Georgia Coroner Pleads Against Going Outside: ‘You’re Playing Russian Roulette’

Medical staff move bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to a refrigerated truck on April 2, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
April 27, 2020 2:01 p.m.

Michael Fowler, a coroner in Albany, Georgia, warned on Monday that shopping at the businesses that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has allowed to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic could come at a heavy price.

“Every time you walk out of the house or go to a place without a mask and practice social distancing, you’re playing Russian roulette,” Fowler told CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Scuitto. “There’s a chance you might catch this virus.”

Under Kemp’s order, salons, gyms and several other establishments are allowed to resume business. However, Fowler said it’s too risky for people to visit those places.

“I think you can go a little longer without getting your hair cut. I think your life is more important,” he said. “You need to worry about your inside, not just your outside, at this present time.”

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Over the weekend, Fowler described for the Washington Post the pain of handling the bodies of friends who had died from the virus in his small town and the frustration of seeing people ignoring social distancing guidelines.

“I understand businesses are hurting and people need to work. But I see these folks out and about and I wonder: ‘Is this another death I’ll have to pronounce?'” he said. “My work never shut down. I’ve been busier than ever during all this.”

The coroner also said that while he’s used to the gruesome aspects of his job, “it’s a lot harder when the body you’re zipping up is a face you know or a face of someone you love.”

Watch Fowler below:

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