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Jakarta Post

In Indonesia, self-isolation is luxury not everyone can afford

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 3 2021   /  01:00 am
Commuters crowd Tanah Abang Station, one of Jakarta's busiest commuter line stations, after office hours on Jan. 28.(JP/Ardila Syakriah)

Imagine having to work with four other people who do not wear masks in a poorly ventilated room, or sneaking into the office of your boss who, unlike everyone else at the company, has been working from home since March 2020, just to be able to eat lunch alone or have it on a balcony with the external end of conditioners blowing hot air outside. These are everyday realities for a 24-year-old woman with an office job at a small construction supplies distributor in Surabaya, East Java. And adding to this conundrum, she felt she could not stay home while she had symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Nur, who has asked to be identified by her first name only, knew that if she took a day off and failed to present a doctor’s note — she was avoiding doctor’s visits over virus fears — the company might cut her pay for the day. “I’m sure my colleagues feel...