Weaving Identity through the Power of Solidarity
The pandemic has almost exhausted the deposit of stamina and spirit of vitality of the public, especially the lower classes, who are very vulnerable to the turmoil of a national economic crisis.
The avowal that the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is nonnegotiable is not a mere soulless expression. The spirit of building the unitary state amid a highly pluralist society has remained vibrant since the country gained independence. As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic tsunami is engulfing the motherland and claiming tens of thousands of lives, the burning spirit of empathy is getting even more intense.
Almost every day heartening reports are circulating on various mainstream media and social media outlets, narrating mutual assistance efforts undertaken by communities for the relief of COVID-19 patients. The spirit of social solidarity is reflected in the enthusiasm of civil society groups like religious organizations, associations of scholars and entrepreneurs for providing donations. Aid coming from individual initiatives at the level of neighborhood and community units (RT/RW) is also widely distributed. Besides, tens of thousands of volunteers organized by the COVID-19 task force and the public are operating extensively. Quite a lot of them are braving dangers and working extra hard by risking their lives to save COVID-19 patients.