnom Penh:
“While some people are getting bored to death during their COVID-19 quarantine, I find this routine relatively normal for me because I don’t like to participate much in social gatherings,”
As a self-described introvert, Minea enjoys most of her time being with people she considers close. Minea thinks, “This is such a great opportunity, and you should spend time with your loved ones such as your cat, sister and other family members.”
Minea also suggests that people should consider doing the things they have always wanted to do. For instance, “When I was young, I always wanted to learn how to draw. Therefore, with all this spare time I have begun to draw daily as well as completing a book marathon,” she shared.
Luy Ung Techhong, 19, a grade 12 student at American Intercon School:
Ung Techhong said, “I take an online class for 2-3 hours per day. The rest of my time I spend reading and writing. I am currently reading a book published by Future Forum and KAS, while also writing a book of my own.”
As a writer, Ung Techhong finds the quarantine has allowed him to focus more on studying and writing without any distractions. As social distancing has banned gatherings, he doesn’t spend time attending events anymore.
“Students should consider spending their time reading books, instead of wasting their quarantine watching TV shows and gaming,” he believes.
Lim Lyhoung, 17, a grade 12 student at Wat Phnom High School:
Lyhoung has spent her quarantine studying hard at home to practice and review her subjects for the upcoming national exam. Although she admits during the start of her online classes she struggled, as she took some time to adapt to school at home.
“The very first day of my online classes, I felt bored and rather sleepy as I was not used to this style of learning yet. However, as I got used to the new process I felt better,” Lyhoung said.
Lyhoung added that even though this is a good opportunity to spend time with her family, she still worries about the COVID-19 situation. She also says that she misses her teachers and classmate and hope there are all safe during the virus outbreak.
Som Panha, 24, a graphic designer at Kouprey Creative Solutions and a student enrolled in the Computer Graphic & Design course at STEP IT Academy:
Panha says, that amid the current COVID-19 situation he spends most of his time at home working and studying online.
“Staying indoors is not as boring as thought before. I can complete my daily tasks for both school and work, while also having some time to relax in-between. The only big difference from now and before is that everything I do is digital,” Panha explains.
Panha suggests to other young people during this quarantining period that they should spend their time wisely by doing activities that benefit them either physically or mentally, for example, reading or exercising.
“Everybody should stay healthy and try to protect themselves and loved ones as much as possible from this global pandemic,” Panha added.
Leng Sreynich, 25, an employee at an advertising company:
Sreynich explains, that during her first day working from home she communicated with her colleagues through online platforms such as Zoom, E-mail, Telegram and Facebook.
“Being quarantined hasn’t been that bad. During my lunch break, I can do many more activities such as reading, cooking and most importantly spending time with my family. I can also catch up with my friends via video call,” Sreynich said.
Sreynich would recommend to all other young people during this time to, “Stay calm and be vigilant for the virus, even if at home. Also, if you do get bored try and find some fun activities you can do at home and with your family. Such as cooking, small exercises, gardening, story-telling or watch good movies together and build good memories.”
Horm Sreynich, 26, an office worker:
“I feel calm and relaxed when I stay at home as I have already done a lot of outdoor activities in my life. While waiting for my work documents to download, I listen to music on YouTube and clean my room. Then I start researching and working on projects. I stay connected with my office team through online platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, Zoom, and Whatsapp for meetings and discussions,” Sreynich said.
“You can make your time worthwhile by learning something new like drawing, reading, joining public discussion groups, watching movies or other activities you consider fun. Personally, after I finish my work I like to join online discussion groups on social media,”