What to know when self-isolating in Jakarta during COVID-19

After Jakarta reinstated its large-scale social restrictions, or PSBB (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar), the earliest possible date Jakartans may be able to return to normality again is 11th October 2020, at the time of writing.

Strict PSBB measures have been taken by the capital’s administration to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic – schools are closed, offices are reduced to at least 25% capacity and companies encouraged to let staff work from home, markets and malls reduced to half capacity, public gatherings are banned, and recreational venues such as cinemas, pool halls, and bowling alleys shut down.

This period has been tough for many people – mentally, physically, and financially – but social distancing and halts on activities is badly needed as our country currently has 248,852 cases at the time of writing. But instead of panicking, you can help flatten the curve by doing the following things on our list in order to stay healthy and safe while self-isolating in Jakarta.

1. Always fact-check, and don’t believe in rumours

self-isolating in jakarta- person holding a phone
Image credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Being overloaded with information can take a toll on your mental health. The last thing you need now is being overloaded with fake news and hoaxes such as unproven herbal or spiritual cures for the virus – which are rife on social media and group chats.

Stick with facts – discard rumours and speculations. Limiting your time spent on news feeds and choosing only credible websites such as covid19.go.id, which provides daily pandemic statistical updates from the Indonesian authorities, will help with that.

2. Cut down on your COVID-19 news consumption if you need to

self-isolating in jakarta- person holding a remote control
Image credit: Oleg Magni

Working or studying from home poses its own challenges – your living space may be too distracting and not set up for hours of work on end, or you may not have access to special equipment that you need to do your work more efficiently. On top of that, it’s hard to avoid the constant stream of COVID-19 news on social media and TV. Without noticing, we often end up spending hours on our phones and laptops just trying to keep up with the news.

You can minimize distractions by limiting your daily news consumption to 30 minutes to an hour a day at a specified time. Or better still, unfollow news accounts and groups on your social media platforms so you’ll be exposed to worrying news less regularly. Not being able to go out is tough enough, so reduce things that give you even more stress.

This will give you more headspace to focus on productive pursuits, such as healthy cooking, catching up on reading, or simply to rest up.

3. Bring your social gatherings online

self-isolating in jakarta- zoom call online
Image credit: Gabriel Benois/Unsplash

Even though activities above 5 people are banned in Jakarta, we should still resist the temptation to catch up with friends face-to-face unless necessary, until the pandemic is under control.

Take this PSBB period as a chance to try an online hangout with your friends while self-isolating in Jakarta – you can do this for free with Google Meet or Zoom, or play a game such as Cards Against Humanity or Codenames Online.

Check out our full list of recommended free games to play online.

4. Stock your pantry, but don’t panic-buy

drinks and lysol in a fridge
Image credit: Erik Mclean/Pexels

Take an inventory of your fridge, freezer, and pantry, and make a list of nutrient-dense foods you can eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and will last for at least the next 10 days – such as pasta, eggs, cured meats, fruits, and vegetables.

When you head to the supermarket, buy only what you need. Do not hoard food – spare some thought for others.

Two reliable online grocery shops in Jakarta include HappyFresh and Blibli. You can also check out our guide to grocery shopping in Indonesia for more information on these shops and where else to fill your pantry.

5. Have a vitamin-rich diet

healthy salad
Image adapted from: @dapoersedherek

Making sure you get all the vitamins your body needs is crucial to boosting your immune system. A healthy diet of fruits and vegetables should be enough to fulfill your daily vitamin requirements.

But if your diet isn’t balanced, ask your doctor if you should be getting supplements. For example, people who lack vitamin D are at risk of losing their bone density and may be more susceptible to fatigue or depression. Your skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, but since you’ll be spending most of your time indoors, you’ll need to take a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamins won’t cure you from the coronavirus if you get infected. But they help improve your overall well-being when paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

6. Know what to do and where to go if you think you might be infected

If you or your family members are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, a dry cough, fatigue, and others, you can call the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 emergency hotline 119 ext. 9.

indonesia covid19.gov.id statistics 21 sept 2020
Image credit: COVID-19 Task Force

The government-formed COVID-19 task force has also set up a website and a WhatsApp chatbot (081-1333-99000) to update Indonesians on the pandemic.

indonesia government covid info whatsapp screenshot
Screenshot of the government’s WhatsApp chatbot

Image adapted from Covid19.gov.id

You can also use the GrabHealth feature to consult a doctor, buy medicine, or book a medical appointment without having to leave your house.

grab app screenshot in indonesia
Image credit: Grab

Telemedicine providers such as HaloDoc and Alodokter also provide remote medical consultations from the comfort of your home.

Testing centers:

North Jakarta
RSPI Sulianti Saroso, Sunter
Telephone: 021-6506-559

Central Jakarta
RSPAD Gatot Soebroto, Senen
Telephone: 021-3440-693
RSUD Tarakan, Gambir
Telephone: 021-3503-003
RSAL Mintohardjo, Bendungan Hilir
Telephone: 021-5703-081

West Jakarta
RSUD Cengkareng, Cengkareng
Telephone: 021-5437-2874
RS Pelni, Palmerah
Telephone: 021-5306-901

South Jakarta
RSUD Pasar Minggu, Pasar Minggu
Telephone: 021-2905-9999
RSUP Fatmawati, Cilandak
Telephone: 021-7501-524

East Jakarta
RS Bhayangkara Tk. 1 R. Said Sukanto, Kramat Jati
Telephone: 021-8093-288
RSKD Duren Sawit, Duren Sawit
Telephone: 021-8655-2365
RSUP Persahabatan, Pulo Gadung
Telephone: 021-4891-708

There are also three private hospitals on the outskirts of Jakarta that function as COVID-19 testing centers:

Siloam Hospitals Kelapa Dua
Telephone: +6221-8052-4900

RS Mitra Keluarga Pratama Jatiasih, Bekasi
Telephone: +6221-8999-9222

RS Hermina, Karawang

7. Know what to do if you can’t get tested for COVID-19

man reading on couch
Image credit: Lisa Fotios

Many people can’t get tested for COVID-19 because there aren’t enough test kits available in their area. If you’re showing mild symptoms and still can’t get a test, you should self-isolate at home for at least 14 days to reduce the possibility of transmission.

woman pouring water into glass
Image credit: Freepik

During this period, you need to rest, get enough sleep, drink lots of fluids, maintain a healthy diet, and stay away from other people. Always wear a mask when you really need to step out of your house. If you develop shortness of breath with a fever or a cough, call your nearest medical provider and seek help.

8. Stay at home if you can, wash your hands regularly, and keep your home clean

man washing his hands in a sink
Image adapted from: Mélissa Jeanty/Unsplash

The best COVID-19 prevention is still to follow the advised precautions – washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, practise social distancing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces daily.

Should you need to replenish your supply of hand sanitizer, soap, and other home cleaning product, online shops in Indonesia such as Tokopedia or BliBli.com will deliver to your doorstep.

How to stay healthy while self-isolating in Jakarta

Wherever you may be self-isolating in Jakarta, the more we can stay at home, the more we can help our communities stay healthy and gradually overcome this pandemic together.

Here are some ways to keep occupied and entertained safely at home while self-isolating in Jakarta – or anywhere:

Cover image adapted from: Gabriel Benois, Mélissa Jeanty, @dapoersedherek, Lisa Fotios

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