Lockdown: Some Are Making Fun of It

Police block motorists from passing a checkpoint due to lockdown restrictions introduced to try to halt a surge in cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Phnom Penh on April 17, 2021.(Photo:AFP)
  • Lim Tola
  • April 18, 2021 9:00 AM

Seen Saturday, April 17, going by under my balcony that overlooks Sihanouk Boulevard, not far from Independence Monument: a Lamborghini type of racecar whose engine, even at low speed, roared like a jet engine.    

Since we are in a lockdown during which all movements are limited to getting food and medicine supplies, to emergency and security service operations, and to delivery people and others working for people under quarantine at home, I wondered what reason this driver of this monster would give for taking it out and braving checkpoints.   

Is it justified to use a vehicle that can do 300 kilometers per hour to go shopping within the perimeter closest to one’s home as the authorities have asked?

Or was it an ambulance model unknown to me?

Since one can usually find a pharmacy less than 100 meters from home, isn’t better, during this period of restricted movements, to use one’s feet to get there rather than a car that can go from 0-100km/h in less than three seconds? 

 Was it a humble public servant on his way to work following orders from his supervisors to go ahead with his work during this health crisis? Not sure why but I doubt it.

After going through all these questions, I came to this conclusion: The driver of this racing car no doubt sees—and with great relish—that, as a consequence of the lockdown, the broad, empty avenues enable him to accelerate in conditions worthy of a race car.      

I try to understand. This man spent a fortune on this car but in normal circumstances, in traffic jams in Phnom Penh, he is reduced to driving no faster than a common Camry, if not a tuk-tuk.  

So what! What is wrong with taking advantage of the lockdown to get the blood flowing through hundreds of horsepower that, most of the time, are bored under the hood.    

What is wrong, sir, is that the authorities are asking everyone to stay home in order to break the sequence of contamination of the coronavirus.

You may be telling yourself, sir, that in your car, you don’t risk contaminating anyone.

This is not the issue.

The issue is that, as the Cambodian government threatens to impose stricter quarantine measures, by driving this car, you prove that you openly make fun of the instructions with which everyone is asked to comply. The more so that, having the means to pay for this kind of car, one can assume that you don’t live in a cubbyhole in which lockdown would be unbearable and that you have the means to have delivered to your home everything you want, whether necessary or superfluous.  

Finally, by driving during this so unusual period in Phnom Penh with this mobile and visible sign of wealth and power, you are betting that you will overcome any hurdle without any difficulty.

Unfortunately, you are probably right. And this is one of our country’s ills.  

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