Social distancing refers to the act of limiting someone's social activity to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Recently, the term has been changed into physical distancing as it is closer to the actual act of limiting physical contact, for it is the way of the disease being spread to one person to another. Physical distancing can be done by staying at home most of the time, and maintaining a distance of approximately one meter when interacting with other people is needed.
With the rule of physical distancing issued by our president Joko Widodo, the majority of people who are workers and students have been ordered to do their activities from home, known as WFH or work from home (for students it is an online class). WFH implementation aims to break the chain of virus transmission without having to stop or disrupt work activities or ongoing education. About a week of WFH implementation, I see several shortcomings of the method begin to appear. I strongly support the method, but I think several aspects need to be improved.
One of them is from the education aspect, a lot of students complain about the method as whereas it aims to ensure students’ health, in its implementation, on the contrary, make students more exhausted instead due to the excessive and burdensome schoolwork. Moreover, this method cannot run smoothly because not all students can access the internet, especially those who live in rural areas. While usually, they have to struggle with coming to school, in online class implementation, their problem will be accessible for internet networks and gadgets that they don't necessarily have in possession.
This method also has a significant effect on the nation and citizen economic aspect. By limiting the space to make a lot of roads and public places vacant, macro, and micro-businesses, as well as daily wage workers, feel the impact much. The government could give orders to all of us to stay at home, but how will the government guarantee that all of the people can survive? I think Indonesia is very unprepared with this pandemic. Many people are still doing activity out there, although the victims of COVID-19 continue to multiply.
Those people who only rely on wages per day continue to do activities out there despite being overshadowed by fear of this virus do so not because they do not want to obey the government's order, but they simply just cannot stay at home and become hungry since there is nothing to eat now that they cannot work to earn money. This, in my opinion, is the reason why the government does not dare to impose total lockdown for the country. For the state as advanced as America, too, has now declared to cancel lockdown because it can trigger more severe economic chaos.
Indonesia is not the only one that is tired of facing this pandemic, but many other developed countries also feel the same. They work every day to overcome all the problems that arise as a result of the pandemic. In many countries, government officials and sports athletes make cuts of their salaries, all for the sake of the pandemic. I feel that the Indonesian government has not remained silent with this pandemic, and I hope that the Indonesian government can continue to learn from other countries for the good of the country.
From various aspects that bring impact on the pandemic, the medical personnel is certainly the most affected one as they are at the frontline facing the pandemic. They are all united to fight COVID-19, so the case will not become worse. In Indonesia, unfortunately, there is still a lot of unpreparedness, which is evident by the lack of PPE (personal protective equipment) for doctors and nurses, limited isolation rooms in many hospitals, and the death rate that continues to increase. There is another factor that caused the scarcity, apart from government preparation in facing the pandemic, many irresponsible citizens buy a lot of PPE such as masks and stockpile it for sale at a higher price. This is what makes it difficult to get a mask at this time. The panic due to COVID-19 has caused the phenomenon of panic buying that gives impact to supply and demand that caused scarcity as the price increase inevitably.
Even though there is a lot of unpreparedness, I hope citizens will continue to unite in facing the pandemic. It is because this is not just the task of the government but our responsibility together, too. I think the government has done the best they can do, as they have recently brought additional PPE imported directly from China, converted one of the athlete's homestay to a hospital to treat COVID-19 patients, engaged people in mass rapid tests and so on. As part of being a good citizen, we can support what the government has been doing by obeying their order for staying at home, stay healthy, and don't be panic. (Evelina Widodo)