What You Should Do Before and After a PCR Test

As you may have read in our previous articles, there are strict protocols to abide if we want to travel by air; one of which is to provide a PCR (widely known as rapid) test result stating that you are non-reactive to the mischievous C-19.

Failing to provide this single document will deny you access to your flight, even if you have paid for it. In this article, we are going to give you some information on what you have to do before and after taking a PCR test.

When a communicable disease outbreak begins, the ideal response from public health is to begin early and rapid testing. This leads to quick identification/tracing of cases, quick treatment and immediate isolation to avoid the spread of this disease. Early testing also helps to identify high risk contacts; anyone who came into contact with infected people. So, they too can be quickly treated to reduce the intensity of the spread.

Early testing is crucial to treat, isolate or hospitalize people who are infected; depending upon severity of infection. Testing is an important stage in the bigger public health picture for alleviating efforts, helping investigators, spread and contagiousness of the disease and characterize the prevalence.

The long-term testing strategy for COVID-19 must be based on the network of public and accredited private labs sourcing testing consumables from suppliers, whose quality has been vetted by central government agencies.

The main type of tests being used to detect the COVID19 are RT PCR, Antibody Testing and Antigen Testing. Some are more reliable than others; no single test is 100 per cent accurate. There are significant differences between them; in the way they work, but also their advantages and limitations, which are unique to each.

Currently, diagnosis of active infection is done with Reverse transcriptase polymerase Chain Reaction; RT-PCR test, the gold standard.  The virus is made up of a genetic material called RNA. When the virus enters host cells it uses RNA to replicate itself. So, it’s a direct test for detecting COVID -19 viral particles from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs collected and transported via Viral Transport medium (VTM).

The RT-PCR test can only tell whether the person has live or very recently dead virus in their body at the time of sample collection. The likelihood of detecting the virus depends on collection methods, severity of infection and how much time has passed since infection. RT PCR tests are accurate but with high TAT and cost, it requires sophisticated equipment and unidirectional settings, trained personnel to run the tests.

Besides this, Serology tests play an important role for patient care and are crucial for the management and surveillance of the disease. These tests offer insight into the virus’s incidence within populations, including symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. They are important in determining the full scope of the disease, engaging the pandemic, surveillance and rebuilding mutual confidence.

Potentially detect immunity in COVID-19 recovered individuals. These tests identify patients with solving/resolved infections. Potentially detect immunity in individuals allowing them to continue their routines and possibly avoid unnecessary quarantine.

PCR testing needs extracted RNA (genetic material) from swabs. RNA extraction is process which comprises of lysis, binding and washing steps; with incorporation of Internal control(IC). This IC is guaranty of proper RNA extraction and should be read at the time of result interpretation along with other Quality control (QC). Extraction can be done manually, by semi-automated/fully automated instruments.

After extraction; addition of enzymes and primers and probes specific for covid-19 (designed in such a way that it will bind and amplify only & only Covid-19 specific genes) mixed with RNA in particular combination. This procedure also can be performed manually or automated with the help of liquid handler robotic arm systems. PCR uses this RNA for amplification.

The first step in the testing process is to convert the viral RNA into DNA using the enzyme reverse transcriptase so name RT PCR. Once this is done chemicals are used to amplify Covid-19 specific sequence so it can be read by the PCR instrument; Thermal Cycler and with precise software. PCR consists of three steps denaturation, annealing and elongation with exact number of cycles along with specific temperature.

By setting up the threshold results can be analyzed and reported as RNA Detected or Not Detected. This overall series of procedure takes 4-5 hrs.

Follow these instructions before taking a PCR Test:

  1. Do not eat, drink or brush your teeth 30 minutes before you take the test.
  2. Wear a cloth mask, keep your windows up and stay in your vehicle.
  3. Try to do a self quarantine of at least 14 days to minimiza the chance of getting or spreading the virus.

