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Changes in Children’s Mental Health During Covid-19

Written by Lubna Hanifa M, Grants Researcher Intern Project Child Indonesia

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide in different ways. Most people, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity have experienced its effects in one way or another, perhaps changing their lives forever. The pandemic has threatened not only global physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing as well. 

Amongst those at risk are school-age children who are currently at crucial periods in their life for learning and socialization. Thanks to the pandemic, many students are experiencing consequential damage to their mental health which may have enduring long-term effects. 

The Switch from Offline to Online Schooling

First and foremost, one of the major consequences of the pandemic has been the widespread closure of schools. The drastic shift to online learning – that is still ongoing, even now – has the potential to trigger further mental health problems as they interfere with numerous aspects of a child’s life. For school-age students, peer groups hold an incredibly crucial role in their lives. Furthermore, regular school days provide structure and routine for children. As they are robbed of these critical things, feelings of loneliness and uncertainty become common. As a consequence, children may become more dependent and clingy towards parents. If these feelings persist and are severe enough, further problems may arise that negatively impact their mental health such as depression or anxiety.

Costs of Self-Isolation and Quarantine

In addition to school closures, children who have experienced or are undergoing self-isolation or quarantine may also experience detrimental effects in regards to their mental health. Young children in particular are susceptible to grieve the parental separation, as parents are key individuals in that life stage. Moreover, children who had experienced mandatory self-isolation were more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, as well as adjustment disorder.

Feeling Unsafe at Home

For some children, the major risk factor to their safety actually comes from their own households. The prolonged time of staying at home exposes them to dangers they would otherwise be able to avoid by going about their daily routines before the pandemic hit. Social isolation in abusive homes is a specifically pressing issue. Increased stress and economic uncertainty experienced by their parents is a factor that can potentially exacerbate the occurrence of domestic violence and abuse. Such family situations can lead children to feel increasingly restless, anxious, or irritable in addition to being physically threatened. In some cases, it is possible that the child has experienced pent up emotions as a result of prolonged stay at home periods, thereby making them more prone to conflicts with other family members in the household. 

All in all, although certain regulations are in place to protect children and their families from the virus, these restrictions might actually inflict unintended harm. The urgency for regulation-makers to balance the threat of the virus in addition to the threat towards the public’s mental health, especially that of children, must be taken into urgent consideration.

Overcoming Medical Waste Problem during the Pandemic

Written by Adides Gideon Simanjuntak, Rafy Ramadhan, Stephanie Ruth Armida: Content Writer Interns Project Child Indonesia

It has been more than a year since we have our ‘14 days quarantine’. Who would have thought that the pandemic would stick around for such a long time? Just imagine all the medical waste we have produced up until now! If we do not pay any attention to medical waste, it will cause us problems in the future. Let us see what medical waste actually is, what are the problems caused by it, and what we can do to help!

What is Medical Waste?

According to WHO, Medical Waste can be classified as waste that is generated with the body fluids/contact with human beings or animals. Masks, gloves, hazmat suits, and other used medical devices from COVID-19 testings are the common examples of medical waste that has increased during the pandemic. Medical waste comes not only from hospitals, but also from households. Everyone produces medical waste, including us. 

Problems Arise

As the number of COVID-19 patients keeps getting higher each day, the number of PPEs (Personal Protection Equipments) used is also getting higher. This results in more medical waste produced. Unfortunately, our country hasn’t been able to handle it very well. Due to COVID-19, medical waste in Indonesia has reached 6.417,95 tons as of February 4th, 2021.

Right now, our country is facing problems from several dimensions:

  • Environmental
    • Most PPEs contain polypropylene, polyurethane, polyacrylonitrile, polyethylene, and polyethylene terephthalate, chemicals that make it harder to break down. The fragmentation of it will not only harm the land, but also the water ecosystems in rivers and the sea.  They can tangle and poison animals such as fish and birds that live near water. 
    • PPEs will release toxins if they are burned in the open, causing air pollution. Medical waste such as these has to be incinerated to kill the dangerous elements in it. However, even Incinerators cause pollution, meaning more health problems to the respiratory system and the skin. 
    • Landfills are overwhelmed by medical waste. The degradation process of medical waste can release the toxic chemicals to an open environment which can be hazardous to people around the area. 
  • Social

Because rivers are now heavily polluted with medical waste, families who rely their lives  on rivers are at risk. For example, residents who depend on the Cisadane river for their daily necessities are now scared of using the water because it’s too dangerous (Keck, 2020). Workers who rely on waste picking are also impacted because they have to be in contact with the medical waste; hence, they have a bigger risk of catching the virus. 

