Eight people in Indonesia refused to wear a face mask in public, forced to help dig graves for COVID-19 victims.
Health experts worldwide have encouraged mask-wearing to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
However, the controversy surrounding the effectiveness of these face-coverings still remains as more people refuse to wear them regardless of the rules.
While authorities are taking different approaches in enforcing face masks, a recent social media post is drawing attention to a unique punishment.
In Indonesia, local authorities made eight people who have refused to wear face masks dig graves for those who died from COVID-19.
If this isn't the most effective wake-up call, well, we don't know what is.
Authorities created this unusual punishment for anti-maskers in hopes of deterring others from disregarding the nationwide face-covering rule.
Local politician Suyono came up with this idea. Speaking to media outlets, he said:
There are only three available grave diggers at the moment. So I thought I might as well put these people to work for them.
Two people were assigned to each grave, with one doing the digging while the other laid down the wooden board inside the hole.
Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations.
Of course, authorities are not making anti-maskers handle the dead. Only health officials wearing full-body protective equipment prepare the bodies so to limit the risk of exposure.
Instead, anti-masker dig the graves and prepare the plots with wooden planks to support the casket.
Other punishment Options for Those Not Wearing Masks
Gravedigging isn't the only unusual punishment authorities in Indonesia have put in place.
They are also forcing those who don't wear masks to lie down in a coffin and count to 100.
They then take the anti-maskers to cemeteries late at night and order them to pray for COVID-19 victims.
The officers then put them in the back of ambulances with some coffins.
Moreover—in some regions—authorities have displayed a dummy coffin as a COVID-19 warning.
Also, those in Creme caught not wearing a mask have the option of accepting a fine of 150,000 IDR ($10) or a 'social punishment.'
Speaking to CNN, Suyono said that while most people accept social punishments, such as push-ups or cleaning, he hopes grave digging would show them the 'real effect of COVID-19.'
However, it's not clear if these punishments have increased mask-wearing in Indonesia. The country has failed to flatten the curve for months, and infections are still on the rise.
Here's How Netizens Reacted to Grave Digging Punishment