Then, afterwards,  these are the things that you should do:

  1. Since this test takes relatively shorter time to reach a result, there will be some waiting to do. While you wait, don’t take off your mask and maintain a distance of minimum 6 feet from other people.
  2. When the result comes and it’s non-reactive, then congratulations, you can go back to your day doing whatever you need to do that day. Still, the use of a mask is really effectibe to ward off viruses if you need to be around strangers. Keep them on whenever you find yourself in a crowd.
  3. When the result comes back.and it’s reactive, usually you will need a proper swab test. So use your mask and find out how you can get one, and then go home and lock yourself in for at least 14 days. Keep a log of your health progress, and take another PCR test after 14 days.

There you are, some info on what you should do before and after  PCR Test. Good luck and stay healthy!

Self-care while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic

Self-care while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic

While the spread of the Coronavirus is still trying to contain, most people now spend three quarters of their daily time indoors. This is an important step because reducing crowds will reduce the number of people infected with the Corona virus. So of course, it is not easy for everyone, on the other hand many people are forced to go out to work, some people have the privilege of staying indoors safely. Therefore, going nowhere and staying indoors are important contributions to the safety of many people.

  1. Prioritize Sleep

When it comes to maintaining your health and well-being, sleep is always part of the answer. Good and adequate quality sleep keeps your immune system working as well as possible to fight infections such as those caused by the new Corona virus.

Indeed, there is a part of the body’s immune response that occurs only during sleep. Scientists know that sleep is also one of the best ways to control stress, because lack of sleep can make us more sensitive to the effects of stress, increasing our reactions (or overreactions) to stressors. Finally, the brain needs sleep to function. Lack of sleep can make you less patient and focused, and more moody, irritable, and emotional

  1. Avoid Snacking Without A Purpose

Do you spend your days with a pile of snacks now? Instead of imposing strict rules on what you can and cannot eat, try to eat intuitively. It’s not a diet, it’s a way of eating, it’s all about giving your body only what it needs.

Eating intuitively doesn’t limit certain foods or make you count calories. This is a practice where you listen to your body and pay attention to what you need in the moment. Do you need heavy meals or snacks? You eat when you feel hungry, and you stop eating when you feel full.

  1. Reach High Protein Snacks When You Need An Energy Boost

What should you ask when you feel hungry? Maintain a high protein diet to help you get to the end of your to-do list for the day. Protein helps you feel full longer and avoids the energy losses you may experience. Eat boiled eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt, and vegetables.

  1. Keep Stress Relief Foods on Hand

Yes, you read that right. Certain foods can actually have a stress-reducing effect. Think: warm, soothing foods (such as soup or tea) and fatty fish (omega-3s can improve mood). Avocados are packed with vitamins C and B6, which are known to help reduce stress. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are great for dealing with stress (enjoy a little, as it’s a calorie dense food). Other beneficial foods include wheat, bananas, oranges, water, and green vegetables.

  1. Practice Kindness and Gratitude

Clinical studies have found that people who regularly practice keeping a gratitude journal (actually writing down what you are grateful for) report better well-being, physical health, and increased optimism about the future. Practicing kindness is sometimes easier said than done (especially when we are in a place where life is really hard), but remember that everyone is going through hard times right now

  1. Take a few minutes to practice diaphragmatic breathing

Calming down and engaging in measured breathing can have a direct effect on your mental and physical state, whether the tension comes from an endless cycle of news or your always annoying housemates. Do your breathing exercises regularly to start or end your day in a positive way, or try them when you need a little more.

  1. Meditate On Your Own

You don’t need any special equipment or space for this one, you can do it anytime, anywhere. Meditation is thinking deeply or focusing your mind for a period of time. What it does: Meditation can help reduce stress, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and regulate negative thinking.

  • Try Relaxing with Music

Turn off the TV and turn on some mood-enhancing notes. Music therapy uses music to help people cope with physical or emotional needs, according to the University of Minnesota. And it has been shown to reduce symptoms in people with mood problems, such as anxiety and depression.

  • Use Social Media with Attention

Social media and other virtual tools let you connect with friends and family even when you’re apart. But they can also have unintended consequences if and when their use becomes excessive or takes up your time. How can you make sure you use it wisely? The more personal your social media interactions, the better, experts say (think of people sending direct messages rather than mindless scrolling). Use these tools on purpose.

Be selective about who you follow and what applications you use. And take the time to disconnect. If you feel isolated, call your friends or family members from time to time instead of making statuses or comments on Facebook.