  • Economic

To save our country, our government has to work on solutions, and they definitely cost a lot of money. For example, they are building new incinerator plants, and while the government is working on those, they also have to spend more on third-parties in order to let hospitals use their incinerators to burn medical waste.

The Good News

You can a little be at ease, because our government and other bigger parties surely are working on the solutions for our medical waste problems. One of them is that our government is cooperating with cement factories by using their kilns as incinerators. In the meantime, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, the Director-General for Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substances Management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia stated in one of Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)’s webinar last year that the government is currently focusing on building five new incinerators this year and a total of 32 incinerators within the next five year.

Another solution comes from LIPI. They are working on an environmentally-friendly method which is called recrystallization. It even produces recycled plastics with higher purity, as explained by Sunit Hendrana (2021), one of the researchers in LIPI. 

Lastly, our government also utilizes autoclaves, a sustainable tool to manage medical waste. It sterilizes medical waste using heat from pressured steam. WHO is working with our Ministry of Environment and Forestry and in collaboration with UNDP on building four autoclaves in hope that it can help solve the lack of incinerators in the country.

What Can We Do to Help?

There are many things we can do to help our environment, and they are very simple! Starting off small, we can reduce disposable mask consumption by wearing a double cloth mask or reusable mask such as the N95 mask. It might seem trivial, but if everyone does it, we can eventually reduce huge numbers of domestic medical waste. Also, in case you are unsure what to do with your medical waste, you can disinfect them simply by soaking in bleach/detergent before disposing of them at your nearest public health center (hospitals, clinics) where they can help you with better medical waste management. Remember, even the smallest thing can bring a huge impact if done by a lot of people. Stay safe and stay kind to our environment!

References:

Keck, M. (2020, September 7). COVID-19 Medical Waste Is Heavily Polluting This River in Indonesia. Global Citizen. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/covid-19-medical-waste-Cisadane-river/

Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. (2021, January). Rekristalisasi, Solusi Daur Ulang Sampah Medis. http://lipi.go.id/berita/single/Rekristalisasi-Solusi-Daur-Ulang-Sampah-Medis/22316

Rikin, A.S. (2020, April 22). KLHK Akan Bangun 5 Insinerator Tahun Ini. Bisnis.com. https://ekonomi.bisnis.com/read/20200422/99/1230996/klhk-akan-bangun-5-insinerator-tahun-ini

Online Learning Assistance Project: Helping Children Education in a Pandemic

Written by Project Child Indonesia

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disproportionately affected marginalized communities in Indonesia. After the spread of the virus was officially announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Indonesian government conducted a policy about changing the offline learning system in school into distance learning. However, the unequally distributed access to education, forcing the children of the urban poor to encounter hardship in receiving their academic needs. As an example, the marginalized groups in our Sekolah Sungai communities on the banks of Code River, Winongo River, and Gajah Wong River, Yogyakarta, whose general occupations are sellers, laborers, housewives, security guards, freelancers, ride-hailing drivers, and scavengers, it is a struggle for them to facilitate a conducive learning environment for their children. The at-home learning constraints are due to the low either no preparedness of students, teachers, and parents for distance learning, limited internet access, and computer ownership (according to data from Statistics Indonesia 2019, computer ownership in Indonesia at the household level is 20.05% and internet coverage is 66.22%).

Other than parents struggling to afford the gadget facilities and internet data packages purchase, parents are facing issues to provide supervision and guidance to support distance learning. Truth is, not all parents have the privilege to provide such learning assistance, both in terms of time and skills, and this has been proven by testimonials through our research on the field. A testimonial coming from Lani, a 4th-grade elementary school student who lives on the banks of the Gajahwong River, “My mom is busy working and taking care of my little sister, she is barely available to accompany me studying. My dad works all the time too.” Another supporting statement coming from the father of Meisya, a 4th-grade elementary school student in Kampung Jetisharjo, by the Code River, “I cannot teach my child because elementary school materials these days are more difficult, different to mine years ago. I also work all day long, so there is very little time to assist my daughter when studying.” Moreover, teachers from formal schools provide assignments for distance learning, but not necessarily equipped to explain the subject materials to children. With a pupil-teacher ratio of 12.68, parental guidance is necessary.

