Battling the virus with the Sun Rays - Sun Worshiping Indonesians
If you visit Bali right now, you'll see a trend of roaming around shirtless, from soldiers to teens, grown ups and old folks are seen sun tanning in their driveways. A majority of Indonesians are sun bathing like never before, hoping that sun rays will kill or ward off corona virus.
The rush to take up this practice which is usually seen in the Bali-bound foreigners has now been driven by unfounded claims on social media that sun ray with their supply of vitamin D can repress or even at times kill the virus.
This wishful thinking got a major boost recently when a U.S Official claimed that new research has showed sun light destroying the virus quickly. However the study is yet to be confirmed and evaluated independently, but US President Donald Trump spoke about it enthusiastically during a press conference.
"I always avoided the sun before because I didn't want to get tanned," said Theresia Rikke Astria, a 27-year-old housewife in Indonesia's cultural capital Yogyakarta.
"But I'm hoping this will strengthen my immune system," she added.
Medics while being skeptical of the practice have however said that a 15 minutes burst of the morning sun rays can be beneficial for you.
"Exposing the body to direct sunlight is good to get vitamin D, not to directly prevent the disease," said Dr. Dirga Sakti Rambe at Jakarta’s OMNI Pulomas Hospital.
You can get a good source of vitamin d from eggs, fish, milk and sun light exposure, it is no doubt important in maintaining a healthy immune system he said however also added "Sunbathing does not kill the virus that causes COVID-19."
Whatever the science may suggest there is no doubt that tropical 5000 Km long Southeast Asian archipelago has no shortage of sunshine.
This rush of tanning outside has worried Indonesian government enough to issue a warning about the warning and dangers of skin cancer and they have called for novice sun-seekers to slap on protection.
Sun bathing may be common in the West however it is not a common sight and a rare caution in the region where people prefer using beauty products to get a fair skin rather than tanning themselves.
Pale skin across the Asian region have been associated with beauty, higher social class for a long time thus beauty product commercials extol the virtues of fair skin. Muslim majority Indonesia's relatively conservative dress codes -- especially for women -- mean skimpy swimwear isn't a feature of the new craze.