  1. Avoid Nonstop News Consumption

It is important to stay informed and be aware of important updates in your area, especially those affecting your health. But people don’t have to listen to the same warnings and headlines over and over. Particularly during times when the news can be disappointing, experts recommend limiting news consumption to two or three sources a day to deal with any anxiety it might cause, and checking at predetermined (not continuous) times of the day for updates. Consider making one of your sources your local news source. And if you can, avoid checking the headlines before bed.

  1. Get Your Creativity with Coloring Books and Other Art Therapy

Coloring (or any creative or artistic endeavor, such as drawing, painting, or knitting) can be relaxing for many people. For some people, this is an opportunity to remove distractions and focus on one thing at a time.

For others, it is a way of expressing the emotions they are feeling (maybe you paint in bright, bright colors because you are experiencing strong feelings). Don’t underestimate the power of art to help you overcome it!

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Pandemic

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Pandemic

Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 itself can lead to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, agitation, and stroke. People with pre-existing mental, neurological or substance use disorders are also more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. They may stand a higher risk of severe outcomes and even death.

How to Protect Your Mental Health

  1. Recognize that your anxiety is completely normal.

If school closures and worrying headlines are making you anxious, you are not the only one. Actually, that is how you should be feeling.

“Psychologists have long recognized that anxiety is a normal and healthy function that alerts us to threats and helps us take measures to protect ourselves”, says Dr. Lisa Damour, expert adolescent psychologist, best-selling author and monthly New York Times columnist.

  1. Find a distraction.

“Psychologists know that when people are in chronically difficult conditions it’s helpful to divide the problem into two categories: things they can do something about, and then things they can do nothing about”, says Dr. Damour.

There’s going to be a lot in that second category right now, and that’s fine, but what can help us cope are distractions. Dr. Damour suggests doing homework, watching favourite movies or reading books, as ways to make it easier for ourselves and to find a balance in everyday life.

  1. Find new ways to connect with friends.

If you want to spend time with your friends while limiting your face time, social media are a great way to connect. Be creative: join TikTok challenges such as #safehands. “I would never underestimate the creativity of teenagers”, says Dr. Damour and adds: “My hunch is that they will find ways to [connect] online that are different from how they’ve been doing it before.”

„[But] it’s not a good idea to have unfettered access to screens and/or social media. That’s not healthy, that’s not smart and it may amplify the anxiety”, says Dr. Damour and recommends making a schedule for social media time together with parents.

  1. Focus on yourself.

Have you wanted for a while now to learn to do something new, to start reading a new book, or to devote time to playing an instrument? Now is the time to do all that.

While some of us enjoy staging at home and the freedom it offers to many aspects of our life (i.e. not having to wear pants during work-as long as you remember not to stand up in front of your laptop during a video meet;) some other take this pretty hard, too. They whom originally enjoy being in a crowd, for example, may have been struggling to keep themselves sane these past months we spend in quarantine.

If you belong to the latter group, please beware. As much as we are trying to stay healthy outside, we should not forget that we also ought to stay healthy inside. Giving yourself a treat every once in a while, for example, is actually suggested. Whether you buy a pretty dress or a skin-care set online, you should give yourself some love and have a me-time at least once a week.

  1. Connect with your feelings

Missing events with friends, hobbies and sports is very disappointing. “These are major losses. They are very upsetting for all, including teenagers”, Dr. Damour says. What is the best way to deal with disappointment? Allow yourself to feel it. “When it comes to having a painful feeling, the only way out is through. Go be sad, and if you allow yourself to do it, you will feel better soon.”

Everyone processes their feelings in a different way. “Some children are going to make art, some are going to want to talk to their friends and use their shared sadness as a way to feel connected in a time when they can’t be together in person, and some children are going to want to find ways to get food to food banks”, says Dr. Damour. It’s important to do what you feel is right and useful.

Enjoying time with the family is aso one thing that can keep your stress level low. Granted, children can cause serious headache sometimes; but let’s admit, we also enjoy seeing them doing what they do, right? Well, as we’re entering the end of October, why not organize a mini trick or treating or even invent other fun things to do as a family on Hallowe’en? Not only you, but the kids will be happy, too. Win-win!

  1. Be kind to yourself and others

Some teenagers are facing online bullying and violence due to coronavirus. “Activating bystanders is the best way to address any kind of bullying”, says Dr. Damour.

For you who live alone, you might choose between using a AI app that can be your virtual friend, or adopt a pet to be your real friend. AI apps have been growing like mushrooms do in rainy season. They must have sensed the need to talk and be social with someone, even if it was not a real person.

Most of these apps are even equipped with therapy features, in which you are able to take therapy sessions with capable consultants at a fracture of the cost you’ll spend in a real therapist’s office.

Sports and meditation are also known for their therapeutic therapy. While jogging through those lush paddy fields, you have all the time in the world to reminisce and really contemplate about things in life that you can have nowhere else. Both sports and meditation are good to have as a daily habit to help you stay healthy inside and out.

If you’re still feeling down after all that, you might want to have a closer look and have yourself checked by professionals. Please take care of your selves, people! What about you, what do you do to stay happy and healthy inside?

WHY WE WEAR MASK? HERE ARE FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT IT!

WHY WE WEAR MASK? HERE ARE FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT IT!

Maskers

Health protocols cover the necessity of wearing masks, maintaining distance or physical distancing from others, not making or visiting crowds, washing hands with soap to bring hand sanitizers to ensure your hands are kept clean.

Mask is a simple barrier used to prevent the spread of particles from the human body, and protect against viruses or other germs. As we know, currently, the spread of SARS CoV-2 is from droplets of the human body, which can spread when someone sneezes, coughs, even when talking.

Up until now, many people hope that scientists will quickly find a vaccine for the COVID-19.

This pandemic makes mask a common object and even mandatory. Many places even require their use when in public or closed spaces. Mask that were originally only used by hospital officials have now become common on the streets. However, there are still a number of myths related to masks that make people confused or misunderstood.

But don’t get confused, here are some myths that you should know about masks:

  • Covid-19 isn’t real, so there’s no need to cover your face

More than 16.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed and nearly 654,000 death tolls recorded worldwide, but some people still believe the virus is not real or a hoax. For example, the United States has more than 4 million confirmed cases and more than 150,000 deaths. But according to a data, about one in three Americans believe that the Coronavirus has not killed as many as it has reported. The conspiracy videos that are widely circulated in cyberspace have been repeatedly denied by the entire medical and scientific community.

  • All Must Wear Medical Mask or N95

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear at least a cloth mask and not a medical or N95 mask. Because these masks are prioritized for doctors who are on the front lines of fighting the Corona COVID-19 virus pandemic. The CDC itself advises that these non-medical masks can be found in stores or can be made from home.

  • Wearing mask can inhale more carbon-dioxide

When used properly, the mask covers the bridge of the nose and extends under the chin without slits on the sides, completely covering the wearer’s nose and mouth. Some people argue that medical masks can trap carbon dioxide, causing the wearer to inhale more CO2. But WHO says, using surgical masks for a long time will not cause CO2 poisoning or oxygen deprivation.

  • Babies Must Use Masks

Babies under the age of two should not wear masks, according to the CDC. People who have respiratory problems or are paralyzed, don’t have to wear mask.

  • Using a mask while swimming

Well, of course, don’t need it… it is no use. The main problem with wearing a mask while swimming is getting wet. The only way to avoid a greater contagion is physical distancing with people who have finished swimming a distance of 1.83 meters. Wash your hands often after swimming.

  • Masks Don’t need to be washed

Don’t ever think about doing it. Cloth masks also need to be washed, as they can collect a lot of germs during use, as the CDC suggests. The mask can be washed with warm water, don’t forget to add a mixture of bleach and water solution (4 teaspoons of household bleach per 1 liter of room temperature water) and soak your mask for 5 minutes. Then rinse with cold or room temperature water. Let it dry completely. If possible, place the mask in direct sunlight.

