How is COVID-19 impacting Lembongan locals?
COVID-19 is impacting everyone, no one is untouched, it is testing us all and the stresses of uncertainty, loss of work and how this will impact us into the future is difficult to process. The people of Lembongan are no different, here is a personal account from our staff ( Nomi – Social Media Manager, Titis – Reservations Manager, Triana – Logistics Manager) and their perspective of the impact of COVID-19 on the people of Lembongan. Their resilience, determination and Hindu faith give them hope and a path forward to tackling adversity.
“COVID-19 is the biggest plague of its impact for Nusa Lembongan because 80% local people lost their jobs and income.
Due to COVID-19 ceremony numbers have been restricted, only the head of ceremony, offering maker, and limited number people are allowed to attend. Prior to all ceremonies, the temple is sprayed with disinfectant. Normally we have ceremonies all day starting 8am until 6pm, now as a result of COVID-19 they can only happen from 8am-10am. The Bali government has asked us us to pray from home, all weddings and blessings cannot proceed.
Everything has changed here, normally the roads are busy with cars & scooters, and now it’s very quiet. Normally the streets are busy until night around 11pm but now by 8pm it is very quiet. 85% restaurants & meal houses are closed, almost 95% hotels closed too. Only small warungs or grocery stores remain open for food and other essential items that we need.
All boats are closed, except for the transportation of food to the island.
It has touched everyone; company man, captains of boats and small business owners have no job or income at the moment. We feel lucky that our island is surrounded by the ocean, so we can go fishing, spearfishing and net fishing. Those who have gardens and crops will use these fruit and vegetables for cooking at home. We are have started planting gardens and will take all vegetables & fruits that we have there to cook in our home. Now we all trying to plant spices, spinach etc in our gardens at home.
COVID-19 now means that Balinese women, who were usually busy with work and used to buy pre-made offerings and also take away meals are now home and will make offerings, do the cooking and cleaning for the household. It has changed how we are currenty accustom to living.
We feel this is going to have a huge effect on our economy, much more than Mount Agung eruption in 2018 and the Bali Bombings 1 & 2. However, we can also see a positive from this, there is reduced pollution, we are forced to become more thrifty, our life is cleaner & simpler, and families are now spending a lot more time together at home.
We are very thankful to government who have offered to help us with 25 kg of rice / families. You may ask “why only rice?”, because we have ocean and garden to get fish and vegetables.
We believe we can get through this together, as we have previously with the Bali Bombings, we keep supporting each other, we are grateful each day, take care of our health and pray for this to end soon.”
Written by Nomi, Titis & Triana