Some Memphians shrug off coronavirus: ‘If people prayed, they wouldn’t have to worry about it’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – As health officials sound the alarm about coronavirus, not everyone is receptive to the message.

Some people who WREG talked with didn't feel much of a risk from the virus.

“I’m being 100% honest, I don’t do nothing differently," Nate Tekle said. "I do everything the same. I don’t wash my hands."

“If people prayed, they wouldn’t have to worry about it," Bre Johnson said. "They don’t supposed to live in fear. Pray, that’s it. You not gonna catch nothing."

But doctors say praying won’t be enough to protect you from this latest outbreak, which has already killed almost 4,000 people worldwide.

They’re also concerned people indifferent to coronavirus could put others at heightened risk of getting it.

“If individuals don’t wash their hands, they don’t bother not touching their faces, if they begin to do those basic things without paying any concern to the problem, then it could be a major issue when the virus comes into the community,” Dr. Manoj Jain said.

Anthony Linsey said he’s concerned because his wife already has leukemia, and he’s doing everything he can to ensure that neither he nor she get coronavirus as well.

“Staying out of crowds, but I really can’t stay out of them too much because my wife is in the hospital, so we're in and out, but we got masks, and we have the sanitizer and the Lysol spray,” Linsey said.

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