  • No need to wear a mask if you are not sick

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case when the CDC as a disease control and prevention agency urges everyone who is active outside the home to wear a mask. Both those who are healthy or sick, must use a mask. This is related to the way the corona virus spreads, which is easily spread through droplets from talking, when coughing or sneezing. For those of you who can’t get medical masks, it’s okay because cloth masks are also recommended for you. This is related to its efficiency which can ward off the corona virus by up to 70%. Regardless, you stick to other health protocols.

  • Using a face shield – no longer need to use a mask

The fact is that face shields are not very helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. Still, the most effective thing is that you use a mask. If it is coated again with a face shield, then your protection will increase. But it is advisable to keep using a mask first because that is what is recommended.

  • No need to keep your distance when wearing a mask

WHO said, the use of face-mask alone was not enough to provide maximum protection. Therefore, apart from wearing masks, one must also maintain a safe distance or physical distancing from one another, wash hands frequently with soap and water, and avoid touching the face.

So, covering your nose and mouth using a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of covid-19. Hence, along with the outbreak of covid-19, social media is also busy with content about the use of masks. In fact, some videos using masks have gone viral, even if they are wrong. For example, a mask can be boiled with boiling water to kill the virus. Or mask can be worn under the chin or on the forehead. That is so wrong, because the forehead and chin can sweat, so that germs can stick to the mask and will even be inhaled while breathing when you put back on.

Then how to use the correct mask? The correct use of masks, not only during use, but before wearing them must be started properly. Follow these tips

a. Clean your palms

Before handling the mask strap, you must make sure the palms of both hands are clean from germs. For that, wash your hands with soap or antiseptic so that germs die. Proper hand washing is not just hands cleaned with soap or antiseptic. Make sure that between your fingers and the backs of your hands are cleaned with it. Then rinse your hands with clean running water, and dry them.

b. Make sure the mask is not deformed

Hold the mask straps on both sides. Check the condition of the mask, is it really clean and there is no damage such as holes. Do not use a mask that is damaged, because the protection provided is also reduced. Also remember to only hold onto the mask strap or the edges. Do not touch the center of the mask to prevent dirt from sticking to the mask.

c. Use masks orderly

When using a mask, you must be consistent to always wear it. Do not open and close the mask too often. Moreover, open the mask and move it to the forehead or around the throat. When the mask is opened, automatically there is no protection against the mouth and respiratory tract. Then the mask can also get dirty because sweat is stuck on the forehead and throat.

d. Be diligent in changing mask

Although it is recommended to always use a mask, it does not mean that you use one mask throughout the day. Mask also have an expiration date. Routinely change masks every 4 hours if you can, so that you’re optimally protected and stay healthy. To change masks, you also have to wash your hands first. Then untie the ties or part of the rope, put the mask in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash.

So, the use of masks has become normal in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. But how long do we have to wear it?

Quoting Shan Soe-Lin, a lecturer from Yale University, who received training on immunology says that at least people will use masks until a vaccine is found. We will wear masks as long as COVID-19 is still a threat, and COVID-19 will continue to be a threat until you get a vaccine.

Saad Omer, Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, shared Seo-Lin’s opinion. In fact, according to him, wearing a mask can take longer than one year. Even when a vaccine is available, these measures will outlast the release of the vaccine. Vaccines will vary by country, according to mode of delivery. You need at least a year to deploy the vaccine and have sufficient coverage.

Remember, there is no cure yet. So, implementing the health protocols is our priority. Don’t forget to always put on your face mask when you go outside the house, fellas!

NEW NORMAL IN PANDEMIC: THE FATE OF TOURISM INDUSTRY AND BALI’S PLAN TO REOPEN

NEW NORMAL IN PANDEMIC: THE FATE OF TOURISM INDUSTRY AND BALI’S PLAN TO REOPEN

The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated various sectors.

The results of an analysis from DCode, the world economic and financial consulting agency based in Cairo, Egypt, the tourism sector could be the most affected by the outbreak of Covid-19, which oblige many people to stay at home, not going anywhere. For those who work in this sector, ranging from guides, food stalls, souvenir sellers, online taxis, those who are involved in hospitality, airlines, airports, and others are severely affected. One reason is that there are very few or almost no people traveling, especially remote destinations.