Reflecting on the presented reality and based on the socio-economic analysis, Project Child Indonesia initiated the Online Learning Assistance project to help ease the challenges of children and parents to comprise education concern on children of the vulnerable communities in three riverbank communities of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia that are hit the most. 

Project Child Indonesia through the Online Learning Assistance provides online and offline tutor sessions by our volunteers to children in our Sekolah Sungai communities to help them do their school tasks and understand the school material better. Project Child Indonesia has collaborated with one of the internet data providers in Indonesia to provide affordable internet data quota to support the online learning activities of the children as well as launched a gadget donation campaign to support the online learning process. The project wants to ensure the well-being of the community especially the children amid the pandemic and the project is a form of adjustment of our main program, Sekolah Sungai, to overcome the COVID-19 struggle and uncertainty.

This year, the Online Learning Assistance project has been completed and conducted a total of 21 online and offline classes in three Sekolah Sungai communities in Code River, Winongo River, and Gajah Wong River. It has helped more than 80 children, 14 volunteers, and 3 (three) interns for three months of September, October, and November 2020. Thank you for the great help and support of our collaborators to make this project a reality. In 2021, we will continue to support the children in the river communities through this project and will be very glad to be able to cooperate with everyone who wants to support our cause.

Online Learning Assistance: Contributing Our Way

Written by Adjeng Tunjung Pamase, Partnership Intern Project Child Indonesia

Entering the eighth month since the COVID-19 pandemic spread in Indonesia, Distance Learning or Pembelajaran Jarak Jauh (PJJ) activities still face various constraints. Numerous facilities and infrastructure are required to conduct a successful implementation of PJJ. In addition to the supporting equipment such as laptops and smartphones as well as internet data packages, supervision and guidance from parents are very essential to help to fill the gap in the limited role of teachers during PJJ activities. Conventional or offline school activities provide time for students to ask questions directly during or after class, PJJ tends to narrow the opportunity to interact with teachers in contrast to offline school. Most of the time, the subject materials are delivered to students let alone in the form of a document file, forcing students to read it and learn independently at home. Hence, the assistance of parents and or other substituting figures of teachers at home thus deemed vital for the success of children’s learning.

Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim, remarked that PJJ activities will run smoothly if parents are present to accommodate learning assistance for their children. Nevertheless, he also does not disregard the fact that not all parents have the same privilege to provide such learning assistance, both in terms of time and skills.

“My mom is busy working and taking care of my little sister, she is barely available to accompany me studying. My dad works all the time too,” said Lani, a 4th-grade elementary school student who lives on the banks of the Gajahwong River.

“I can not teach my child because elementary school materials these days are more difficult, different to mine years ago. I also work all day long, so there is very little time to assist my daughter when studying,” said the father of Meisya, a 4th-grade elementary school student in Kampung Kricak, by the Code River.

In acknowledgment of the presented problems on the field especially for those below the poverty line, the government through Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Muhaimin Iskandar initiated to establish “Gerakan Bangkit Belajar”, a movement that administers stations that assists students in doing PJJ activities, the assistance varies from internet network to volunteers with roles to give learning tutorials. This movement has been running since August 2020 with the priority of 3T areas (tertinggal, terdepan, terluar) or remote areas as the beneficiaries.

The Gerakan Bangkit Belajar then inspired many components of society to do similar things, from helping to provide study assistance, donating supporting equipment/facilities, to raising funds to provide internet data. 

Participation and support from various parties to create a viable PJJ for children in Indonesia makes us at Project Child Indonesia desire to continue running the Online Learning Assistance project. This project comprises learning assistance conducted both offline and online by our volunteers to help ease the challenges of children and parents in the Sekolah Sungai communities in three river banks in Yogyakarta; Code, Gajahwong, and Winongo River during PJJ.

Realized since last September, we have been holding weekly learning assistance, conducted the donation of gadgets, and distributed internet data packages in collaboration with one of the internet data providers in Indonesia.

Nonetheless, we believe that there is still a lot to be improved from this Learning Assistance project to deliver a greater impact. One of our concerns is to provide training to volunteers on teaching methods (pedagogy), project management, and child psychology. We conclude this from the results of the program evaluation after one month.

“I still feel the need to learn how to approach children to be interested in learning and encourage them to be more courageous in expressing their opinions.” – Nani, a volunteer for the Learning Assistance program in Sungai Gajahwong.

