This post is especially written for my friends in Cambodia. I’ve been talking to the Cambodian youths about coronavirus. They told me they have no experience in handling this. I have gone through the SARS period in 2003 so I decided to write this post.
Feel free to use your browser to translate it to Khmer and share it with your friends.
What each one of us needs to do is to stop the virus from spreading.
REMEMBER, personal hygiene is paramount!!
Symptoms of coronavirus:
It’s just like having a flu: cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat. For serious cases, the patients find it difficult to breathe.
Doctors also find haziness in the lungs of coronavirus patients when they look at the x-Ray of the lungs of these patients. Yes, coronavirus affects and does damage to your lungs.
If you have the above symptoms, go to see a doctor and ask the doctor to test if you have coronavirus.
How does coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It spreads like flu. Sometimes, the person who has it does not know it. The symptoms may not appear right away. We call this an ‘incubation period’. The incubation period can last for 14 days or longer. During the incubation period, the coronavirus can still be passed from one person to another.
How can you prevent coronavirus?
Again, personal hygiene is very important. Boosting your immune system is equally important.
1. WASH AND SANITISE YOUR HANDS
Wash your hands thoroughly including the areas between your fingers with liquid soap for 20 seconds every time after you return home and after you visit the toilets (of course). If you wash your hands for 1 second, that is equivalent to not having washed your hands at all.
I’d suggest, for example, if you go to Aeon, the first thing after you go inside Aeon is to look for the washroom and wash your hands for 20 seconds with liquid soap. After that, you can then start shopping. I don’t recall seeing any hand sanitisers at the entrance of Aeon, but use it if you see it before you go into the mall.
Remember, people usually touch things when they go shopping. That’s why I suggest you wash your hands first before you do any shopping. So, apply this theory to other situations like going to a restaurant.
Conclusion: the first thing you do is to wash your hands. After that, you can eat / do shopping / chat with families at home, etc.
If you can’t buy any hand sanitisers, wash your hands with liquid soap for 20 seconds will also be ok.
2. WEAR A MASK when you go outside and throw it away properly after you go back home. Don’t re-use it. Don’t throw it in the streets or on the ground. Remember, you need to stop the virus from spreading. If it spreads, it will eventually spread it back to you. So do things properly.
If you don’t have any masks, keep a distance when you talk to other people and avoid social gatherings. The suggested distance is around 2 meters.
Remember, it spreads like flu.
3. COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU COUGH AND SNEEZE. Wash your hands immediately afterwards and properly throw away the tissue you use for covering your mouth. Don’t throw the used tissue on the floor or in the streets.
4. DON’T TOUCH ANY PART OF YOUR FACE WITH UNCLEAN HANDS, including scratching your face, rubbing your eyes, nose, etc. Don’t do that.
5. AVOID GOING OUTSIDE OR HAVING ANY SOCIAL GATHERINGS
If possible, stay at home. If you have to go to school or work, make sure you do the above things properly.
6. SANITISE YOUR HOUSE USING 1:99
This ratio means: mix 1 cup of bleach with 99 cups of water. The bleach can be the one that you use for bleaching your clothes. Don’t just use water, or washing powder to clean your house.
1:99 can kill germs very effectively, even more effective than Dettol. This formula is used in the hospitals in Hong Kong.
7. CHECK YOUR TEMPERATURE REGULARLY
If possible, check your temperature regularly. If you have a fever, or feel sick, go to see a doctor immediately. Make sure you wear a mask when you see the doctor and don’t go around visiting your friends.
If you need to travel to other countries, you need to make sure you are healthy before you go and keep the mask on while you are in another country. This gesture is not just to protect yourself but also to protect the people in the other country. There is a 14-day incubation period for this coronavirus so be careful.
Remember, if you don’t do things properly, the virus will spread and it will eventually spread it back to you.
P.S. What was it like in 2003 when SARS hit Hong Kong?
It was a very depressing year in Hong Kong back in 2003, 17 years ago, when SARS hit Hong Kong. That was the time when the Gulf War started. Even in the busiest streets, I could only see a couple of people. It was like a ghost town. All the countries issued travel ban on Hong Kong. Nobody dared to travel to Hong Kong.
We were helpless.
We were isolated.
We were alone.
We were left alone.
Nobody cared about us.
Nobody helped us.
Everyone shunned and avoided Hong Kong.
Some even thought SARS came from Hong Kong.
We saw people die from SARS but we didn’t know how to deal with it. We had no such knowledge and no such experience.
We were fighting the unknown.
We saw medical staff lose their lives. One doctor who volunteered to save the SARS patients later was also diagnosed with SARS and died. To make things worse, two extremely respected and popular Hong Kong actors / singers died in that year – Leslie Cheung committed suicide due to depression, Anita Mui died from cancer after battling with it for a long time. I can still remember my reactions when I learnt about their deaths.
Hong Kong Tourism Board started a ‘shopping spree’ campaign to attract tourists and boost domestic consumption after SARS started to die down. That has become a regular campaign since then. Eventually, the economy of Hong Kong started to recover. ‘Eventually’ – that actually took around one or two years, mainly because Hong Kong people helped themselves.
I don’t recall seeing any help offered by any countries at all.