In the last two weeks, the term New Normal has become a topic of discussion in many associations in Indonesia. Even though the new cases of Covid-19 continue to rise, it seems that the discourse on the implementation of New Normal continues to strengthen. On the other hand, not a few observers urged the central government not to rush to implement the New Normal scheme.
According to Prof. Irwan Abdullah, Professor of Anthropology, Faculty of Cultural Sciences UGM, there must be at least two things to consider in implementing New Normal. First, as an artistic statement, New Normal means that the existence of Covid-19 presents a big question about how strong Indonesian culture is. What will happen when entering the New Normal era, is our culture sufficiently elastic, does our culture have a resilience strong enough to be able to accompany or accompany people into the New Normal era?
Second, the New Normal considered a cultural precedent. Through Covid-19, this becomes a historical momentum because many parties learn for the new thing.
"Something new, for example, going home does not have to be sacred but rather is situational and functional. It is also a matter of a powerful gathering tradition," Irwan said on Friday (5/29) during the UGM Talks with the theme of Preparing a New Normal after the Covid-19 Pandemic, Birth of Social Interaction and New Culture.
As a cultural researcher, he saw that people could not resist Covid-19 in terms of health because, until now, no one had found the vaccine, and the mortality rate was apparent. Therefore, if you want to increase body immunity, the path is social and cultural.
"There are forces in society and family. This thing is where the socio-cultural challenge to accompany our society to get into the New Normal stage," he said.
Various empirical facts from the current research show that one infected at home can destroy one family. One person in the village was affected even though the ODP was only able to disrupt one village's defense.
"The village used to be called solid and harmony collapsed. That's what I said earlier is related to how strong our culture is. So, if we ask today that the body's immunity is at the foundation of culture, we must rebuild it," Irwan explained.
New Normal is a great challenge. Even so, how to deal with it is expected to be more relaxed and calmer so that the body's immunity remains good because New Normal requires cultural mechanisms to make people quite ready to face.
"We have to define the New Normal angle more closely, so New Normal is not normal. But for me, it is a new "upnormal." So, new upnormal is not using "ab" as abnormal, but it becomes upnormal. Why? New Normal that will be present in New Upnormal, meaning that playing upstream is one of the signs that our lives will become instrumental, so like now, we are lecturing with Zoom with Google Meet, seminars everywhere continue. Everything usually started; every day, there was a New Normal seminar," he explained.
Irwan Abdullah has an unbiased view that New Normal is a new civilization. All is not in the old normal and naturally adapted.
For him, the emphasis in this current situation focuses on the point of the changing perspective. We need to change the crisis from the fall to the rise. He hopes that people will not stop being the failures, who only complain every day, cry, and even commit suicide. We are facing and going to fix this together.
"This requires a socio-cultural transformation to make them winners. Because that's how to calculate the energy and potential of regions to become co-fighting so that we can achieve the transformation," he added.
Najib Azca, Ph.D., a lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, said that there are always new problems and new challenges in crises. However, at the same time, it presents new opportunities, namely, new opportunities for social transformation. Therefore, if responded positively, the Covid-19 pandemic is excellent momentum for the nation to make a significant transformation by building new cultures, including discipline.
"These disciplines are one way of responding to crises that initially were medical crises in the form of a pandemic which then impacted on social, economic, political, and other crises. It forced us to build new cultures, new traditions in the form of living healthier, for example, or doing productive activities with technology," he said.
The big crisis in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic is global and can be a momentum for a significant transformation. People can get used to living healthier and more productive with technology, a picture of a situation that might have been lazy to do.
"It used to be possible to use technology, but it was still reluctant. With this Covid existence, it disrupts our routine. To survive, we have to build a new culture, new traditions, including new disciplines, and I think the new social, health, and production discipline is a crisis as well as a great opportunity," he said.
Meanwhile, Novri Susan, Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology, Airlangga University, stated that the response system in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia not only based on how the state system works. She said that there is reciprocity or reciprocity with the community. According to him, the key is reciprocity, and it is part of the context of a democratic country; that is, people participate in both public participation and organizational participation.
Related to the New Normal, she said that it was a social construction process, an inevitable process of creating a rescue valve. However, development and dialectics are currently underway.
"The New Normal is the context, what should it be, there should be general norms that contain health protocols, all must follow and specific norms such as public areas, education, and others," she said.
For Novri in the New Normal era, it is more than necessary to build knowledge and awareness structures. Individuals have experience with discipline, and they know obedience creates safety.
"After we have knowledge in our hands, we can form action," she said.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A