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Jakarta Post

Insight: McDonald’s farewell gathering: The cost of COVID-19 ‘lies’

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana

    Journalist at The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 14 2020   /  12:37 am

Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday at McDonald’s in Central Jakarta to bid farewell to the American fast food chain’s flagship outlet in Indonesia. The event prompted an instant flood of comments on social media expressing disdain and anger toward the crowd and its seeming disregard for either contracting or spreading COVID-19.

While the photographs of the ill-advised public gathering put a knot in my stomach, I was not surprised. How can the public be expected to make good decisions when the information they’ve been given is questionable at best?

The outbreak’s economic toll on Indonesia is well documented, but the loss of Indonesian lives to the virus is less clear: The official count on Tuesday put the death toll at just over 1,000, but Jakarta has recorded nearly 2,000 burials using COVID-19 protocols since the beginning of March.

Other provinces have ...