Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread in Indonesia since the beginning of March. The rapid spread of coronavirus means many activities must stop. Students are asked to study from home. Employees also work from home. How about the daily laborers who have to fulfill their needs? This virus is very impactful for people in street situations who routinely work on the street every day.
The threat and fear of the transmission of coronavirus require people to keep the distance and self-isolate at their homes. So, people avoid crowded situations to reduce the spread of the virus. This situation is a piece of bad news for those looking for money from the street. One of them is an adolescent girl, Rifka, who has to stop selling crackers for a while.
“A few days ago, I worked from noon. But, my crackers did not sell well. Who is the one who gives milk for my sons now?”
This problem is justified by Yani, an adolescent girl who has two toddlers. She complains about the high expense for milk and baby diapers. But, she is worried too about the transmission of coronavirus.
“I am afraid when I sell my crackers at the outside. The street is quiet now. Whereas, the expense for my children is a lot,” said her.
Street musicians (buskers) and angklung music groups still work on the street. They have a dilemma between hesitating to work considering the virus, but on the other hand, life must go on. Besides food needs, they have to pay their monthly rent. From then until now, they are one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of health as they have to work in this situation.
Mostly, people in street situations live in a slum area where the housing standard is unhealthy and in poor condition. High mobility at work makes them easily infected with all diseases includes coronavirus.
So far, the government has not dealt seriously with the urban poor who are affected. The role of the government is replaced by the society that has formed solidarity groups by giving free basic needs and free wrapped rice for daily laborers including people in street situations.