• Royal Mail postman Jon Matson still has to make his rounds in the English village of Boldon during the coronavirus lockdown, and he's doing what he can to "lift the spirits" of the residents he sees along the way.
Matson, 39, has been sporting different costumes, including a Greek soldier, a cheerleader and Little Bo Peep -- all with the Royal Mail's blessing, as long as he wears his uniform shoes.
"Everyone is uncertain at the moment, and you are the only person outside of the family that they see, so why not give them something to smile about," Matson told the Sunderland Echo on March 28.
He's coy, though, about what sorts of costumes are on tap in the days to come.
Zoe Grant, who lives on Matson's route, gushed: "I'm proud that Jon is my postman, and I can't wait to see his his next costume." [Sunderland Echo, 3/28/2020]
• 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. [Reuters, 4/13/2020]