Monday morning, I had started working for about half an hour or so. Suddenly, a message appeared on my screen.

“Pak, can we talk real quick?” one of my team members messaged me.

“That sounds very serious”, I replied.

I thought it was unreal. She informed me that she tested positive for COVID-19 along with both her parents. I was stunned. A week earlier another team member also informed that her nephew tested positive. Fortunately, her PCR test showed negative. Suddenly, it became real, the virus had came close within the circle of the people that I care about.

A few days passed and I learned that other colleagues at the office or their parents had gotten sick. Some had to be hospitalised. I knew that both my team members and their parents had been vaccinated. They still had a good chance to beat the virus. This was one of the moments in life that I depended on evidence from scientific research with the efficacy rates of vaccines.

I thought last year was difficult but clearly it is not. It is far from over yet. Kawalcovid-19 on 27 July 2021 still reported a high number of cases per day at > 45,000 new cases with majority of cases found in Java and Bali. Ministry of Health reported the number of fatalities was close to 90 thousand souls, and this was undercounted.

The graph of new cases per day started showing a reversal trend going downward, which may indicate that the limited lock down policy in Java and Bali is working. However, I also notice that the number of new cases in my province is arising rapidly reaching more than 1,000 new cases per day. This is indeed worrying.

Those days during the two weeks when my team members and their family were contracted with the virus were frightening. Every morning when I got up I was prepared for the worse. I couldn’t help but felt nervous when there was no news yet from them. It was a sudden jolt of realisation of how dangerous the virus and the current situation in Indonesia.

As I was writing this, my friends and families had seemed to be recovering very well. We are blessed that we were among the first that received vaccinations but we still don’t know yet when we will reach the end of the tunnel.

How much time longer will it take before Indonesia can take over this pandemic with its vaccination program?

At what price?

How many of us who will not win in this fight?

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