Coronavirus spreads at ‘stool talks,’ says Black Sea province governor

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The coronavirus is spreading among people chatting on stools at tea shops, the governor of the Black Sea province of Rize, Kemal Çeber, has warned locals.

“You sit on the stools in front of the teas shops. When the teas are served, you take your face masks off. As the tables are small, there is no social distancing,” said Çeber, while addressing the locals.

Çeber said “once the weddings and the funerals were the activities where people infected each other,” but now “stool talks” are becoming a reason for grave concern.

Touring the city, the governor sat on stools with the residents, maintaining social distancing, to address the issue. “Tea is the main culture of the city, so we do not want to ban the stool talks. But we want you to drink your tea without facing the illness threat.”

Çeber noted that he is happy by the residents’ obedience to the rules.

“We told them to put masks on. We got 85 percent success. We said, ‘Be aware of weddings and funerals,’ to which they listened. I think people will be more sensitive about protecting themselves in these stool talks after these warnings.”

Hasan Baysal, a resident of the province, was happy to chat with the governor on stools.

“We come here to give a break from work. It is better to sit here on stools than walk around. But of course, we follow the measures. We sit with distance and put on masks while we are not drinking tea,” he said.

“We used to sit close before the pandemic but now we make sure to maintain social distancing,” Mustafa Sosyal, Baysal’s “stool friend,” added.

Hurriyet Daily News

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