All of the technology and money in the world hasn’t been able to slow down Covid-19 but Bali had a trick up their own sleeve when it came to slowing the spread of the virus.
Using their traditional culture and social structures, Covid-19 so far has not been able to take over the island as seen in other hot spots around the world.
The implementation of the government’s mandated health protocols was observed in the Balinese people’s daily lives quickly after being announced. Traditional guards, locally known as pecalang, who are heads of villages monitor their own people and enforce rules.
“The Balinese people have prioritized their local wisdoms called ‘Pararem Gering COVID-19’ in promoting a public discipline amid the novel coronavirus pandemic situation,” said the People’s Consultative Assembly Speaker, Bambang Soesatyo.
In Bali, under the tight surveillance of the Pecalangs, each villager wanting to venture outdoors must have their village head’s permit. They are also obliged to wear face masks, he said.
The violators of this mandated health protocols would be given social sanctions, such as providing five kilograms of rice, sweeping road, and cleaning public facilities, he said.
“The pecalangs have become the vanguards to ensure that their residents are well disciplined in supporting the COVID-19-related prevention efforts,” Bambang Soesatyo said.
As a result of this highly-disciplined communities, the economic recovery of this Indonesia’s resort island could immediately be reached, he said.
Local officials were seen early in the pandemic implementing social shame by making rule-breakers do push ups in public for not wearing masks.
So far according to the number, it has for the most part worked. Bali hasn’t seen the high number of reported cases the rest of Indonesia has suffered from.
As of August 1st, 2020, Indonesia’s tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 109,936.
Bali has confirmed 3360 cases since the pandemic begain.