FRANKFORT, Ky. — Several stories of those engaging in reckless behavior amid the coronavirus crisis have been reported this week, including a California man who posted footage of himself participating in a “coronavirus challenge” by licking a toilet at a public facility, and a Missouri man who recorded himself licking deodorant containers on the shelf at his local Walmart. The one now reportedly has COVID-19 and the other has been arrested.
According to reports, TikTok user Ava Louise, 22, recently posted what she called a “coronavirus challenge” via the video outlet, in which she recorded herself licking a toilet seat in an airplane restroom.
Another TikTok user, who is known as Larz, soon posted a copycat video of himself sliding his tongue along the toilet bowl at a public facility, writing above the recording, “RT (retweet) to spread awareness for the coronavirus.”
Two days later, he tweeted a video of himself at the hospital, stating that he had tested positive. His Twitter account has now been suspended.
In Missouri, a man identified as Cody Pfister, 26, was arrested on Monday after authorities were alerted to a video he had recorded of himself licking deodorant containers at his local Walmart while asking, “Who’s scared of the coronavirus?”
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pfister has now been charged with a terroristic threat in the second degree. His attorney said in a statement that because the video was recorded the day before the outbreak was labeled a pandemic, Pfister should be shown mercy.
“Public conduct that was immature on March 10 looks completely differently through the lens of today,” Patrick Coyne opined. “Everything has changed at warp speed, but that should not work retroactively and convert a tasteless and impulsive act into a criminal terrorist threat.”
The Warrentown Police Department says that it received calls about the video both from local residents and overseas viewers.
“We take this incident very seriously, especially with this infectious disease and the state that the country is in,” Lt. Justin Unger told NBC News. “We take these things seriously to protect our community.”
The outlet reports that George Falcone, 50, of New Jersey was similarly charged with making a terroristic threat after he purposefully coughed on a Wegmans grocery store employee, remarking that he had the coronavirus.
In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear expressed outrage on Tuesday after learning that a group of young adults in their 20s held a defiant “coronavirus party,” and now one of the attendees has been confirmed as a positive COVID-19 case.
“This is the part where I, the person that tells everybody to be calm, have to remain calm myself,” Beshear said. “Because anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt.”
“We are battling for the health — and even the lives — of our parents and our grandparents,” he outlined. “Don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that can kill other people. We ought to be much better than that.”
Jeremiah 17:9 states of the unregenerated, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”
Ephesians 5:15-17 also exhorts Christians, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”