Acting for Tomorrow-COVID19
As COVID-19 spread rapidly in China, its government implemented extreme lockdown for Wuhan as the center of the epidemic as per January 23rd. The lockdown including road closures, suspension of any other transportation means, and orders for people to remain at home as a precaution against the spread the COVID-19. As many countries and business industries shiver in a face of the threat of COVID-19, some have come with a rapid course action alongside its own policy.
In dealing with the virus outbreak, Moores Rowland Indonesia has acted swiftly by issuing a work from home policy for its employees. For now, this period lasts until early April 2020, but the development of COVID-19 in Indonesia will be taken into account in formulating policy in the future. Moores Rowland Indonesia also continues to provide daily information about how to protect oneself from the virus, to ensure that all employees continue to maintain their health and hygiene in preventing the spread of the virus.
In dealing with COVID-19, the Indonesian government has said that lockdown is not yet necessary, but they advise citizens, especially in the red zone like Jakarta, to limit their activities outside the home and implement social distancing of one meter. Although there is no official ruling from the Indonesian government, the awareness of Jakarta residents to support the “di rumah aja” movement and conduct self-quarantine must be appreciated. While some people still need to go to work or use public transportation, it is noticeable that numbers are greatly reduced from normal. Public places are deserted, people go straight back home after work and only a handful of vehicles can be seen on the highway.
Regardless of their efforts, nobody truly knows for sure the exact time of the end of this pandemic. Based on the statement of BNPN (the National Disaster Management Agency), they stipulate the emergency period for COVID-19 in Indonesia until May 29, 2020, meaning Indonesia will spend one of its biggest holidays, Eid, in the midst of the emergency period. Will Indonesian citizens be ready to celebrate Eid in the midst of the pandemic? And will Indonesian citizens be ready to forego the tradition of returning home, instead being only able to greet their family through a simple text message or video call?
That situation is similar to the lockdown being enforced in Wuhan amidst the Lunar New Year holiday, the time period when usually most Chinese travel. Unexpected though it was, the limitations on travel domestically and internationally eventually helped reduce China’s pollution rate, which has always been a major issue and that has a fatal impact on Chinese public health. Photos taken by NASA’s satellites over the city of Wuhan showed a radical decline in the pollutants released by cars, industrial facilities, power plants, etc. since the implementation of the lockdown by the Chinese government. The reduced pollution could also mean an improvement in their quality of life, at least in the short-term.
Similarly to China, Northern Italy has also experienced a noticeable drop in pollution and greenhouse gas emission after the power-house of Italian industry ground to a halt as a result of a nationwide lockdown. Even Venice, jewel of tourism in the region has seen the benefits of self-confinement, which has changed the quality of water in the famed canals to yesteryear. Residents can again see clear water in the Venice canals, even fish have braved the Venice waterways, all due to the absence of the everyday tourist.
Yet these are brief bright spots in the darkness the pandemic has caused. Economic regression is hardly worth talking about compared to the pain, suffering and even death of some of those infected, but it is the price that all of us must pay. Some have already begun to pay with reduced access to medicines and food for the poor, but like the virus it will affect us all in different ways. If as Indonesians we can act with thought and feeling for others, for a start by cooperating by self-isolation where necessary and staying at home where at all possible we may escape the worst of dealing with the virus. We do not know what tomorrow may bring, but lessons learned in these dark days will affect our lives going forward. For the decisions we make right now will influence our lives forward.
Written by: Rosalin Asmarani
Edited by: Bella Rianda & Steve Crewe