Thursday, April 23, 2020

Haunted Quarantine

Here's a novel way to keep people from going out and contracting/spreading the COVID-19 virus. In Indonesia, quarantine violators are locked up in houses that are believed to be haunted. And odds are, at least a few of them probably really are. It remains to be seen if confining people to such places for extended periods will lead to an uptick in paranormal experiences, but the government is counting on fear of such events to help keep the population in line.

A local Indonesia politician found a unique way to punish quarantine violators amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kusdinar Untung Yuni Sukowati, head of Sragen Regency, has begun locking those disregarding the quarantine inside abandoned houses that are believed to be haunted.

Sukowati noticed that many people traveling to Indonesia's densely populated Java Island were disregarding orders to isolate themselves for at least two weeks after arriving. So, the regency head decided to rely on local superstitions and fear to punish violators, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

"If there's an empty and haunted house in the village, put people in there and lock them up," Sukowati told AFP on Tuesday. Villagers were ordered to convert abandoned homes into temporary detainment centers. Locals have a widespread belief that the buildings are haunted, a superstition connected to Indonesian folklore.

Heri Susanto, who came to Java from neighboring Sumatra, was locked up after disobeying the quarantine rules. He told the AFP that he'd learned a valuable lesson, although he hadn't yet encountered any ghosts. "But whatever happens, happens," Susanto said. "I know this is for everyone's safety. Lesson learned."

Whether or not the buildings are haunted, coronavirus mitigation strategies of whatever sort are for everyone's safety. The long window during which you can be an asymptomatic carrier is particularly problematic. It means that the equivalent of stay-at-home and social distancing orders are necessary, whether they involve haunted buildings or not. They will need to be kept in place until we can ramp up widespread testing - or even better, a working vaccine.

I'll be checking the new from Indonesia for ghost sightings and other paranormal events. It seems to me that putting a bunch of people in the proximity of spirits should at least lead to something of an uptick.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: