According to reports from The Jakarta Post, eight people in Indonesia, who all refused to wear a face covering in public, were required by local authorities to help dig the graves for those who have died from complications due to the coronavirus.
The head of the Cerme district, Suyono, explained that this order is meant to be an eye-opening punishment for the eight men who cannot find it in themselves to just put on a mask. More than that, it also serves as a warning to anyone else who chooses to defy the face covering rule in place in the province of East Java.
“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” Suyono said. They went on to note that these anti-maskers were only tasked with assisting, and not actually handling burials.
“Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations,” Suyono continued.
The Jakarta Post also points out that Regent Law No. 22/2020 states residents who violate the COVID-19 safety protocols could be subjected to a fine or community service, and in this case, the grave digging seems like the perfect community service punishment to match the crime.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Indonesia has reported more than 218,000 coronavirus cases. 8,723 people have died.