The whole world is in a state of emergency. Who would have thought this would happen?
It sounds more like a science fiction movie or a zombie story than our real life.
Curfews were introduced, entry bans were imposed, and in many areas life was completely stopped.
Although Indonesia is one of the last countries affected by the virus, we are still experiencing the consequences on our remote paradise islands.
Tourists stay at home; the huts are empty, and the boats stay dry. Many locals cannot understand the extent of the current crisis and have no idea what the future will bring.
Can we even experience some positive side effects from this situation, even though the current events are worrying and scary?
A break for nature
Airplanes stay on the ground; cars are not used, and boats fill the ports. The traffic has largely been stopped, and nature is the first to experience the effects.
Clear water in the rivers, clean air to breathe and unusual fishes return to blue water.
No question – nature is the winner. Because finally what has been long overdue has happened. After all the endless talks about the climate crisis, action is now being taken (although for other reasons).
Research shows that CO² emissions in China (one of the world’s largest polluters) decreased by 25% between February 3 and March 1. The thick smog that usually covers Hubei province disappeared and the blue sky became visible to everyone.
Traffic was also restricted in Indonesia. Many provinces such as West Papua (Sorong) and Papua (Jayapura) closed their doors. Ferries and passenger ships are not allowed to enter, except for container ships with the necessary supplies. The same happened with the operation at the airports.
The public ferry between Sorong and Raja Ampat stopped its operation, too. Homestays and resorts in Raja Ampat have been closed and are no longer accessible to tourists.
The colourful underwater world, which is usually over-visited by enthusiastic travellers, will have enough time to regenerate this year. Turtles, sharks, manta rays and whales swim freely through blue water without interference.
Those who travel to paradise again after this crisis can look forward to nature, which shines in fresh colours after a long break.
A break for everyone
Lockdowns and quarantine regulations have far-reaching consequences – not only for the environment but also for each one of us.
Millions of people are no longer allowed to leave their homes or move around freely. Suddenly one finds oneself within one’s own four walls. Some people don’t know what to do with their time. Lucky are those who can work at home and keep their little routine.
Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, we can gain a lot of positive things during this time. More time with loved ones, finally time for things we would put off and time to pause and take a deep breath. Aren’t we always rushing from one appointment to the next without being able to reduce our to-do list?
Maybe there is an interesting book that has been waiting to be read for a long time. Or should the house be cleaned properly again? Is there anything you always wanted to try out at home?
The possibilities are endless: binge-watch your favourite series, immerse yourself in yoga, try out new recipes, clean up the garden, rearrange the apartment, make plans and so on. If you miss the holiday feeling and diving in paradise, just switch to Raja Ampat’s underwater documentaries.
The most important thing is to nourish your body and soul with the right food. That means mainly fresh and healthy foods as well as positive information and thoughts. If you switch off your cell phone or TV every now and then, you will suddenly notice the difference.
Here in our paradise, the quarantine looks like this: Charge your batteries in the sun (vitamin D), eat fresh organic food from our garden (vitamin C) and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.
Are you already thinking about your next holiday trip?
Read why ecotourism is not only good for the planet but also highly recommended for post-COVID-19 travel!
A crisis – the possibility of a fresh start
A crisis that affects the whole world has one major advantage: we feel connected across borders.
Even if we don’t understand the language, we sympathize and show compassion. If we were normally too busy at other times, we are now thinking of the weaker ones in our society. If we would normally feel very lonely at other times, we now know that we are not alone.
A crisis of this size breaks our previous patterns and ways of thinking. It breaks us down and makes us realize the essentials of life. It creates space for a fresh start. It gives us the courage to try new things.
Maybe this is the time to rethink the system we currently live in. Perhaps it is worth moving closer together and creating something that we can all benefit from. Maybe it is time to save our planet and all beings living on it.
Regardless of the direction it may take, the world will certainly not be the same as it was before the crisis. Let’s hope that each of us takes something positive from this time – even if it’s only the understanding that we should slow down more often.
How do you get through isolation? Do you have any quarantine tips for the time staying at home?