Here, we need your help in optimizing the project to give a greater impact on the children of Sekolah Sungai. You can contribute by donating at kitabisa.com/campaign/bantuanbelajarss or purchasing Project Child Indonesia merchandise at bit.ly/merchandisePCI.

Together, we can bring out the best of distance learning activities for all Indonesian children. Like what has always been our belief that everyone can do good, you can too.

Between The Environment and The Pandemic

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia 

In recent years many environmental issues have been called for, especially about plastic waste. Various trends have emerged ranging from the use of straws, drinking bottles, cutlery, and shopping bags that are environmentally friendly and can be used repeatedly. Making the sea turtles and habitats as the object of cruel attention to plastic waste that is not managed wisely by humans. In addition to the use of environmentally friendly goods, there is a suggestion for eating at the place / dine-in at the restaurant to reduce food/beverage takeaway and also delivery orders. But once the Covid-19 pandemic appeared, all the calls seemed to be forgotten. As recommended by the government, restaurants can only serve to take away and deliver orders. For example, what happened in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, before the implementation of the PSBB (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the daily waste volume of 7,500 to 8,000 tons/day was reduced by 620 tons/day. Doesn’t that mean the volume of waste is decreasing?

Overall the volume of waste has indeed declined, but there has been a shift in the waste-producing sector. Head of DKI Jakarta Environment Agency, H Andono Warihm, said that during the PSBB period, the volume of plastic waste generated by households was higher than before the pandemic. Of course, this happened because there was a shift in the consumption patterns of the people from those who could freely eat at restaurants or buy drinks with their drinking bottles, also shop at supermarkets with their shopping bags, now everything must be done online. Food and beverage delivery orders, online shopping for daily necessities, to necessities such as clothing and household appliances also require plastic bags or other types of waste that are not environmentally friendly.

We can’t just shut up and close our eyes knowing this fact, right? We must be able to pay attention to the environment while still obeying rules according to health protocols. The simplest way we can start in our kitchen. Cooking our food is the easiest way to stay concerned about the environment at a time like this. Besides, we can also pay attention to our daily nutrition intake and fill our free time during quarantine or work from the home period. What’s more, we don’t need to worry about viruses because we don’t make physical contact through any objects with strangers. But, we need to pay attention to food ingredients and wash everything before consuming it!

References 

https://www.liputan6.com/news/read/4283340/sampah-plastik-di-dki-jakarta-meningkat-saat-pandemi-coronahttps://www.aliansizerowaste.id/post/2020/04/16/menerapkan-zero-waste-di-masa-pandemi-corona

Yuk Lakukan Kegiatan Ini Selama Di Rumah Aja!

Ditulis oleh Anna Safira Salsabila, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Lockdown akibat pandemi COVID-19 sudah berjalan selama 5 bulan terhitung sejak bulan Maret hingga Juli 2020. Tentu waktu yang tidak sebentar untuk menghabiskan waktu di rumah saja dan membatasi bahkan menghentikan aktivitas di luar ruangan, karena seperti yang kita ketahui, segala kegiatan belajar mengajar dialihkan melalui sarana daring atau online merujuk pada Surat Edaran Mendikbud Nomor 3 Tahun 2020 tentang Pencegahan COVID-19 dan Nomor 36962/MPK.A/HK/2020. Sehingga sebisa mungkin kita dapat mengisi waktu-waktu di rumah dengan sebaik mungkin. Ada beberapa kegiatan menarik yang tentunya bermanfaat yang dapat kita lakukan selama berada di rumah, berikut diantaranya.

1. Membaca di Perpustakaan Online

Selama pandemi tentu kita tidak dapat bepergian ke tempat-tempat umum kecuali dalam keadaan mendesak, sehingga opsi yang bisa kita pakai adalah dengan mengunjunginya secara online. Bagaimana bisa? Nah, kita bisa mengunjungi salah satunya adalah perpustakaan online disediakan secara gratis dan bisa diakses oleh semua orang, salah satunya adalah www.perpusnas.go.id yang merupakan web resmi perpustakaan nasional Indonesia.

