We are currently facing a global problem or what is commonly called a pandemic, which is the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak. The virus, also referred to as Covid-19 by WHO, is apparently not an ordinary virus that should be underestimated. Its existence can take lives if not handled properly. This threat makes many people take various preventive measures in order to avoid this virus.
Not only the citizens, the government is also aware of the importance of implementing preventive policies. There is one who implemented quarantine, isolation, social distancing campaigns, until the implementation of lockdown status, which might affect the country's economy. How can this virus have such an impact on the economy, and how should we overcome this? Let's start by observing the experiences of other countries.
China During Covid-19 Pandemic
According to the statement of China's National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in China actually shows a promising number, which is 3.2%. However, as the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus broke out, the percentage jumped to 5.2% in December 2019, 5.5% in January, to February which reached 6.2%. This means about 5 million people have lost their jobs.
Current Condition of Indonesia
Jakarta is now the region that has the worst impact of Covid-19 in Indonesia. In addition, several cities in West, Central and East Java were also affected by this pandemic. The regional and city governments also legalized policies that were relevant to their respective regions. Let's say a school holiday, work from home (WFH), until the closure of offices and factories for some days.
This decision is indeed a wise step to protect the lives of its citizens, and in any case have to let the economic sectors affected. The reason is that we know what to do to bring back the economy back to life, but not the life of people. Well, the government has taken wise steps to protect our lives. Then, what wise steps should we take to protect our nation's economy?
Support Local Products to Sustain our Nation's Economy
Nowadays, many companies are not in a good fortune and labor layoffs have started due to unconducive conditions plus routine expenses that can not be avoided. This is the time for each of us to contribute in sustaining and, later, reawakening the economy of our nation.
We all can contribute in helping the sustainability of the economy even from small things, which is to spend on local Indonesian products. This does not mean splurging, but prioritizing local brands as the first consideration. The money that you spent will maintain the company's cash flow so that it can retain employees to continue to work.
In addition, contributions can also be made by helping to promote local brands through social media accounts, and encouraging others to do the same. There are lots of local brands selling their products online and in need of our helping hand in order to survive. This is the time for us to #SupportLocalBrand. One transaction is indeed not a thing, but imagine how this small move can have a huge impact if we all contribute.
Reflecting Economic Rebound from China
As we know, China has gradually recovered. Hubei, the first province in China known for reporting Covid-19 spread, had reported zero new cases for one week. Even local authorities will partially lift their lockdown status on 8th of April. Moreover, their economy is seemingly recovering.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said nearly 70% of the main import-export companies had returned to work. However, knowing that the country's trading partners are still struggling with the Covid-19 outbreak, this sector has not been able to work optimally.
Therefore, we now agree on the importance of mutual support between Indonesian citizens, bearing in mind that we cannot rely on other citizens.
You can buy local products, or build partnerships with fellow local companies. Thus, we carry out the essence of mutual cooperation, which in turn will be a wise step in overcoming the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.