UGM economist, Traheka Erdyas Bimanatya, SE., M.Sc., said the Covid-19 vaccination plan cannot guarantee the pandemic will end shortly. There will be economic uncertainty as a result of this seemingly unending pandemic. Consumers will change their consumption patterns, while business actors struggle to survive the threat of crisis. “As the pandemic triggers a sense of fear and uncertainty, people tend to seek security for themselves,” said Bimanatya in a Discussion on the Challenges of Achieving SDGs during the Pandemic, Tuesday (22/12).
If the pandemic continues into next year, said Bimanatya, people will prefer to save more than spend their money. Furthermore, there will be an increase in online transactions, the return of private vehicle use among the middle class, and more virtual meetings. “The impact includes the decline in tourism, concerts, sports, restaurants, cinemas, and conferences. For companies, business travel will decrease, and business actors are reluctant to recruit,” he said.
Echoing the early pandemic days, he said, consumers will be more likely to invest by buying precious metals, stocking food and medicine, and avoiding long-distance travel. “The pandemic will change the consumption pattern of our society,” he said.
UGM epidemiologist, Riris Andono, Ph.D., said the government needs to strengthen the national health system, which he believes is still slow in response when dealing with the transmission of the Covid-19 pandemic. “So far, our health system only manages the same program of long bureaucratic process that keeps repeating year after year,” he said.
Riris Andono revealed more threats to health crises similar to the Covid-19 pandemic are to occur in the future. Thus, a better health system is needed to respond quickly to any similar pandemic disease. “Covid-19 is not the first and last. The presence of other diseases with pandemic potential will always be a threat. If there is no improvement in the health system, we will experience the same problems and conditions all over again,” he said.
Author: Gusti Grehenson