by | Mar 29, 2020 | Essays

It is pretty hard to wrap my mind about this COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of January, we still acknowledged this as epidemic that affects Wuhan (China) and several east Asian countries. In February, it spreads like crazy; Fast forward now at the end of march we’ve seen many things that we never imagine will happen when we’re celebrating 2020 new year:

  • Wuhan starts to recover. Number of new COVID-19 are low they start closing emergency hospital for treating COVID-19
  • South Korea and Singapore, which in the early february seems to be in massive trouble due to number of high COVID-19 cases also start to have their situation under control.
  • Italy seems to be in deep deep trouble. I have a colleague who’s italian lives in Italy and the way he describes his situation: Large number of people downplay the issue as “just another flu”. Combined with a very large number of elder people in Italy + how outgoing the people are, the disease spread like wildfire and overloaded their national health service. Number of patients which require intensive care surpass number of ICU beds available making their doctors need to apply war-time approach of deciding who deserves treatment and who’s left to die.
  • Shocked by what happens on Italy, Various countries finally choose to lockdown themselves.

On the other hand, Indonesia’s government respond toward the pandemic seems to be far from ideal. It initially downplay the issue and “try” to protect tourism industry which plays major role for the country but after seeing what happens in Italy the government seem to finally notice that the country needs to take this seriously. However, the government seems to be reluctant to issue full national lockdown. Schools + offices are closed and citizen are suggested to stay at home but there’s no lockdown.

How it affects my work

I’m very lucky to work at Elegant Themes which is a distributed company that has been practicing remote work for years. I think there’s almost zero change happens on day to day operation. There’s one thing that i notice tho: my colleagues are from various countries spanning from Asia, Europe, to US. This is one global event that affects all of my co-worker despite location where we live in. There is a time in the meeting where my manager asked how things are on our countries and we all are facing the same issue: staying healthy, lockdown, preparing supplies, etc. I don’t recall anything like this happen before. Previously, disaster-like event happens in region: flood in Indonesia, hurricane in US, etc. But this time literally everyone is affecting by the same issue.

How it affects my personal life

Despite minimum affect on work, my personal life get quite affected. Me and my wife now only go outside if it is absolutely necessary like groceries and getting vaccine shot for the kid (we just have newborn daughter before new year). We also immediately shower once we arrived home as a precaution.

On top of that, I also found myself becomes very anxious about the issue and keep on checking news and twitter about the pandemic. Every news could lead to hint on what should we prepare next. Will there be a lockdown? Should we increase number of stock we have for lockdown? etc. Every evening i shared what I learn about this specific matters with my wife and so does she.

So many questions

The entire COVID-19 pandemic thing leaves so many questions on my head.

  1. How this lockdown tension will end? how long?
  2. What will happen once the pandemic “end”? One thing for sure is the all countries’ economy is going to be screwed during the pandemic. Downsizing. Lost job. Skewed demands. How humanity will react?
  3. How long until fear of going out disappear from people’s mind?
  4. IMO, COVID-19 pandemic feels like the event that will shapes the decade forward; pretty much like how social media shapes 2010s and 9/11 + terrorism shapes 2000s. What will permanently change after all this end?
  5. How will tourism look like after the pandemic end?

All the things around the world

All the concern and anxiety aside, thanks to Twitter, we’re able to see how people on various corner of the world is affected and coped with the issue. There are some interesting posts i found as well.

Humanity Romance finds a way

The bubble reminds me of One Piece’s fishman island arc when they need to coat themselves to breath underwater 🤣See below ⬇️

One piece’s coating for underwater protection

Uganda’s Coronavirus PSA song

Every country should have this kind of song on their own native tongue and music.

Death Stranding vibe going strong

First, the baby safety pod looks epic. Second, Death Stranding’s premise looks very similar with everything that happens. Did Kojima saw this coming?

Btw, whenever i see this post retweeted, that Chvrches’ Death Stranding song is kept running on my head (it sits on my various monthly playlist):

Repercussion of Lockdown at India

India’s decision to issue national-wide lockdown shocks everyone. For me as Indonesian, this hits home quite hard because the there’ve been growing number of people asking the government to perform lockdown as safety measure. National Government on the other hand doesn’t seem want to do lockdown for whatever reason.

That being said, what happens on India seems to gives us glimpse on what happened if country as dense as that suddenly decides national lockdown. People ridiculous amount of people flocking from the capital to their hometown, among other possible scenarios.

Italian mayors’ asking-people-to-stay-at-home meltdown

These kind of people not obeying rules in corners of the worlds thing makes living in indonesia more bearable. Indonesian and rules are no good match.

Why solely relying on Herd Immunity is not an option

I found this healthcare administrator professional explanation on Herd Immunity only as a strategy for handling COVID-19 pandemic and why it shouldn’t be treated as an option at all (Bahasa Indonesia). Totally change my mind on the issue given the number presented.

Possible End Game

Last but not least, I found this The Atlantic piece on how the Pandemic will possibly end. A pretty good read.