As we discern, the number of COVID-19 cases as an emerging infectious disease increases over time. Globally, as of 27 September 2020, there have been 32,673,432 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to WHO. In Indonesia, the government enacted a health protocol and lockdown based on the severity level of the pandemic. However, many people do not heed to the protocols. They disregard the danger of not wearing a mask in public places. Some of them do not even maintain a safe physical distance from each other. The marketplace and malls are swarming with people as if nothing would happen to them.

Not merely that, according to Pierce et al., in the journal of “Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population”, the mental health condition is deteriorating in England during the pandemic. As addressed in the above, people need to know the proper way to implement health protocol and maintain their mental health in this “new normal” era. Whereby, SCOPH and SCOPE CIMSA UGM held a two-day webinar we proudly name as PEPH Talk (SCOPE and SCOPH Talk) from 19th to 20th of September, 2020.

On the first day of PEPH Talk, we chose “Adaptasi Kebiasaan Baru” as the topic to broaden our awareness and understanding about how we should implement the health protocol and new normal accordingly in this pandemic. The representative of the Directorate of Surveillance and Health Quarantine of the Ministry of Health (dr. Chita Septiawati, MKM) and the National Professional Officer of WHO Indonesia (Dina Kania, S.H., LLM) discussed the topic thoroughly on the first day. We learned about what the WHO had done for handling the COVID-19 pandemic situation, an update about the COVID-19 vaccine, how we should wear a mask properly, how we should implement the health protocols, how we should wash our hands, and so on.

Not only do we get to learn about that, but we also have the chance to face the new normal from a different perspective on the second day. PEPH Talk provides a discussion with a psychiatrist, Dr. dr. Carla R. Marchira, Sp.KJ(K), to talk about how we can maintain our mental health during this pandemic as regards the causes, symptoms, and treatment of mental health issues during this pandemic. Over and above that, SCOPE cleverly shows another point of view by presenting incomings from Italy and Germany on account of their countries’ considerably successful attempt at suppressing the number of COVID-19 cases. The SCOPE incomings elaborate on their countries’ approach and method to implement the new normal. They also explained what the citizens in their countries do during the quarantine and lockdown.

We sincerely hope that PEPH Talk 2020 can make an impactful upsurge in knowledge and awareness by presenting useful and accurate information as to how we should implement the new normal accordingly and maintain our mental health in this pandemic.