Bob Dylan once sang “And you better start swimmin', or you'll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin'”.
The lyrics, written in 1964, have become relevant again as many people and companies grapple to survive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly half of the entire global workforce is in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed by the virus pandemic, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
In Indonesia, the weakening economy has prompted many companies to furlough or lay off their employees. The government estimates that 5.2 million people will lose their jobs during the pandemic.
Amid this challenging situation, some businesses and professionals in Jakarta have managed to keep afloat through the use of technology.
Inggita Syari Anindya, better known as Gita, is the owner of Body Fit Jakarta. Gita has been holding online classes since Jakarta imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on April 10.
Likewise, Ni Ketut Putri Minangsari also streams her Balinese dancing class from the Omah Wulangreh cultural center in South Jakarta.
Gita and Ketut say that the main challenge is a lagging internet connection as they teach movements that require particular tempos.
For D’Jazz Music School guitar coach Robert Mulyahardja, online classes allow him to attract more students, including those who live overseas.
Some professionals utilize online connections not necessarily for profit.
Disc jockey Anton Wirjono held a live-streamed concert to entertain his fans at home and to raise funds, which were used to provide personal protective equipment for medical workers.
Muhammad Zakroni – a PE teacher and trainer for Special Olympics Indonesia (SOIna) athletes – uses the internet to continue providing lessons for his students at home.
More than for business and education, the internet has also provided a virtual space for people to pray together – whether in a Quran recital or a funeral service. [yps]