Corona Virus in Bali

This time last year, even 3 months ago, if someone had told you they had Corona Virus in Bali, you’d assume they were talking about a beer-induced hangover. Now it means something very different. And while we might all be sick of hearing about it, at the same time we’re also glued to hourly updates on the infection count, and reports on the panic-buying of toilet paper that seem to dominate the news.

There’s no doubt, the news about Covid-19 all sounds very alarming. And with reports that it was all launched by the live animal markets in China, it’s a catastrophe that could have been avoided. You know our stance at The Travellist on the live animal trade, and the barbaric butchery and horrific conditions that animals are subjected too. We hope that this is an opportunity to learn from mistakes, including the widespread devastation caused by these revolting practises. Our hope is that this industry is shut down permanently and that anyone caught operating a wild animal farm, slaughterhouse or market, is arrested. I don’t care about arguments about culture, or history, or even the loss of income if this industry shuts down…it has created a pandemic that has caused economies to collapse, people to lose their lives, and the global financial impact will be felt for many, many years to come.

So what should you do when in Bali and Corona Virus is causing lockdowns, social distancing or self- isolation? Here are some ideas that our team came up with, feel free to share and add your own!

  • 1) Wash your hands, wear a mask, don’t cough, sneeze or snort towards anyone, and don’t spit in the street. All pretty obvious but worth repeating.
  • 2) Catch up on all those half-finished TV series you’ve been watching.
  • 3) Go for a walk in the rice fields or along the beach. Wear a mask if you prefer, don’t shake hands, just wave and get in the sunshine – good for your health and your soul.
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  • 4) Feed the stray dogs and cats. The charities and banjar-run welfare groups will be pushed to the limit with reduced funding and manpower support, so any extra rice or biscuits you have can go to stray animals to keep them as healthy as possible until normal animal welfare activities can start again.
  • 5) Write a book. Read a book. Dust your bookshelves.
  • 6) Learn Bahasa Indonesian. Helpful phrases to start with:
    “What’s your temperature today?” – “Panas kamu berapa hari ini?”
    This is informal and loosely translates to how hot are you today? Lots of fun to be had with the answer.
    “Do you have any face masks?” – “Kamu punya masker ga?”
    Informal and not to be confused with “Kamu punya masker wajah ga?” which asks about face masks of the skincare variety…although if you’re in lockdown, a facial might be nice!
  • 7) Support local businesses whenever you can, and remember to be safe about it. Promote them online for when the apocalypse is over and we can all go out and enjoy each other’s company again. Buy vouchers for your favourite restaurants which provide them with an income now, and you can look forward to using them later on. Support musicians by buying their albums online, or ordering your favourite band’s t-shirt, to be worn as you dance about the house of course. Please post videos of this. Or visit open-air warungs and restaurants. Wash your hands, bring hand sanitiser, wear a mask.
  • 8) Create art on your face masks. Get the Bedazzler out and start putting crystals on your cough catchers.
  • 9) Share recipes for your version of ‘quarantinis’, the martinis you have at home in self-isolation. We went with the famous espresso martinis from the Beach House Sanur but added vanilla ice-cream. They upped the ante by adding milo to the rim of the glass.
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  • 10) Make your own hand sanitiser. There was a recipe going around using vodka. I got out the cup of vodka, but forgot the recipe and added soda water, ice and a dash of lime. Same same.
  • 11) Make an obstacle course for your dogs or cats at home. Please see our example of the office cat playground we made earlier today.
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  • 12) Watch movies about zombies. I’m not saying that’s where we are heading but…you can’t be too careful right??!!
  • 13) Call your family, friends, neighbours. Check on older people who might need extra help with grocery shopping. BUT be safe about it, if in doubt, wash your hands, wear a mask and don’t get too close.
  • 14) Learn how to use a bum gun. I’m sure there is a real name for it but it’s the hose attached to most loos in Indonesia. Let’s put a stop to the great toilet paper crisis, save trees and the environment one poop at a time!
  • 15) Send people jokes and giggles. We know it’s serious but a laugh never hurt and keeps us positive, great for the immune system.
  • 16) Even if you are sure it’s just a cold, stay home. Even if you feel fine but have a runny nose, stay home. People are scared, don’t add to the fear by sharing normal cold and flu germs around.
  • 17) Watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
  • 18) Pretend it’s just a really long Nyepi.
  • 19) Ignore the online trolls, fake news and stop sharing videos of people behaving badly in supermarkets. Think of the embarrassment you cause their children by sharing a video of mum in her best going-out trackie belting another mum in her going-out trackie over a four-pack of loo paper.
  • 20) Everyone is suffering in some way, be kind. Know that this too shall pass.
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