Barber in Mississippi dies from coronavirus after making house calls, family pleads for social distancing
A Mississippi barber died from coronavirus after he made house calls during the time most Americans were practicing self-isolation. Now, his family is begging the public to take social distancing more seriously, says WJTV.
Eugene Thompson, 46, was an upstanding member of the community in Brookhaven. Thompson owned a barber show and even spent time teaching aspiring barbers, WJTV reports.
Byron Catchings, a childhood friend to Thompson, said the entire community was heartbroken by the news. Catching told WLBT, “this whole community knew him. No matter who you was, you knew Eugene.”
As of Tuesday evening, The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,915 total cases and 59 deaths.
Thompson’s family says Eugene died just six days after his 46th birthday and leaves behind a daughter.
The family is mourning his death, and heartbroken by the fact that Eugene died alone in the hospital.
“Our last memory of him is getting on the ambulance,” said his sister Debra Edwards. “We weren’t able to say goodbye. He was alone; my brother was all by himself.”
Edwards says her brother followed the guidelines Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after he tested positive on March 22. But just two days later, he was at St. Domenic hospital fighting for his life.
“At 12:22 p.m. the nurse practitioner in the ICU at St. Domenic called me and said his heart stopped and we couldn’t revive him,” Edwards recalled.
Now, Edwards wants her community to take the stay-at-home orders seriously.
“Everybody before you go outside, or before you decide to go to your friend’s house make sure before you make that decision you know going outside that door could very well kill you, your children, or your parents,” said Edwards.
Like Chicago and Milwaukee, the coronavirus is attacking the Black community of Mississippi dramatically.
Mississippi’s state epidemiologist Paul Byers says at least 50 percent of the Covid-19 cases are Black with many reporting underlying medical conditions.
Mississippi’s governor did not enact a statewide stay-at-home order until Friday, April 3. Gov. Tate Reeves said they previously told citizens to practice social distancing and recommended gatherings that did not exceed ten people. Gov. Reeves told ABC News that he believed trying to enact a shelter-in-place for several weeks, meant fewer Mississippians would comply.
When asked about the spread of the virus, especially in rural areas, the governor said they are “very concerned.” However, he also believes that if everyone follows the guidelines in place, they’ll be able to “get out of this and we’re gonna be even stronger coming out of it.”
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