Factoring in the indisputable fact that tourism is the lifeblood that keeps Bali in an economic full grown bloom of exponential growth, the reality that even though transmission rates appear to be low, Covid-19 most surely will, if borders continue to be closed, throw the Island into a mass internal sell off of all manner of consumables.
Dijual (on sale) signs are already popping up and all manner of gleaming machines and high-tech toys are being laid out for those who love nothing more than picking apart a desperate selling starting price. Times are very ripe for a bartering bonanza, a buyer’s spree that for now appears to be severely slanted toward a purchaser’s delight.
No one knows how long this pandemic will last and how economically severe and damaging it will be for Balinese. Like all other nations the risk to Indonesia is very real, how it all settles as the first wave washes over is most certainly unpredictable. This is a good time to be worthless.
Bali dogs are worthless in monetary terms. Probably for the first time in their dogged history they are relatively safe. While foreign canine breeds are in danger of being dumped, sold or mistakenly suspected of harbouring a lung eating virus, the lowly lokal dog has become even more unseen. The greatest danger they or more likely their offspring will face, is the reality of life returning to ‘normal’ absent the survival training and practice that is required when facing down the mass movement of machines and humans so visually synonymous with modern Bali.
For now, Bali has not descended into lawlessness or unrest. For now, widespread deaths have not been recorded and it appears the Island has dodged the magnitude of suffering that has crippled other countries. The COVID-19 curve will never be forgotten. But long-term mass internal unemployment on an Island dependent on outside visitors to fire up its insatiable economy has an unavoidable predictability of causing starvation.
The danger for the indigenous Bali dog, in such a lengthy scenario, is the reality that they have historically been regarded as a ready and available source of protein. The dog meat trade has been severely curtailed due to shame employed as a tactic. But in this novel paradigm all bets are bendable or completely off, especially when/if a survive at all cost reality becomes unavoidable.
It is hoped that humanity will survive COVID-19 and learn whatever lessons are required to bring about a more balanced and nuanced approach to how we handle and approach all beings. Unfortunately, human nature has a long predictable history of erasing hope and replacing it with the reality that we are hell bent on continuing to build on and feed our destructive urges. BALIDOG-20 has only two ways to go. Existence will get better or worsen.
As COVID-19 continues reshaping human behaviour it can only be hoped that the value of Bali dogs will remain low to non-existent. Their survival is dependent on human behaviour.
Unfortunately, we are not to be trusted, especially when hunger trumps decency.
When human survival is predictably replaced with a replication of desperation, nothing is safe.