2. Berdonasi

Banyak hal terjadi selama 5 bulan terakhir ini, termasuk banyak hal-hal kurang beruntung yang menimpa sesama akibat adanya pandemi COVID-19. Oleh karenanya, sebagai sesama manusia kita harus saling membantu dengan cara yaitu berdonasi melalui berbagai platform media. Link untuk berdonasi salah satunya adalah melalui donasi resmi PMI, http://donasi.pmi.or.id/ untuk membantu korban COVID-19. Selain itu, kita juga dapat berdonasi untuk membantu anak-anak kurang mampu yang sangat terdampak oleh pandemi ini. Mereka membutuhkan bantuan berupa kuota internet agar dapat mendukung proses belajar mengajar selama pandemi. Donasi ini dapat dilakukan melalui crowdfunding yang dilakukan oleh Gollaborate bekerjasama dengan Project Child Indonesia dengan link https://kitabisa.com/campaign/gollaboratexpci.  

3. Bercocok Tanam

Kegiatan bercocok tanam merupakan kegiatan yang sangat cocok dilakukan selama berada di rumah yang tidak berkaitan dengan menatap layar gadget. Menggunakan media tanam sederhana dengan tata cara yang mudah, tentu bercocok tanam dapat dijadikan kegiatan untuk mengisi waktu-waktu senggang selama berada di rumah saja. Selain menyenangkan, kegiatan bercocok tanam juga dapat membantu menyelamatkan lingkungan hidup.

Nah, demikian hal-hal bermanfaat yang dapat kita lakukan selama pandemi COVID-19 ini. Jangan lupa tetap selalu jaga keselamatan dan patuhi protokol kesehatan yang sudah ada.

Skills for Resilient Youth, Celebrating World Youth Skills Day 2020

Written by : Anna Safira Salsabila, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

The world is changing. There are more and more challenges to face and each day is different and with that means there are also a lot of new things we need to learn and prepare for the sake of our future. None of us know what will happen a month later or even tomorrow in our life. Preparing ourselves is a must needed especially as young people. That’s why every July 15th the world celebrates World Youth Skills Day to inspire young people to have acquisition and development skills. For this year, World Youth Skills Day is focusing on “Skills for Resilient Youth”. We all agree that this year we are facing the same challenge that is very new to everyone which is a global pandemic COVID-19 and lockdowns. Many aspects in our life are affected by it and the crucial part is our educational system. Since the pandemic occurred, all activities and work are run online which definitely limit the access to help developing skills. Many youth communities then create their programs from offline to online. One of the local youth communities that has such a program is Project Child Indonesia (PCI).

Project Child Indonesia (PCI) provides internship programs that support acquisition and development of youth skills. Internship programs give opportunities for youth to enhance their skills and passions. In the internship program we can learn more about Practical Health, Environment and Disaster Education, Creating a Holistic Learning Experience, Technology Education, and Volunteer Engagement by joining the Program Team, Research Team, Human Capital Team, Media & IT Team, or Partnership Team. This way, the Internship Program helps prepare youth to face the working world in the future by giving them experience in work. Even though we are in lockdowns, the Internship Program is held through online meetings so everyone can still experience the program at home. 

Alone Together: Our Future in a Cyber Society Post Covid-19

Written by : Devina Prima Kesumaningtyas, Intern Research Project Child Indonesia

After President Joko Widodo announced that there were two people infected by COVID-19, everyone uproared with this news. People start to panic buying, and then the scarcity of disinfectants, masks, and alcohol hand rub. Also, everyone becomes aware to wash their hand regularly. Ironically, the pandemic evokes people’s awareness how importance it is to implement good personal hygiene such as to wash their hands and to not touch their face with dirty hands. 

Now everyone starts to reduce their activities outside their homes. The hashtag stay at home and work from home or WFH are viral on social media. This is to remind people to not doing activities outside the home except it is essential and encourage people to keep two meters distance because to reduce the risk of virus contagion. Many applications such as Google class and Zoom are used by people since physical interaction is not possible, such as teaching, seminars, and meetings are carried out using this application. But do you know if this pandemic is kind of a trial for humans about the future of our society in technology, which makes humans themselves have no limits?  

There is one interesting book that has ever talked about human life side by side with technology. This book explains how people build technology with the purpose to help human’s job. Humans are accustomed to creating a variety of artificial intelligence that can facilitate human activities. In industrial 4.0 era, the technology was able to replace human to some extent. And now, people have become so dependent on technology, smartphones with various applications in it have changed the way people work, even the way humans interact.

From this explanation, let us step back for a moment, to a time when the communication and information system was not as fast as it is now. We had to wait for weeks or even months to find out news from someone who lived in different city. Humans sent letters to communicate with people who are far away from them. Likewise, news that can be accessed through newspapers. There were more effort to send messages and to know what was happening around the world. So that human tried to invent ways to have better and communication system, until the discovery of satellites which are the key to changing the long-distance communication system by humans.

Now everything has changed, we had advanced communication technology and its have an impact on human behavior itself. I think millennials know how it feels to texting during their childhood and even their young teens. From shortened messages to save credit, or only text at certain hours, because there are promos and freebies from certain providers. All of that is part of the evolution of human behavior in communication. Now we have facilitated the existence of video call services and even conference calls that allow many people from various corners of the earth to communicate in one big forum, without having to leave their place.

I think COVID-19 becoming trials for humans to live their life in a cyber society. Before this pandemic appeared there were already many borderless jobs, where we no longer need to go to the office just to have a meeting or do our work. Working remotely has become commonplace at this time. Companies do not need to have a large office building. That could only be a mere formality after all meetings and work can be handled through social media. Likewise in the future learning system, maybe school buildings will be quiet and empty because their students can learn on their own via the internet. This pandemic looks to prepare us to live in a new condition when everyone doesn’t need physical interaction.

Manuel Castell once wrote that Several major social, technological, economic, and cultural information came together to give rise to a new form of society”. This quote is taken from his book entitled The Rise of Network Society. The quote illustrates that the shape of our society may change with the times, technological advancements, and an increasingly advanced economy. Our society, which is usually connected in the real world, might turn into a virtual society. After all, this has happened when the rise of social media such as Whatsapp, Line, Instagram, and so on. COVID-19 pandemic is a kind of trial for many people to live their life as a part of cyber society. And we never know what’s going to happen after this pandemic. I think this pandemic will change the way human interaction. And our technology developed also our culture value always changed following the technology itself. 

And now we still don’t know when this pandemic will end. Maybe the vaccine has been found, but it’s still in a trial period that takes a year or more. And then this time was uncertainty for every human. But now the question is, are humans ready to change the way they interact with fellow humans? Maybe after this pandemic ends it will affect the way we interact with others. The habit of not coming into contact with others may also still be left in the minds of each of us, giving rise to its fears for humans. Humans may still say hello, but they can’t be as close as before the pandemic appeared. Reporting from the BBC News Indonesia website Anthony Fauci, a Head of the National Institute in the US for the problem of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said so, “I think we should not shake hands again.” The phrase shows that physical contact made by humans is no longer needed, given there will be many possible diseases that can be transmitted from physical contact between humans. Not to mention the possibility that this virus can mutate into a virus that is even more resistant to any drug. The worst, if these pandemics never end, then what happens is, humans will not be able to interact directly and make physical contact, and humans will be alone, together.

References: 

Sherry Turkle : Alone Together :Why We expect More from T e c h n o l o g y and Less from each other

Manuel Castell : The Network Society A Cross-cultural Perspective

BBC Indonesia :  Virus Corona: Apakah Covid-19 Akan Membuat Kebiasaan Jabat Tangan Punah?

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/vert-cap-52283322

Warum eine ausgewogene Ernährung helfen kann, eine Infektion mit COVID-19 zu verhindern

Geschrieben von Peeters, ehemals Community Engagement Project Child Indonesien, Übersetzt von Lia Sophie Wilmes, Content Writer Praktikantin Project Child Indonesien

Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) erklärte Covid-19 zu einer globalen Pandemie. Unzählige Länder haben mit den Gefahren, die dieses Virus für die Menschheit darstellt, zu kämpfen. Im asiatischen Raum ist Indonesien derzeit auf Platz 1, wenn es um die Sterberate der Covid-19-Patienten geht. Entsprechende Daten der John-Hopkins-Universität zeigen, dass dies an dem vergleichsweise schlechten öffentlichen Gesundheitsmanagement und der regionalen Ungleichheiten innerhalb dessen liegt. Die Sterberate stieg auf 8-9 Prozent an. Zudem stellte Indonesien inzwischen fast 28000 Patienten wegen Verdacht auf eine Infektion unter strenge Beobachtung, da nicht genügend Tests vorhanden sind, um all diese Personen auf das Virus zu testen.

Unter Ausbrüchen von Krankheiten wie dieser leiden vor allem die Bevölkerungsgruppen am Rande der Gesellschaft. Auch in Indonesien sind gerade die marginalisierten Gemeinschaften gefährdet, denn dort fehlen die nötigen Ressourcen, um diese Pandemie zu bekämpfen; es gibt zum Beispiel viel zu wenige Krankenhausbetten. Project Child Indonesien hilft in gewisser Weise dabei, die Ausbreitung des Coronavirus einzudämmen, indem insbesondere gefährdete und marginalisierte Gemeinschaften über eine gesunde Lebensweise informiert werden. Die Menschen werden dazu motiviert, ihre Verhaltensweisen nachhaltig zu ändern.

Um uns selbst vor einer Ansteckung mit dem Virus zu schützen, können wir einfache tägliche Vorsichtsmaßnahmen treffen, wie zum Beispiel Händewaschen oder -desinfizieren und Abstand zu unseren Mitmenschen halten. Es ist zwar wichtig, diese Hygieneregeln einzuhalten, aber es gibt auch Methoden, um Ihr Immunsystem zu stärken, was an dieser Stelle auch von großer Bedeutung ist. Dazu zählt zum Beispiel Sport treiben und ausreichend schlafen. Unser Immunsystem ist ein komplexes System von Strukturen und Prozessen, die unseren Körper vor Krankheiten schützen sollen. Unser Verdauungssystem ist besonders wichtig für unser Immunsystem, daher ist die Darmgesundheit der Schlüssel für unsere Gesundheit.

Es stellt sich also die Frage, wie man das Immunsystem nachhaltig stärken und ein gesundes Darmsystem bekommen kann, um sich vor dem Coronavirus zu schützen.

Bisher gibt es keine Studien darüber, ob der Verzehr bestimmter Nahrungsmittel besonders dabei hilft, sich vor einer Ansteckung mit Covid-19 zu schützen. Aus früheren Studien wird aber deutlich, dass bestimmte Nahrungsmittel dazu beitragen können, die Darmgesundheit zu verbessern und das Immunsystem zu stärken.

Zu viele Bakterien im Darm können zu Allergien, Autoimmunerkrankungen, oder sogar Angstzuständen und Depressionen führen. Wenn zum Beispiel die Anzahl der Probiotika Bifidobacterium und Lactobacillus im Darm abnimmt, kann es zu einer Darmdysbiose, einem Ungleichgewicht kommen. Dadurch wird die körpereigene Produktion der so wichtigen Immunstoffe reduziert. Ist dies der Fall, können Viren, die in den Körper gelangt sind, nicht durch das Immunsystem abgetötet werden.

Folgende Nahrungsmittel können dabei helfen, das Immunsystem zu stärken:

  1. Tempeh (fermentierte Sojabohnen). Dieses besondere Lebensmittel aus fermentierten Sojabohnen enthält viele wichtige Proteine, die den Aufbau und die Reparatur von Muskelgewebe unterstützen.
  2. Kombucha. Dieser leicht sprudelnde und säuerliche Tee enthält nicht nur Probiotika, sondern auch B-Vitamine, die das Immunsystem stärken und das Risiko von Herzerkrankungen verringern.
  3. Kefir. Kefir ist ein fermentiertes Milchgetränk, das eine reichhaltige Quelle für Probiotika sowie Kalzium und Proteine ist.
  4. Sauerkraut. Der Verzehr von Sauerkraut trägt dazu bei, den Darm gesund zu halten. Der eingelegte Kohl ist eine ausgezeichnete Quelle für die Vitamine A, C und K, sowie für Ballaststoffe und Eisen.
  5. Joghurt. Joghurt enthält Probiotika, die einen gesunden Darm und ein starkes Immunsystem fördern können. Auch bei der Bekämpfung von Erkältungen und grippeähnlichen Atemwegsinfektionen sind Probiotika wirksam. Joghurt enthält lebende und aktive Kulturen, darunter Lactobacillus bulgaricus, der Milchsäure produziert, die bei der Bekämpfung von schlechten Bakterien hilft.
  6. Probiotische Nahrungsergänzungsmittel. Falls Sie keine probiotische Nahrung zu sich nehmen können, zum Beispiel aufgrund einer Unverträglichkeit, haben Sie immer noch die Möglichkeit, probiotische Nahrungsergänzungsmittel zu sich zu nehmen.