Right. At this time, there may not be anyone who ‘dares’ to plan a walk in these difficult conditions. When will this virus go? When did it start safe to leave the house and meet lots of people? When can we safely travel again? Even if it’s safe, which ones are safe, which aren’t? Then, traveling using what is safe? Plane, train or car? Various questions linger in our minds, without any answers. No one can provide certainty and answers to these questions.

Many things must be revived, and we must move on. There are many things that must be done by companies, hotels, travel agencies, airlines, car rentals, and governments around the world to re-create the tourism sector into a dynamic sector and be able to support many people.

At the very least, the world of tourism will begin to revive again depending on several things;

  • The lockdown / quarantine rule is revoked, and of course there has been an official announcement from the government (Ministry of Health) that Covid-19 has been successfully overcome. Whether it’s because the vaccine has been found, or because of other reasons. At present, Indonesia is still in a period of national disaster, and we are still advised to stay at home, as well as conduct social / physical distancing.
  • WHO has given the green light to return to traveling. Now, WHO has clearly stated ‘stay home. There are no signs that in the near future WHO will change its policy.
  • Other countries have also revoked travel warnings, travel restriction, and so on. This could be one of Indonesia’s benchmarks for doing the same thing. Now, no country has done it.
  • Schools, campuses and businesses are back to normal. When students and students have returned to study at their school / campus, and restaurants no longer apply the social / physical distancing rules, this can also be one of the benchmarks that traveling can be done again.

The safest is to wait for the four points above to occur in parallel. In addition, we need to be careful of some of the things below that are not a sign of a safe time to travel again, which are this following;

  • Tourist attractions are reopened. Of course, this is not a sign that the virus has left, but it could be due to severe economic reasons because there is no income from visitors.
  • There are no newer covid-19 cases. Again, even this is not a sign that the virus has left. To find out if there are new positive cases or not, testing must continue. And all countries have limitations to do it.
  • When politicians say ‘Covid-19 is gone’. For this, let the health experts, the ministry of health, WHO, and those who have the competence to ensure it.

But indeed, we need to realize that the world of tourism will be the longest and last sector to return to normal after this pandemic is over. Let’s look realistically. Even though many travel restrictions will be lifted, we might not be able to go out of the house and travel soon and feel completely safe. Many of us will still be concerned and considerate. It could be that some countries will still ‘shut down’ for some time even though the pandemic has been declared over.

This will reduce the number of countries in transit, the number of destination countries, and the number of tourists. In addition, millions of people were affected financially during the pandemic season. Revenues are reduced, savings are reduced. When Covid-19 is gone, the first priority in using the ‘remaining’ funds is certainly not traveling, but to our own recovery. But although we have to face the reality, we must not stop to be optimist, right?

Like many countries, Indonesia is currently focused on preparing a new normal to prepare for welcoming tourists back. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia are still undergoing some plans to reopen tourism. Certainly, Bali is one of the important areas to be recovered. Bali’s tourism sector planned to be opened in two stages, that is in August 2020 for domestic tourists and September 2020 for foreign tourists.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio, said that if the phase one of the new normal implementation in Bali which is the opening of various sectors, except education and tourism could run smoothly, then the Island of the Gods could enter the second stage; the opening of tourism sector.

According to him, overall, the spread of Covid-19 in the Island of the Gods was relatively far lower than other places. However, tourism industry is a business of trust that must create a sense of security and comfort when visiting. So, he emphasizes that what we need to build is a public trust, both national and international tourists, regarding the implementation of health protocols in Bali.

Bali’s Governor, I Wayan Koster also said that he had made preparations regarding the protocol for the implementation of the new normal. But for the opening of tourism industry, we must be very careful in order to prevent the second wave of pandemic, which is very risky and very heavy to face. Therefore, no need to rush, because we are all trying.

Meanwhile, The Nusa Dua area is preparing a pilot program on the implementation of Cleanliness, Health, and Safety (CHS) for new normal tourist destinations. The Nusa Dua area was chosen because it is strategic, exclusive and have centralized system, so the supervision could run smoothly. Nusa Dua is also equipped with supporting facilities ranging from accommodation, amenities, and even hospitals on an international scale.

