Post COVID19 means a lot and many different things for most of us. What is this new normal that everyone talks about? How will this affect me, how it affects you? The experience is truly individual, and probably highly location-based biased, with only some sprinkles of commonality.
We all have so many questions, so little certainties.
What does it mean to go back to work? How does that look like? How can we make ourselves and our families safer? When and how will we be able to travel again? For me, an expat, when will I be able to see my family again? Thoughts like this hunt my nights.
The only thing certain, is the uncertainty of this new reality.
It’s not all bad, we all learned to live without the human contact, the firends proximity, office interactions, everyday commutes, long shoppping strides, and above all we discovered how to (re)connect, embrace our fragility, uncertainties and how to be there more for each other.
We have all updated to the latest version of ourselves in this new, digital, COVID19 endemic reality.
Here in Jakarta, and across the rest of Indonesia, the economic pressure of 15 weeks of free movement and restrictions let the government to try to reopen the economy. It’s not a safe plan (if there’s anything like a safe plan anywhere. National Government has the hard task of balancing national health, security, and in this case ensure the basic livelihood of MILLIONS of Indonesians. Whatever decision is taken, whatever choice will have good and bad consequences, no one will ever be 100% safe or happy. It’s a complex situation and the solution will be consequently complext.
We all, collectively, across the world have a hard road and times ahead.
But over these 2 years, I have observed and learned to appreciate Indonesia complex diversity. Indonesians are uniquely ready and creative when faced with adversity and uncertainty.
As we slowly start emerging out of our cocooned homes, we slowly noticed how the city changed and adapted. No, I don’t mean the omnipresent hand sanitiser and masks, constant temperature checks or responsibility forms and formalities. More like how in parallel with metal detectors, there’s a new bread of public fixtures here in Jakarta. Portable handwashing, disinfecting tunnels, social safety barriers for drivers, shared space distance standing norms, health and safety instructions adorn walls and entrances, greetings evolved.
So as we slowly emerge of our cocooned homes, we gradually realise that our outgoing patterns are most probably forever changed.