In Mississippi, a beloved barber has died from COVID-19 after he didn’t shut down and continued to accept clients while the epidemic rages.
Eugene Thompson, 46, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, died last Saturday (April 4), less than a month after testing positive for the novel disease.
In a March 17 post on Facebook, Thompson, the ambitious owner of the Taper Nation and Taper Nation 2 barbershops, first admitted he’d fallen ill. At that point, he closed the doors to his business for the remainder of the week.
“Quarantine yourself stay away from people…places.. or things…I felt a little [achy]… fever was a little high so I came to get checked,” Thompson wrote at the time. “Tapernation will be closed for the rest of the week…well deserved rest and relaxation..”
Interestingly, his post came hours after he shared the following warning to potential clients seeking cuts:
“PSA: Due to the coronavirus TaperNation will only be accepting clients that are ONLY receiving a service until further notice… SO if [you’re] not receiving a service … don’t come !!”
After days of fighting for his life, he died less than a week after his 46th birthday.
“He couldn’t get up and walk to the car, not walk around the house cause he couldn’t do that anyway,” sister Dedra Edwards told a local outlet. “At 12:22 p.m. the nurse practitioner in the ICU at St. Dominic called me and said his heart stopped and we couldn’t revive him.”
“Our last memory of him is getting on the ambulance,” she added. “We weren’t able to say goodbye, he was alone my brother was all by himself.”
Thompson was also a role model to young fatherless boys.
“There’s a lot of people, kids and adults that he cut for free that didn’t have the money and I was one of them,” longtime client Shanta Harris told WLBT News.