No Measurement for the Decade

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I was an observant, witnessing year 2019 ran like the mountains of negative comments in amongst seemingly positive yet sugarcoated encouraging words exposure. I never expected negativity, but there seemed to be nothing surrounding me but a bubble of stacking complaints to the year. With extra hope for better 2020, obviously, we’re currently in a world that we’ve never recognised before – and I believe, everyone thinks the same way; what’s actually going on in this new decade?

*Produced without consent of official interview or any research utilised. Written based on what I’ve seen and heard around; because I believe – perhaps for a while – our today’s world situations can’t be gauged, measured, calculated or rigidly predicted.

Smelling out the Signs?

Tasting out 2018 as a denial phase — despite finding stimulants of slowing down economic condition; 2019 was even a more intense denial phase. The facts took some to rather negative trends yet most of us kept going with positive attempts at our businesses. Blaming 2019 as the year of earth pig, to some extent understood as a slow movement year; we actually waited as normally if a single year seems to be an unfortunate one, the following year takes us to an elevated position. That’s a life situation which is more familiar to many of us. No wonder if we had put high expectations to welcome 2020.

I’ve lived in Jakarta my whole life (and perhaps my entire life) — more than 30 years; that’s why I’m a detailed observer to the city, because I’ve witnessed almost everything. The development, the changes, the traffic ups and downs, the people, the diversity, the social life; and of course, also the flood. Yes, the flood — an anti climax New Year’s Eve for Jakartans; as it rained from 31st December 2019 to 1st January 2020, long hours of heavy rain that I’ve never seen since 1996. 5.30 AM and opened up a friend’s instagram story “huge flood”, in an elite housing area in West Jakarta — that area was never in touch with flood. Thereby, we could imagine the areas where flood has always been their annual best friend — worsening in a level that shook me to hell.

Pretty fortunate that my area wasn’t affected and I was actually scheduled for work appointments on the 1st and 2nd January; however, all cancelled due to the flood affecting the clients’ areas. Unlucky yet understood, with the most sincere heart praying against words trembling in my mind “what kind of sign is this?”. 

Photo by Ekrulila on

Quick Changes, Rush Adjustment

My feeling wasn’t fully answered, but the coronavirus outbreak caught my attention despite hearing it first time from several friends related to China — not from the news, so I thought it was simply a situation. A situation just like what my country Indonesia has faced with massive dengue fever or malaria. However, day by day coronavirus has been a reality; unstoppably almost reaching worldwide — presently including my country. A reality that even breaks my heart for humanity, I see it beyond a disease, a pandemic or an emergency case; I reckon that this could be a new introduction of life concept in a new decade. 

For very long decades, humanity had drawn the idea of industrialisation, modernity and further advancement. And we had lived in a time where progress became the keyword, where economy stood as the root of all life controls. We managed to design political regulations, economic policies and social pressure for a standard of betterment. For long years, we became highly ambitious in creating what we always believed as the best in everything; it was our focus to succeed. And what is it now? Covid-19 has shut everything down, shut everyone’s mouth, and perhaps shut our arrogance.

Within very short notice, still running 2020 for short months; we’ve been brought to a quick adaptation. I’ve seen people around whose businesses got affected by the tremendous virus outbreak, leading them to change business ideas as prompt as possible — otherwise, they might not survive. Not a happy news, as many are stranded in a situation where supplies can’t be fully sourced and demands stability are under huge question marks; meaning that we’re in an unsure condition of whether we can still run the business or not. How long would it take to get the coronavirus over?

Lockdowns and travel restrictions are almost everywhere, more news of jobs cutting down on airlines industry. Yes, shocking. Even with more facts of companies applying `remote working from home`, seems safe for a while to control the virus spread — yet another big question is coming: how long will it take? Does working-from-home style enable all business types to sustain? Who can guarantee that coronavirus is stopping in an exact timing?

I don’t want to continue for now, as I feel overwhelmed seeing the situation as well. I’ve left questions for us, humanity, to think deeply. Perhaps it’s a new life concept to follow in this decade; perhaps nothing to gauge, we just need to adapt. And please don’t sugarcoat our words, we’re not fine and we all know that. Godspeed.

Anisa Kirana | Jakarta | 2020

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