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Night Views of Jakarta Before and During COVID-19

Day Three of April Landscape Photo Challenge

In early May 2019, I returned to my hometown, Jakarta (Indonesia) after 16 years of living overseas. It’s nearly a year that I live in Jakarta, then the world experiences COVID-19 outbreak. Returning to Jakarta has been challenging, with or without COVID-19. I have this ‘hate and love’ relationship with my hometown, aside to deal with other personal matters.

But that’s how life is. Challenges have to be faced, as a reminder to stay humble and alert.

One of the living challenges in Jakarta was to deal with traffic jams during peak hours. The peak hours in Jakarta were weekdays 6.30am-11am and 4pm-8pm (sometimes until 9pm). Traffic jams were horror here, and it’s getting worst during the rainy season because of floodings around the city.

But, the traffic has changed recently. On March 20, Jakarta’s Governor requested that all offices in Jakarta let their employees work from home until April 6. His request is now prolonged until April 19 since the number of positive cases and mortality rate keep increasing. Since then, I can see how different the traffics in Jakarta during the evening peak hours when most of the employees are working from home.

The following pictures were taken from our apartment’s windows during peak hours. The first picture was taken in 2019, and the second was on March 31 2020. It would be interesting to see the comparison of global emissions these days.

Do you experience the differences in your surroundings before and during the pandemic?


  1. aku suka jepretan malamnya mbak indah 🙂 mungkin agak sangat terlambat mengatakan ini: selamat datang kembali di Jakarta 🙂 aku pun baru empat bulan pindah ke Bekasi, tetangganya Jakarta 😀 mari kita sama2 belajar untuk tetap rendah hati ya mbak 🙂

  2. That’s an amazing difference. It might be worth continuing to request firms to allow working from home afterwards, or perhaps give them financial incentives to do so. It must be good for air quality and reduced carbon emissions.

  3. Thanks for posting this. Your photos of Jakarta made us miss the city and the rest of Indonesia. We’ve traveled often and extensively to your home country from 1998 to 2004 but haven’t returned in 16 years.

  4. i must say there is a positive thing about this whole covid-19 situation. jakarta finally has a BLUE sky. nice and clear too.

  5. That is pretty significant. You’d almost think mother earth was forcing the issue to reduce pollution and subsequently global warming. I bet (hope?) telecommuting will be a lot more acceptable after all this.

    • I still need to adjust to working from home but yes, we do a lot of video conferences/meetings and webminars recently. It is just that our work used to depend on traveling and direct meetings, now it has to changed drastically. Maybe it is a new way, that somehow, if we all survive this, then why not continue it..

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