As leaders worldwide search for ways to encourage people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, officials in Indonesia are taking advantage of its citizens' superstitions, Reuters reported on April 13.
Kepuh, a village on Java island, is employing village residents to dress as "pocong," or the trapped souls of the dead, in Indonesian folklore. The ghostly figures, wrapped in white shrouds with their heads covered and dark-rimmed eyes peering out, surprise unsuspecting pedestrians, then disappear into the night.
The strategy appears to be working: Villagers have been seen running off in fright when the pocong appear. "People will not gather or stay on the streets after evening prayers," resident Karno Supadmo said.
Olive Veronesi, 93, of Seminole, Pa., wasn't shy about letting loved ones know what she needed during the lockdown. "I need more beer!" read a sign she held up, along with a can of Coors Light. A relative posted Veronesi's photo to social media, KDKA reported, and her predicament went viral. "I have a beer every night. ... I was on my last 12 cans. You know what, beer has vitamins in it. It's good for you, only don't overdo it," Veronesi said. On April 13, she got her wish: Molson Coors delivered 10 cases of her favorite brew to her front door. Her new sign reads, "Got more beer!"
Names in the news
• A baby born on April 6 in Sheopur, Bhopal, India, will carry a special name with him through his life: Lockdown. Manju Mail, his mother, confirmed to hospital staff: "Yes, he is Lockdown, as he was born during the lockdown period." Her husband, Raghunath, told the Times of India: "It is a significant name. The whole world using lockdown as a means to stem this pandemic. We should not take Lockdown lightly."
• In Chhattisgarh, India, another couple blessed their twins, born March 27, with timely names: Corona and Covid. Preeti Verma, 27, told the Press Trust of India that her children's names symbolize triumph over hardships. "Indeed the virus is dangerous and life-threatening, but its outbreak made people focus on sanitation, hygiene and inculcate other good habits," she said.
The continuing crisis
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to a home in Saugus, Calif., on April 7 after a dispute over toilet paper turned violent, CNN reported. A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with battery after his mother told deputies he had punched her. Sheriff's department spokesperson Shirley Miller said the man had accused his mother of hiding toilet paper, which she admitted to deputies, saying her son was using too much. "This is the first arrest I've heard of that started out over an argument over toilet paper," remarked Miller.
As tornadoes bore down on the Southeast on April 12, an unnamed family sought safety in a storm shelter in Crossville, Ala., but said they were turned away when they had only one face mask. The woman told WHNT a man who opened the door asked if they had masks. "I said I have one mask," the woman said. "He motioned no and shut the door." The family ran back to their car and looked for shelter elsewhere. Crossville Mayor Tera Fortenberry had posted the face coverings requirement on Facebook, but the family didn't see the message. After the story became public, masks were donated to the town anonymously.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.