Coronavirus: Tips on Physical Distancing in Phnom Penh

There have been more than three (3) million reported cases of COVID-19 across the globe with many more suspected, and as economies around the world get ready to relax restrictions on the populace, authorities have been advising people to maintain some level of physical distancing in order to slow down the spread of the infection to levels that are more manageable. These precautions refer to the act where you maintain some level of physical distance from other people especially while accessing public areas. You are advised to do this so as to protect not only yourself but also your loved ones, and potentially other people from becoming infected with the much feared disease.

If you are going to practice physical distancing, we highly encourage you to read the few tips shared below:

  1.  Try spending more time at home

This is more applicable if you are particularly susceptible to a bad case of respiratory illness due to existing health issues and complications, and/or advanced age. Typical comorbidities associated with those who have been hospitalised in other parts of the world with hypertension, obesity and diabetes topping the list. In such cases, it is highly recommended that you stay at home and avoid contact with others.

More importantly, you should strictly follow physical distancing and social distancing guidelines for a period of at least 14 days, if you think that you have developed symptoms attributable to a case of COVID-19, which  has been described as a flu-like illness, including dry cough, fever and fatigue. The US Center for  Disease Control (CDC) has recently updated their list of COVID-19 symptoms with the following: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Some people may additionally experience nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhoea. In case you live alone, it is better for you to more around the house and get some physical  activity without having to worry about getting into close contact with anyone, but if you share your house with family members or other people, you may consider staying in your room alone and ensure that everyone else is at least at a distance of two meters or more.  Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may want to consider calling up the hotline 115 set up by the government to discuss your options and visit the Khmer-Soviet Hospital to get tested. It is safer for you and your family members to spend time at a quarantine center rather than at a place where others are exposed to you.

If you are in need of medication, you may want to order them by phone or online, or you can ask someone to drop them off at your place. Delishop.Asia, the premium online grocery store, provides options for purchase of pharmaceutical products online.

  1. Do not share common utensils and personal items with other people

During the time you are physically distancing yourself, it is best to avoid sharing your utensils and other personal items with other people including dishes, cups, spoons, clothing, towels, toilet, remote control and other similar things, especially with family members and flatmates because the virus can  be transmitted through surfaces. If you use a shared toilet, please make sure that you keep it clean as much as possible by using disinfectants, and always remember to flush with the lid down to prevent aerosolisation of pathogens.

  1. Eat healthy food and drink a lot of water

It is very important to maintain good health during the time you are also practising physical distancing as you need a strong immune system to fight back any unwanted invaders. To do this, it is best to eat healthy foods and maintain good nutrition for you body. Eat green leafy vegetables, fruits and meats because these foods are the source of vital minerals, vitamins and proteins that are necessary to maintain your health. Lastly, you should also persevere to keep yourself hydrated at all times as doing that regulates your body temperature, promotes detoxification through perspiration and maintains healthy bowel movements.  Conversely, dehydration is known to weaken immunity.

  1. Stay clean and sanitised

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is very important as this will help limit and slow down the transmission of the disease. Make sure that the places where you live and work are cleaned regularly with disinfectants. At the same time, you should wash your hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds when you think you have been exposed to germs. If you want to cough or sneeze, do it in a flexed elbow or in a piece of tissue paper. Don’t forget to dispose of it properly.

  1. Take on interesting projects

Since you are voluntarily spending more time with your own self, it is important to keep your mind engaged with interesting things to make a positive change in your life. 

You can spend your time learning a new skill that you have always wanted to learn in order to enhance your professional or personal life. Moreover, you can also take the initiative to work out and get fit to boost your health as well as your self-image.

Besides these, you may also want to review or plan out a few things in your life. Think deeply and look far, where are you at as regards achieving the things you have always wanted for yourself?  If you haven’t given this a thought, now is the time to do so and draw out the next steps that you should implement. It might also be a good idea to meditate and learn yoga to deal with the anxiety and stress that goes around with following news related to doom and gloom around the world. Last but not least, it might be a good idea to do extra chores around the house and keep things neat and tidy so that you are in a better mood and position to think about the future. Make your place more comfortable and relaxing to live in.

  1. Reconnect with old friends

Maintaining physical distance does not mean that you have to cut off connections with your friends and relatives. If you haven’t reached out to your friends in a long time, it’s a good idea to reconnect and rebuild your relationships with them during these tough times. Not only will they appreciate your concern for them and their loved ones, it will also help boost your mood. Give your old friends a call, ask them what they have been up to, and cheer each other up in these difficult times. This will also help you lower negative feelings and your friendships will become stronger than ever.

  1. Be positive and do not panic

The whole global pandemic situation might cause you to feel stressed, frustrated, fearful and anxious. Please know that it is normal to feel this way during these times. People are separated from each other, they are worried sick about themselves, their loved ones such as family and relatives.  On top of that, many people are facing existential threats to their source of livelihood. It’s understandable to be upset at the fact that you worked hard for a long time and built a business, only to lose it during this global emergency. However, do remember that whether this pandemic lasts long or not, it is probable that many people will be left picking up the pieces and starting from scratch. There is nothing wrong in having to do so. Life throws many challenges at us, and those who are willing to face up to these challenges are the ones who flourish. This aspect of life is part of being an adult. Do not worry yourself sick, read news from credible sources only, and make the best out of this situation by spotting unique business opportunities and needs that you are specially equipped to fulfill.

In the end, do remember that if you have symptoms, or if you feel that your symptoms are worsening, you should call the national hotline at 115 to discuss your options. The Khmer-Soviet Hospital also has a test center where you can go to get tested. In case of an emergency, it is best to go directly to the hospital to get admitted.


Please note that the above only constitutes personal opinion and should not be construed as professional medical advice. When In Phnom Penh disclaims any and all liability associated, whether in contract or in tort (including strict liability and negligence), for any loss, damage or injury of any nature whatsoever sustained by any person following the advice contained above. For seeking professional medical advice, please contact a qualified and registered medical practitioner in your area.

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