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Attempting to revive economy, Indonesia begins transitioning to implement the order of ‘new normal’ while the pandemic still lingers. Since the large-scale social restriction was enacted to contain the spread of Covid-19 disease, the economy was crippled, which led to the rising number of unemployment and the threat of a recession. 

While transitioning to jumpstart the engine of economy, having control of social activities is the best option to prevent people from getting exposed to the virus. Two and a half month period of large-scale social restriction has helped the community to adapt to new life situations. The new normal may be the best scenario in order for us to be vigilant and aware about the second wave. 

Otherwise, Covid-19 jeopardizes more lives since the vaccine is not available yet for the public. As the true cost, we now have to deal with the virus indefinitely. Equal to social distancing and social restriction, the new normal requires solidarity and self-awareness among the general public to be able to protect people’s economy and lives. 

“The new normal is the only way to go. It doesn’t mean that we are giving up. We must keep ourselves productive to save the economy but also safe from Covid-19. The discipline among the public is necessary. Everyone, including businesses has obligations to follow the order. The emergence of new cases means that the threat of infection to Covid-19 still exists, therefore, we need to implement this order of new life to protect us,” says Achmad Yurianto, the Ministry of Health spokesman at the press conference. 

Here is more detailed information about the New Normal in Indonesia.

Save People’s Economy

New Normal is a social scenario to protect people’s economy as the pandemic caused the plunge of the economy making people lost their job, termination of small business, and the increase of unemployment as the many economic activities are in the dormant period some other declared bankruptcy failed to survive during social restriction. New Normal hopes to bring back the economy both in formal and informal sectors as well as to avoid more people fall into poverty. 

Recently, the Secrectary of Coordinating Ministry for Economy Susiwijono Moegiarso said, “Many people lost their job during the pandemic and many of them have no regular income since they are laid off by the company they are work in. It also causes a significant decrease in purchasing power and people can afford to live as the savings are depleting”. The reason for implementing New Normal is to save the domestic economy as the Ministry projects that poverty in Indonesia could rise up to 4,86 million if there is an economic policy designated to protect people’s economy and public health. 

Changes in Public Venues, Events, School, Transportation, Business, and Workforce

When New Normal begins, there are limited restrictions to be implemented in some places including events, venues, businesses, and the workforce in order to avoid mass transmission. By managing the number of the crowd, New Normal in any sector needs to be implemented with comprehensive steps and scenarios. Whether it’s the company, factory, or cultural events must follow health protocols to avoid the possibility of transmission by controlling the mobilisation. The changing system on running activities such as public gathering to praying in place of worship hopes could lower the risk of exposure to the virus.

For example, running events, transportation, as well as tourism sites must limit the crowd up to 50% from the total capacity to maintain social distancing. Schools and companies also plan to combine activities at home and live meeting activities. Avoiding sharing usage of stuff and have high consciousness on the stuff that we touch especially in public venues. 

Maintain Social Distancing, and Self-Protection

After social restriction is over, it doesn’t mean that people can live to do whatever they want and ignoring Covid-19. Remember, the virus is still there and anyone can’t be exposed. It’s important that people take the test or report their health if they have a symptom. Maintaining social distancing and carrying protective gear including hand-sanitizer, mask, and managing hygiene are needed the most to protect ourselves and others from infection. 

The newest research from Vox found that Covid-19 transmission has a higher risk if one spends most of the time with the crowd in the room rather than outdoor. For those who are back in daily life, it’s important to manage our contact with people indoor and outdoor because the outdoor airflow with direct sunlight and wind has a lower risk of airborne transmission. Keep educating ourselves and be informed with the latest update of Covid-19. Avoiding sharing usage of stuff and have high consciousness on the stuff that we touch especially in public venues. Social distancing and self-protection are pretty much obligatory requirements for people living in the era of New Normal. 

New Culture for Healthy Life

Achmad Yurianto, the spokesman of Health Ministry and also the front face of Covid-19 Taskforce said that New Normal is social action to practice a healthier life by paying attention to personal health and others. “It’s the right time to create a culture of a healthier lifestyle as New Normal requires adaptation to this situation”, Yurianto said. He suggests people take care of themselves by continuing practice on cleanliness, exercise, enough sleep, nutrition, and wearing the mask to create a collective awareness for a healthy life. It depends on us to think New Normal as the paradigms that could restrict our freedom or the opportunity to start a better, healthier life. 

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.