Today is the first day of the three-day holiday for Pchum Ben, the Khmer equivalent of All Souls Day. Hundreds of thousands of Phnom Penh residents left the city to return to their home villages for scaled-down ceremonies honoring their ancestors. Most shops are closed. But for the people remaining in Phnom Penh—you still need bread!
It’s a Monday morning. It’s the Monday before a three-day Pchum Ben holiday so most people are taking Monday–and Friday–off also. And it’s raining. But this woman figures there are still some people going to work today and they will want to eat so she’s out in front of a closed school selling some box meals to take with you.
For the past week the number of new Covid-19 infections each day in Cambodia was more than 800. Three days ago it was closer to 1,000. Then suddenly the graph dropped sharply to below 200. The pandemic situation has not improved but rather the newspaper is talking about the government reducing the testing being done. That gives lower numbers but the situation is still just as bad. The government has also stopped giving numbers of infections in the individual provinces so it is very difficult now to know what is actually happening and where.
Today I was riding home in a tuk-tuk and it started to rain. Within fifteen minutes the streets were flooded–and it wasn’t even raining that hard. What is it about Phnom Penh? They keep installing storm sewers–and the streets keep on flooding.
A few days ago I needed to consult with a dermatologist about a lesion I could feel in my hair on the back of my head. When I arrived at the doctor’s office, I found that he had a microphone and speaker attached to the outside of his glass door so that he could speak with the patients without their coming inside the office. Here a mother with a child speaks to the doctor who is not really visible through the Christmas decorations still on his glass door from nine months ago. I was allowed to come into the office but only into the waiting room where he checked my head. He was being super cautious about Covid-19.
Most of our staff are working most of the time from home but the Education Project and Sign Language Project staff are at the Deaf Development Programme at least one or two days a week to make videos. Some of the videos are for our education students at home and some are for public announcements about the Covid-19 situation. The videos get posted on DDP’s Facebook pages.