Welcome back to a little bit of news we can all use from around the globe. This is the news for September 11th, 2020.
We begin in the US, the Los Angeles Health Department has recently released guidance to help families plan for a pandemic-safe Halloween. It is discouraging traditional activities and recommending socially distant alternatives. Although Trick or treating has not been banned, it is not recommended. Public health officials said that there is no way to guarantee trick or treating can be done safely. They therefore have recommend people celebrate Halloween online or from a safe distance. Suggestions include activities like online pumpkin carving and costume contests and participating in drive-by events or festive car parades.
In Japan, the Japanese Olympic minister says the Tokyo Olympics should go forward in 2021 at any cost. Many Japanese and Olympic officials have stressed in the past week that the games will continue regardless of the global pandemic and that the games would take place even if a vaccine were not yet available. The Tokyo Summer Olympics had been scheduled to start in July of this year, but they were pushed back a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is some evidence that the Japanese public is unsure about holding the games just 10 months from now. A recent survey found that fewer than 1 in 4 people in Japan want the Tokyo Olympics to go forward as scheduled. More than a third of the people polled said the Olympics should be postponed, and another third said they wanted the games to be canceled.
In Indonesian, the government has made one of the stranger attempts at protecting the public. They have been putting dummies wearing masks in coffins and then displaying them around the capital city of Jakarta. They hoped it would scare people into following the pandemic rules so that they would not end up in coffins. However, the campaign has quickly backfired. Netizens have used social media to criticize the action as inappropriate and a waste of money, stating that the government should instead focus on providing decent social assistance for the poor. One expert, Andina Dwifatma, a public communication professor at Atma Jaya Catholic University Jakarta, says the coffin campaign is a "useless theatrical form."