Medical expert advises staying more than six feet from others

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The six feet apart guidelines originally set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may not be the exact answer to keep you safe from the novel coronavirus.

“That’s a guideline that suggests that we do that minimum but the more we can do is better,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Manoj Jain said.

Dr. Jain said staying six feet apart does not mean you won’t get infected. If you really want to stay safe, you should avoid meeting up with friends as much as possible.

“I don’t think we should push our boundaries,” Dr. Jain said. “We should stay home, take this time to do things at home and not risk our lives in getting very, very sick.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is doing what he can to minimize risk by limiting access to parks and enforcing his ‘Safer-at-Home’ order. That includes police officers breaking up large crowds, which happened at Davis Park over the weekend.

Chasity Bowling was walking with her two friends at Greenbelt Park on Tuesday, but they were so far apart they practically had to shout at each other.

“To get out of the house, we do this walk where we’re very far away from each other,” she says.

They kept their distance because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The three of them did their best to stay at least six feet apart like the CDC recommends. However, some medical experts say that distance isn’t enough to truly stay safe.

Witnesses say about 300 people gathered to attend a vigil for a shooting victim. It was a well-intended memorial but city officials call that kind of crowd a threat to public health.

“It may seem harsh right now but I would really advise people to look at the pictures you’re seeing on television right now of people in the intensive care unit in New York and other places,” Dr. Jain said. “We want to starve the virus. We don’t want that virus going from person to person and infecting others.”

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