Stop the Flu…
The deadline set by Governor Wayan Koster for opening Bali to International tourism on 16th of September has long passed, and whilst opening to domestic tourism has had little to no change on the economy here, there are reports on more cases of COVID being reported. A personal point of view would state, that if you test for something you are more likely to find it then if you don’t test for it. We are still very confused by agendas of governments around the world, initially limiting interactions was to reduce the possible swamping of medical centers, whereas now it seems that policies have turned to trying to completely stop this aggressive flu from spreading and using a vaccine to reduce the effects. As seen the 2nd wave of COVID spreads must be due to mutations in the Flu gene, and as is the case in most countries each Flu season requires a new shot as the Flu mutates, so how much can one largely untested vaccine do to a virus that mutates?
As the Bali economy contracts at alarming rates, the number of shops and Bali villas available for rent Island wide surpass those that are open. Almost all Bali Hotels are almost completely shut, with over 200 available for sale. 532 Tax paying companies have shut as of this October, and there are more then 42,000 people jobless. These numbers don’t include most vendors that you see on the side of the road, or the sellers on the beach that are largely non tax paying. We are fortunate in Indonesia to have village life to fallback on, as lifestyles in the village are much more subsistent than city life, and it seems that the mass exodus of local Indonesians from cities has been to this fall back. However as Indonesia officially enters recession in this 3rd quarter of trade, the long lasting effects of this shut down must be questioned. For the average Indonesian, we have many diseases and viruses that come with living in the tropics, in particular the deadly dengue fever and Malaria, so the question as to why this virus, that has largely not affected most average Indonesians aside from economically, starts to bring about questions.
JRX questions the Medical Assocation…
One such case right now in Bali, that is drawing much News, is outspoken activist and drummer of Bali based band “Superman is Dead” Jerinx or JRX, ongoing court battle regarding calling out the Indonesian Medical association (IDI), for enforcing COVID testing requirements during a critical pregnancy that led to the mother losing her child. The IDI enforced a state rule of no public defamation, a rule that has been used to restrict opposition opinions for far too long in Indonesia especially now that fake news is so prevalent in our lives, there is no challenging of the ideas, and JRX has been apprehended for over 1 month as a result of his social media assertions. JRX has been a major advocate of challenging power players in Indonesia in the past, and many demonstrations have been held during this online trial. If you feel like challenging this law and supporting JRX, you can sign a petition here: (www.change.org/p/kapolri-bebaskan-jerinx-dan-tahan-kacung-penyedot-uang-rakyat)
Without political leaders being able to provide safeguards, there is the inevitable need for a vaccine to save us from this worldwide state of flux. Large corporations grow larger, strengthened by the hole left by small and medium size business failures, travel is probably the last sector to open, and when it does, will it recover to preCOVID 19 times. Will there be a COVID 20 or other deadly virus, restricting our lives all over again? The governor of Bali announced that the 80% population of Bali that relies on tourism should start to look towards food production for export, with the Mangostien seen as a high commodity, but the high costs of export have so far limited these expansions. It seems that we are all in a place in which we don’t know what to do, and we don’t know what is real, so we do as we are told and we stay away from others. We don’t question, we don’t require facts, we don’t even know if the tests we are taking vaccines are not 100% accurate? Once this miracle vaccine comes along, take it and you are good to resume your normal lives, or the new normal as we are in now, or will there be a new new normal?
Bali feels like it has been relatively immune to COVID19, given that we had direct flights from Wuhan to Bali daily up until February 16th almost 3 months after it was first identified in China, it seems that this deadly virus didn’t really affect our way of life until International travel restrictions were enforced. We watch the Digital nomads leave (as a result of uncertain Visa guidelines), with the new implementation of COVID visa’s available for up to 6 months, leading to many savvy travellers arriving to Indonesia, to enjoy the best that Bali has to offer.
So what are you waiting for?
You can be in Bali for 6 months living the life, with relatively no one here. We are going on one year of COVID being on island, and personally I know of no one that has died from this killer flu. The fact that President Donald Trump managed to fight this in 3 days, and is already back to work, goes to show that we are living in a crazy world right now.
The above writings are my personal opinions and are not intended to be seen as defaming anyone or questioning any policies, we are not here to end up like JRX is, but here to bring some context on what’s going on in Bali.
Director Total Bali