Solisou Preap

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Hello, my name is Solisou Preap. I completed a Master of Communication and Media Studies at Monash University in 2017. I was fortunate to receive an Australia Award scholarship from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to study at Monash. I am one of five children and the only one to study internationally. Since returning to my home country, Cambodia, I have worked as an Account Director at an advertising company.

Life has changed dramatically when Coronavirus or Covid-19 became a pandemic disease. Cambodians started to feel panic and the situation escalated inevitably after a sudden and severe outbreak in South Korea and Italy. Citizens are encouraged to stay home and limit their daily activities. Schools were ordered to close while some businesses can continue with extreme caution.

I must admit that life during Covid-19 is a real challenge. Doubtlessly, like many other sectors, the creative industry has been enormously disrupted. My clients cancelled all planned activations and delayed digital campaigns such as videos, short stories and testimonies until an unknown date. It has affected the company’s revenue and employees.

As a mother of two daughters, aged 8 and 5 years, I am striving to balance my time between working and home-schooling. I cannot let the circumstance affect my work efficiency or my daughters’ education, let alone the safety of the family. Distance learning consumes a great deal of time and effort. Although my 8 year old daughter can do her online study by herself, I have to be available to explain to my younger child her lessons. Additionally, I have to be in attendance when she does a classroom video with her teacher.

Working from home may give you flexibility, but for me I would say I have to work more than eight hours a day to get all the things done timely and effectively. A routine workout is what I keep doing to stay strong and stress free.

Despite the situation, Cambodia is doing OK. People are told to stay home all the time unless they have to go food shopping or visit hospital. Social distancing is what we are practicing now to flatten the curve. Café and restaurants are closing while food delivery service is significantly increasing. Cambodian Government is taking serious measures to prevent and control community spread – like closing schools and ordering a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in Cambodia.

As of today (9 April), 118 cases were found, out of which 68 patients have recovered. The number is still low which gives us great hope. However, we pray for the countries where the number of new cases keeps increasing. Please stay strong over Easter.

Photo: Helping my 5 year old daughter with her worksheet