Disregard this YouTube prank—COVID-19 is a very real problem


South China Morning Post

Leia Se showing off her painted on mask in the grocery store

Laws are laws, and they are there for a reason. No matter what people’s social statuses are, they are not exempt from following these laws.

This was solidified when two YouTubers, Leia Se and Josh Paler Lin, were deported from Bali after pulling a prank that blatantly violated mask mandates on the island. In a “joke” for their YouTube channel, Se attempted to enter a grocery store without a mask where she was predictably turned away. However, Lin painted a mask on her face, and when she attempted to enter once again, she was permitted to go inside.

After the video was posted on April 22, 2021, on Lin’s YouTube channel, which has nearly three and a half million subscribers, its view count skyrocketed. While it was all in good fun for Lin and Se, the Balinese authorities did not find this the slightest bit humorous—and with good reason.

COVID-19 is not a joke. Even though vaccines are becoming more widely available, precautions should continue to be taken seriously, especially since there are around 500,000 new cases per day worldwide.

Whether they were being playful or not, Se and Lin were breaking mask laws by not wearing a face covering in an indoor area, putting the safety of others in jeopardy.

Whether they were being playful or not, Se and Lin were breaking mask laws by not wearing a face covering in an indoor area, putting the safety of others in jeopardy.”

The fact that neither were native to the country only made the issue worse. As tourists who had the privilege of being able to travel to a beautiful place such as Bali, Se and Lin should have shown a little respect by doing the bare minimum and following the law.

While some may find that Lin and Se’s deportation was an extreme consequence of their actions, I do not find that to be the case whatsoever. With travel restrictions being so stringent, Lin and Se should have been far more responsible than they were.

On top of this, the deportation of the two pranksters sends a firm but important message. No matter the intent, no matter the person, no matter the status, if people break a law, they should be held fully accountable.

Bali confirmed their stance by sending Se and Lin away despite the amount of clout on YouTube they have. This is exactly what the world needs right now. In order to pull out of the pandemic, serious measures need to be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Such a radical move seems bizarre compared to what we would normally see in pre-COVID-19 life, but new issues require new mandates and the punishments that come along with breaking them. Se and Lin should have been fully aware that the reaction to their lack of face coverings would be harsh and swift. If they were unaware of such laws, they should have respected the country and the people by researching before their travels.

Overall, Se and Lin surely deserved their removal from Bali. With strict laws comes lower cases, so I believe the United States could even learn a thing or two from this event. Se and Lin were looking to get media points for their ridiculous prank. If anything, they lost points from their “internet score.”