The steps for the opening of tourism divides into two stages;

First is Gaining Confidence and second is Appealing. Gaining Confidence starts from the preparation of the CHS protocol which will later be packaged through video tutorials and easy-to-understand guidebooks for tourism stakeholders such as hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, tourist destinations, and others. Then proceed with the training, simulations, publications, and campaigns as well as the application of CHS application.

While in the Appealing stage, The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will run a number of programs such as Mega Daytrip involving key opinion leaders (KOL), the media and travel agents (TA) and tour operators (TO). Then also make a joint promotion by making tour packages with airlines and TA / TO and preparing MICE activities on a small scale.

Nevertheless, they emphasize that the opening of tourism destination still depends on the decision of the Covid-19 Task Force and the local government. Because each destination has different situations and conditions. But let’s hope for the best, to regain “normal” very soon.

Bali New Normal – Is It Taken Seriously by the foreigners?

Not that long ago, the internet burst into chaos when Indonesian screen-writer residing in Bali, Jenny Jusuf, blew the whistle on a Mass Yoga Party organized by a Ubud-based Yoga Shala.

On her original tweet last month, Jenny posted a photo showing a mass of foreigners participating in the event with very close proximities from each other. The jam-packed Yoga shala was shown practicing a “Yoga Party” that the shala’s founder later claimed to have taken place in hope to raise money for local communities suffering from the Corona impacts.

As we all know, Bali has been gasping for air these past four months. So many places were closed down, cutting off the livelihood of so many people. In this spirit, as the founder of the yoga shala has claimed, they arrange a mass yoga exercises with a DJ for the house party to end things up. Although it is a bit of contrast ending a mass yoga practice with a party, we try to keep an open mind and just accept that many people might find it exciting. Afterall, the place was cramped, right?

Jenny’s post sparked some serious anger within the island’s community; both locals and foreigners were appalled seeing so many people in a small place without any regard to the official health protocols a.k.a wearing a mask and/or keeping a minimum of 2 meters distance from each other.

As always, people were divided into two poles. While most of them were raged to see foreigners giving no regard to the government’s health regulations, surprisingly there were so many that defended the shala, saying that they have done so much for the local communities and that we should be grateful for them being there.

Although ultimately taking responsibilities and apologizing for the inconsiderate event held at the Ubud Shala, the founder had tried denying the event and, with no shame wjatsoever, tried to discard Jenny’s reputation by saying that the photo she posted was taken months ago before the pandemic hit the world.

Claiming that it was an old photo, the irresponsible founder of the shala even tried to clean his footsteps by erasing older posts published in their social media accounts; a sad attempt to conceal a digital print since people had taken screenshots and other proofs in defense of Jenny Jusuf’s report.

When it was finally proved that the photo was indeed taken in June 2020, backed up with some videos uploaded by the very people who participated in the event, the founder of the shala then made a long and annoying apology post on their Insta, pointing out the things they have done and given back to the Ubud community. So many foreigners on their right mind were enraged with this half-heartedly made apology, saying that there is no point of giving money to the locals if they then decide to ignore health protocols and jeopardize the lives of so many.

As the situation went from bad to worse for Jenny, she actually felt like she needed legal counselors to deal with the threats and personal attacks she got from people defending the shala. Some local Balinese lawyers responded to her plea of getting legal help and is processing the case as of today and we wonder what the outcome will be.

Really, we wonder why it seems so hard to wear a mask and maintain a distance when not only our own but also other people’s health are at stake. When you live in a society, there is always a chance that you get or transfer the virus to other people without even knowing. If you do not have any care in the world of getting Corona in your system, then maybe it is time for you to think that you can also be a carrier, transferring your virus everywhere and to everybody you make contact with.

People who have families, jobs, and lives they can not afford to leave just for being sick and ridden on a hospital bed. These people might resist going to hospitals and just keep on pushing themselves to go to work everyday, infecting  many more people in turn, and yet you wonder why the virus is staying for so long.

All in all, it seems like people are not taking the New Normal regulations seriously when they really should. Hopefully Bali government will have   strict regulation regarding the matter in the near future. Until then, please wear your mask and keep your distance. We’ll fight this together!