Indonesia Expat
Featured Observations

Covid, the Blessings in Disguise

Covid, the Blessings in Disguise
Covid, the Blessings in Disguise

But what a disguise! COVID has been one of the most deadly plagues to ever hit the world, killing millions and still killing.

And yet, for those of us able to protect ourselves, or at least not get too sick, there have been some positives. In Surabaya, during that first COVID year, we noticed much less traffic and much less air pollution. We could see the stars and night and Mt. Semeru in the distance clear and bright.

More than that, people cared about each other and still do. We all wear masks; nobody rejected that as happened in America, for example. We wash our hands and spray restaurant tables with alcohol. We respect social distancing and are careful about choosing the places we want to go to eat or to go for entertainment.

People here operated like a big family rather than like a bunch of spoiled children, upset that they can’t do what they want. This is so different from what happened in western countries and it should be a very special point of pride.

COVID never had its way with us the way it did in America and Australia, and many other developed countries. Most of us knew people who died but not so many, and often they were people with underlying comorbid conditions.

Socially there were surprising new benefits. People used their phones and computers to talk with friends and family, in some cases, more than they had done previously. We carried on with renewed purpose.

In the neighbourhoods, one could see groups of people every morning joining together to walk, talk, and improve their health. Everyone seemed to know the term “immune system” and care about making it as strong as possible.

Berkumpul dan ngobrol” or get together and have a chat, shoot the breeze, “senang-senang” (happy)! That is what we do in our little neighbourhood of Manyar Kartika in Surabaya. We always circle back to Lili’s house for some refreshments and more talk before going to our respective houses.

Many more people have dogs now which gives them the incentive to get out and move their bodies, as well as to understand how a dog can improve our lives so much. If you ever have a dog and give it the attention it deserves, you will never be without one or two for the rest of your life. Guaranteed!

Of course, this pandemic has been a curse for millions but because of COVID, we have built a community and a sense of connectedness. It developed out of our response to that common enemy. In more ways than one, we showed COVID that it could not win and proved to ourselves that we could survive and thrive.

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