Sie sollten Ihren Ernährungsstil hinterfragen und sich überlegen, ob Sie daran etwas ändern möchten. Das Händewaschen und -desinfizieren ist und bleibt die wichtigste Maßnahme, sich selbst vor Viren zu schützen, aber auch hinsichtlich Ihrer Ernährung können Sie aktiv werden. Denken Sie diesbezüglich immer daran, dass es nicht darum geht, alle gesunden Nahrungsmittel auf einmal zu konsumieren; das Ziel sollte eine ausgewogene Ernährung sein.

Why a Balanced Diet can Help your Immune System to Prevent Infected by COVID-19

Written by : Peeters, Former Community Engagement Project Child Indonesia

As the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 as a global pandemic resulting in countries grappling with imminent dangers that this virus poses to humanity, there are very few measures that individuals can take to fight this pandemic.

Indonesia currently ranks first in Covid-19 mortality rate in Asia. Data shown from John Hopkins University states that due to its poor public health management and regional disparities within its health system, the mortality rate spikes to 8-9 percent. And as a result of widespread testing absence as a matter of precaution, Indonesia has also put 27,549 patients under strict observation for suspected coronavirus infection.

During disease outbreaks, such as today, it is always the most vulnerable and marginalized communities who suffer the most. The lack of high testing rate, tight biosurveillance, solid contract tracing and sufficient hospital capacity, marginalized communities in Indonesia are in jeopardy.

Project Child Indonesia is supporting the community and the government to a certain extent to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among vulnerable and marginalized communities through promotion of healthy food information  that leads to behavior change.

Hence, what have we learned to prevent ourselves from being infected by the virus? We have learned to prevent ourselves from Covid-19 by taking simple daily precautions such as washing your hands, practicing social and/or physical distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep, are several ways to lower risk of infection.

While it is crucial to mention hygiene standards, there are also certain methods to improve your immunity which is paramount at this juncture. The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes that have evolved to protect the body from disease. More than 70% of the body’s immunity is located in the intestinal digestive system. Because of that, intestinal health is one of the keys to maintaining endurance.

Hence, the question arises, how can one boost their immune system or maintain a healthy gut and/or intestinal health to fight Covid-19?

It is a tough question, indeed, mainly because the immune system is not a single-system that can be measured easily, as mentioned prior. It’s an intricate and delicate system with many different variables.

Although no research has been done on foods that help fight against  Covid-19 specifically. There are previous studies that have found consuming certain foods can help improve your gut health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Optimal intestinal health should be considered, especially during times like this. As having too many” bad “bacteria in the gut has been linked to various problems, including allergies, autoimmune disorders and maybe even anxiety and depression.

Research shows, when the number of probiotics Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in the intestine decreases, it will cause an imbalance in the intestine (Gut Dysbiosis). This will reduce the body’s production of immune substances (IgA, CD4 +, B and T, IL-10 lymphocyte cells) by probiotics.

As a result, viruses that enter the body cannot be killed by the body’s macrophages. Hence, if inflammatory reactions occur, especially in the lungs, it will be progressive. As a result of the more severe symptoms of shortness of breath due to Covid-19 will aggravate and worsen and decrease oxygen flow throughout the body.

  1. Tempeh (Fermented Soybean Cake)

This particular food made from fermented soybeans contains a significant number of health benefits, such as proteins that help build and repair muscles tissues.

  1. Kombucha

This slightly fizzy and acidic tea does not only contain probiotics, but also contains B vitamins, which help support the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that does not only contain probiotics, but also a rich  source of calcium and protein.

  1. Sauerkraut

Pickled cabbage is the result of lactic acid fermentation, the process by which bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid. By consuming pickled cabbage it would help keep the intestines healthy by preventing the development of bad bacteria. Furthermore, one cup of sauerkraut provides about 30 calories and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. This food also provides fiber and iron.

  1. Yogurt

A great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system, it is also effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections. Yogurt contains live and active cultures including lactobacillus bulgaricus. Lactobacillus bulgaricus is able to produce lactic acid which helps fight bad bacteria.

  1. Probiotic Supplements

In any case that you are unable to consume food that is rich in probiotics due to unavailability or any other reasons, there is always an option of consuming probiotic supplements. 

This is the time to look at your lifestyle and see what you are capable of changing. Proper hand sanitation is the number one method of control, but you can do more than just that. But remember, it is not about consuming all the healthy food at once, but rather a balanced diet of healthy food.