J. Soedradjad Djiwandono: To Fall Ill During A Pandemic, A Personal Experience


J. Soedradjad Djiwandono: To Fall Ill During A Pandemic, A Personal Experience

To Fall Ill During A Pandemic: A Personal Experience

By: Prof. J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia


Independent Observer – (17-23/9/2021) This is a personal journey, enduring several months, from sometime in mid- July 2021 up to the present – close to mid-September 2021. At the beginning I came down with a fever one early morning, and the next day I went to see a doctor in Good Practice, a family clinic in Jalan Bangka, Kemang. I chose that facility on the recommendation of my eldest son, who lives nearby and who regularly visits the clinic to consult with family doctors each time someone in the family falls ill. The clinic is run by an Indonesian female physician and a Dutch doctor. It is clean, operated professionally and staffed with experienced doctors and nurses – a feeling you receive the moment you enter the Clinic and register. At least, that was my impression that day I had a fever.

In January I had a similar experience, when I was still in Singapore, and I was diagnosed as having a bladder infection. Now I was afraid that I had a similar malady; I thus consulted the doctors at Good Practice. Fortunately, I was seen by a very capable doctor who gave me a week’s supply of antibiotics. My fever was gone the next day and I began to feel better over the rest of the week. I did however experience problems in sleeping: while I customarily go to bed after 9 pm, I started waking up at 1 am, and therefore take magnesium to help me get to sleep again, until 6:30 am.

At 6:30 I start my day by eating yogurt and blackberries with Moroccan mint tea. Breakfast is either toast with two sunny side-eggs or chicken porridge; I conclude with a cup of coffee, usually a Latin American brew or if I run out then Toraja coffee. Next I take a walk in the garden or do laps in the swimming pool, depending on which is less crowded. I spend my day reading light stuff, watching TV, engaging in sports while listening to keroncong or easy classics, like cello by Yoyo Ma, or a violin concerto by Chopin or Vivaldi. I have Hydro exercise under an instructor twice a week, and twice a week I am massaged by an expert trainer. These routines have been occupying my week during my health problems, during the era of the Covid-19 pandemic. It may sound boring, but of course these programs have helped me to kill time and to complete my days and weeks for several months.

It happened that on August 17 I turned 83, and the day after I celebrated the Golden Anniversary of my marriage with Bianti, the girl I met at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA as she was an undergraduate student and I was in Economics. We celebrated modestly, all in adherence with a public health protocol that implies simple, practical, careful. At least we could still feel a celebratory mood, thanks be to God.

The year also hosts a celebration of the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, where I joined from the time I was completing my Doctoral dissertation at Boston University. Following this I returned home, immediately resuming a teaching schedule of my “Introduction to Economics” course. My students from the Class of 1980 implored me to deliver a nostalgic lecture to a group of about twenty students who gathered together. It was fun reminiscing about the past, while recognizing that many  of them have enjoyed successful careers. I still must get used to accepting my fate as an old man, getting sleepy around nine pm, awakening around one o’clock in the morning, and praying on my rosary until I fall asleep once again. Usually I get up around 6:30 am, do my exercisyogurt and blackberries, and enjoy my morning coffee, a Latin American coffee or Toraja, the ones I love. I try to follow what’s going on in the world, usually starting with the USA, as I feel I am more familiar with life there. Nothing encouraging so far: so much bigotry, racism and animosity toward one another.

I am still committed to teaching my two favorite courses, “Regional and Global Financial Crisis and the Indonesian Economy”, for the time being. Alas, strict Singapore Covid-19 pandemic rules mean I can only deliver my lectures online. when I should start, how large my classes are, etc.

So far, I may state that I can still contribute to teaching in the IPE program at RSIS, but until when I still do not know. I would for sure start to scout around for any scholars willing to replace me in teaching the two courses; so far, students still enjoy taking the two classes, and they are always attended by a maximum number of students.

Meanwhile, I am still committed to advising with doctoral theses, both at the Law Faculty of the University of Indonesia and Pelita Harapan University. At the same time, I chair the Senate of Lecturers of Universitas Kebangsaan Indonesia, a small university in Bandung, West Java. This is the way I try to live a meaningful, hopefully productive life into my old age, till the time my Lord calls me up to follow Him in a new life of unknown expectations.

I must say I am so grateful that I did not catch Covid-19. Nevertheless, I did suffer acutely with this bacterial bladder infection. But again, thank God I am not feeling worse than I could bear, and in fact I may still claim to live a quality lifestyle into my old age. I send a “Thank you” for the love and support of my wife and children – as well as three grandchildren. Thank you to all the doctors and nurses who have been helping me to cope with this time of tribulation. Thanks be to the merciful love of our lord.


Source: Independent Observer. Edition: September, 17-23, 2021. Rubric Opinion. Page 7.

Kategori Target Audience: 
Kategori Fakultas: 
Kategori Konten: