Indonesia deploys ghosts

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Indonesia deploying ‘ghosts’ to scare people into staying inside and it’s actually terrifying, foreign media reported.

Indonesia’s leaders including President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) have been slow to react to the coronavirus pandemic and resisting a national lockdown. The capital Jakarta has ordered a two-week closure of offices, and banned gatherings of more than five people but has not directly ordered people to stay at home, as reported by VOA.

Instead, there have been information campaigns to urge individuals to practise social distancing and good hygiene. But with the highest rate of coronavirus deaths in Asia after China, some communities have decided to take matters into their own (washed) hands.

A youth group in the village of Kepuh, in central Java, decided to recruit volunteer ghosts to patrol the streets, hoping that the sight of them would send anyone feeling home to hide under the bed-cover.

But while people remain superstitious in Indonesia, it also won’t come as too much of a surprise that others actually came outside to try and catch a glimpse of volunteer actors.

Though one person did point out that the ghosts should be careful not to spread the virus themselves, because as we all know, the virus doesn’t discriminate.

Since the tactic somewhat backfired, organisers have tried a different route, launching surprise pocong patrols so that people can’t expect where to lie in wait for a sighting. And a suprise ghost is always going to be more scary than one that sticks to schedule.

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