Youths in the Municipality of Eslöv in Sweden's southernmost Skåne County have adopted the habit of knowingly coughing, sneezing, and spitting on elderly people, while laughing at their victims, Swedish Radio reported.
The municipality has warned its inhabitants and urged parents to “talk” with their children.
“It has come to our knowledge that older people feel insecure. That young people cough and shout 'corona' only to walk away and laugh”, Ingrid Westerlund, the head of operations at Eslöv Municipality, told Swedish Radio.
On Facebook, the municipality published a warning.
“Some of our elders have been exposed to youths knowingly coughing, sneezing, and spitting in their vicinity in the streets and in stores. Talk to your youth and, above all, respond if you see someone out to provoke and behave disrespectfully. Our responsibility is to prevent the spread of infection and make sure everyone feels as safe as possible. Show consideration, take others' concerns seriously and take care of yourself and others”, Eslöv Municipality warned.
Many residents voiced their extreme displeasure.
“Apparently a form of challenge that is spreading virally right now, and Eslöv's youth don't seem to look inferior, unfortunately...”, one user wrote on Facebook.
“Sick behaviour and showing only zero respect for human life, they are proof that their parents are unsuccessful in their upbringing. What a rotten act!” another one said.
Earlier, the news outlet Samhällsnytt reported about a migrant duo from Eskilstuna publishing a prank video on YouTube where they approached random people while coughing and saying they had the coronavirus. The video was later removed, but continues to spread on Twitter.
This video also sparked reactions and was called “unsavoury”, “backward”, and “unfunny”.
“Hej Xaliqasem och Xusseinmatar! You walk around my city, scaring people, being general idiots and 'pranking' about the coronavirus. You think you're smart/cool. I have noted that you record in Eskilstuna. Can you be kind and do this 'prank' on me? I promise I'll be nice. I will only contact your parents and ask them what they think about what they have raised. And I would like to hear if they are proud to have raised two full-scale idiots. So feel free to grab me next time you're out to prank”, local Social Democrat politician Maria Hind Alias tweeted.
Hej Xaliqasem och Xusseinmatar!— Maria Hind Alias (@mariahindalias) March 29, 2020
Ni går runt i min stad, skrämmer människor, är allmänna idioter och ”prankar ”på Coronaviruset. Ni tycker ni är häftiga/coola.
Jag noterar att ni spelar in i Eskilstuna. Kan ni vara vänliga och göra denna ”prank” på mig?
So far, over 4,000 people in Sweden have been confirmed to have COVID-19. A total of 146 patients have died.