We certainly don’t seem to be lacking in influencers underestimating COVID-19 here in Indonesia, with the most recent case involving one who suggested that people ought not to worry about the coronavirus and then boasting her own lack of preventative and hygiene measures amid this pandemic.
Indira Kalistha, who has millions of followers across both YouTube and Instagram, recently went on a podcast by sinetron (soap opera) actress-turned-YouTuber Gritte Agatha, the episode of which was also uploaded as a video on YouTube. Indira told Gritte that people shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus too much, as long as they keep themselves informed.
“Personally, I believe coronavirus exists, but it’s not as big [as reported]. […] I’m the type of person who’s like, corona? B aja (biasa aja, meaning nothing special), though I’m also looking for information about coronavirus,” Indira said in the beginning.
So far, it’s not too bad, right? Well, she soon gave more details about her daily habits. Some of which would prompt concerns among any sensible person.
“I rarely wear face masks, but I use sheet masks everyday. But masks intended for [filtering] the air, I don’t wear it, unless I get scolded, like, ‘Ma’am can you please wear your face mask?’, then I’ll wear it again. But if I don’t get a warning, I’ll take the mask off. My breath [is] too precious to be covered. I’m suffocated, my chest also feels suffocated.”
“For example, if I’m going to a mall or a market or anywhere, I’ll touch anything. For example, after receiving my food order from online ojek (app-based food delivery services), I don’t wash my hands before eating. So like, after grabbing things or whatever, then I’ll just eat with my hands. Wallahu a’lam (only God knows) if you’re infected with coronavirus, any diseases, or dengue fever, everyone can die,” she continued, which podcast host Gritte responded to with a loud laughter.
While the video is still available to watch on Gritte’s channel, Indira’s part has allegedly been edited out. Snippets of Indira’s quotes related to COVID-19, however, have been reposted on Twitter, where it gained a huge traction.
“It’s a pity that a public figure with 2 million subscribers could issue a statement like this. You are not funny at all. You’re so dumb,” the tweet reads.
Indira currently has over 3.17 million YouTube subscribers and 1.5 followers on Instagram, so it’s hard not to think that some of her followers out there are taking the 25-year-old vlogger’s ways into their lives.
Indira received hefty criticism from netizens, with others pleading for Gritte to take her video down from her channel as well as blaming her for being irresponsible in only cutting the controversial part after the video went viral.
#IndiraKalistha stop hiding behind your "original nyablak" branding. Even if you says it just a joke. Welp, it's not funny at all with u being so damn ignorant.
— Vee (@Veenoott) May 15, 2020
Dear #IndiraKalistha , the joke is on you. For real. Ngga punya temen/sodara yang fight di Rumah Sakit sih ya lo. Jadi ga tau gimana khawatirnya kalo suami brangkat kerja lalu berharapan sama ODP, PDP, positif. Gak tau rasanya pake hazmat. So, just stfu. Thanks.
— R. (@chsrann) May 15, 2020
“Dear Indira Kalistha, the joke is on you. For real. You sure don’t have friends or family members who are fighting in the hospital. So you don’t know how worrying it is whenever your husband goes to work and is face-to-face with People Under Surveillance (ODP), Patients Under Observation (PDP), and COVID-19-positive patients. You don’t know how it feels to wear a hazmat suit. So, just shut the fuck up. Thanks.”
Hy mbk#IndiraKalistha saya tenaga medis,sehari hari pakai APD,dihemat jd pakai jas hujan,kalau ada PDP,OTG screning harus pakai APD hazmat,panasnya jangan ditanya,mbk #IndiraKalistha tolong nanti kalau kena covid jgn dtg ke RS ya,cukup dirumah saja,kn KORONA B aja gitu katanya. pic.twitter.com/kC0dgXrPyh
— Isfi (@Isfi82237940) May 15, 2020
Hi Mbak Indira Kalistha, I’m a medical worker and I wear personal protective equipment (PPE) daily, but we have to save them well so we wear raincoats. If there are any PDP, People Without Symptoms (OTG), we have to examine them in hazmat suits. Don’t ask about the heat [inside the suit]. Mbak Indira if you’re infected with COVID-19, please don’t come to the hospital, staying at home is enough, because you said coronavirus is no big deal.”
Indira is no stranger to viral controversies. She was recently featured in a video by her husband, YouTuber Gustaf Sailendra AKA AA Utap, in which they visited McDonald’s Sarinah on its last day of operation last Sunday. After this most recent controversy, AA Utap has reportedly been defending Indira against haters on social media.
Last year, Indira received backlash for alleged colorism in a now-deleted video, in which she appeared to put on the darkest shade of foundation found in the market. She was quoted as saying that the foundation made her “look like a hobo” and further asked if “there are any people who would buy this shade in Indonesia.”