Monks in masks: Khmer Buddhist novices wearing face masks collecting alms during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
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The coronavirus crisis has prompted the closing of schools and universities around the world, but at a Buddhist temple in across Cambodia, young novices in masks are pressing on with their daily alms round.

Theravada Buddhist monks and novices in much of Southeast Asia have their a central practice for daily alms round. It comes from the disciplinary rules for monks that instruct monks not to engage in agricultural labor, keep only a few possessions and eat only what is offered in their bowls each morning on the alms rounds.

The coronavirus crisis has prompted the closing of schools and universities around the world, but at a Buddhist temple in across Cambodia, young novices in masks are pressing on with their daily alms round.

According to the Health Ministry, Cambodians wake up to daily increases in the local coronavirus tally, a few beliefs that were last seen during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s have resurfaced. 

To prevent its further spread, the ministry has advised people to practise regular handwashing, wearing protective masks as well as exercise social distancing and self-quarantine.

Social media posts reveal a number of rural households placing scarecrows outside their homes, to ward off the disease. Some of these scarecrows were seen with menacing faces or holding weapons, such as knives.

Scarecrows
Cambodian villagers trust magic scarecrows to ward off coronavirus

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