The Imposition of restriction on community activities, known as PPKM, has been rumored to be extended for another three weeks, some say for six more weeks. While further implementation and duration are yet to be confirmed, it is no longer important to debate over that issue. I am not saying PPKM is an invalid action, but has been effectuated tepidly.
During the PPKM Darurat since early July, things have seemed to worsen including social and economical condition. People tend to neglect the health protocols and the authorities have demonstrated reluctance to act decisively against violators. If strong action is taken, it is most often done to people of grass roots, those underprivileged both socially and economically.
Have you noticed how fierce the hubbub has been going on the social media lately in response to the son of a former minister who’s travelling overseas during the pandemic? Whereas countrymen are struggling to make ends meet during PPKM Darurat, the son and his wife are enjoying great time in Japan on a honeymoon. In addition to lack of empathy, the son has allegedly broken the law, quite counterproductive to his father’s task of leading the team of economic recovery and Covid-19 handling.
So what will PPKM extension really man if it’s to be implemented right away? Unless the government is willing to take serious and extreme measures to ensure the fulfillment of people’s daily needs, this is what I think will happen if PPKM is extended any further.
Less (or lost?) income
It is an open secret that restriction on public activities has led to restricted income for many people especially street peddlers and food hawkers. In my housing complex alone, food hawkers of any kind are forbidden to enter that cause them to lose income. Can you imagine how harder their life will be due to less economic activities while some rich elites enjoy traveling abroad without empathy?
Is it fair for people in the lowest level to sacrifice by losing potential income when those in the top deny physical restriction knowing that their financial security is solid? It’s not about whose money, but more on doing something in the wrong time.
In consequence to the restricted activities on economy, more people will have to endure hunger. If the government does not take immediate responses such as aiding those unfortunate with financial support during the extension, then longer PPKM will mean agonizing experience for many people due to failure to meet basic needs.
I am convinced that you all know what hunger means. It may translate fear: fear of death that might instigate criminal activities. There are many organizations and communities that share food for free, but hungry people are growing more in number that the government needs to intervene with economic support during the extension.
Fear may escalate into terror that drive hungry people to do anything to secure their necessity. It will be common to choose to die of hunger or die of the deadly virus. Either way, the implied meaning might be unbearable.
Declining trust in government
I always support the government as long as the policies are for instead of against the greater good. The PPKM can be terminated or extended with considerable consequences. Epidemiologists have it that a prolonged PPKM is inevitable, so be it.
If PPKM extension is the only logical solution, the government must provide people with relevant support at any cost. If they wish to assume power and authority while gaining public trust accordingly, they should obey what health experts say and do everything to protect people throughout the country including food security.
I too am worried about the loss of income and have so far received no financial support from the government. I have expected none, though. Instead, I want to have a better condition where I can make money by working my fingers to the bone.
I am writing not to frighten but to alert you that we have high hopes of winning this battle. Stay optimistic in your effort and remain strong in your faith. So many what-ifs but we must always believe.