Solidarity in Indonesia's Covid-19 Crisis

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaSolidarity appears sporadically amidst an increase in the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia.

    Solidarity is now giving hope at a timeof confusion from the government in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government's failure to anticipate the onslaught of the new Delta variant of the virus has led to the health care facilities facing the threat of collapse. Initiatives from small groups of people always appear in the middle of disaster. After the arrival of the more deadly second wave of the pandemic, initiatives are focused on efforts to provide health care for patients.

    The sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 patiens since June has thrown health care facilities into disarray. According to the LaporCovid-19, a civil society coalition, since June, 265 people have died as a result of being unable to obtain proper healthcare.

    Initiatives have sprung up everywhere. This enthusiasm for mutual assistancem which is still strong, deserves respect. But these voluntary public initiatives have their limitations. Not every social movement can survive in the long term. Social solidarity is not the solution to the pandemic. These public initiatives could also be a sign of something lacking in the pandemic handling. There is much that the government needs to do, such as adding health care facilities, providing more support for medical staff,facilitating public access to health care and vaccination, and ensuring that social distancing is observed.

    This kinf of public solidarity is like a ventilator that provides hope when the state is not ablt to reach many people. These intiatives could be reinforced by sense of solidarity among the elites. Government officials - and politicians - should set a good example. They need to put aside short-term political rivalry and work together to deal with this difficult state of affairs. But, in fact, there has been no sign of such awareness. Instead of building solidarity, they polarize society.

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