AS Brighton becomes the centre of attention in the coronavirus outbreak, some people on the streets are becoming concerned – but not everyone.

With shops selling out of face masks and hand sanitisers, reporter Laurie Churchman asked residents and visitors how they were responding to the crisis.

The Argus:

Fraser Shaw, 22, from Hanover, was on his way to a job interview. He said: “I think this has been blown out of proportion.

“It’s mostly scaremongering from the media. They just want something to report on.

“I think masks and hand gels are a bit excessive.

“I respect people for taking precautions to decrease the spread of the virus – but it’s getting a bit silly.

“Still, it’s good to try and stop the spread in schools.

“It’s not a good idea having children hanging around others who may have it. Children are more vulnerable.”

The Argus:

Jamie Sturrock, 35, from the The Lanes, was meeting Nikki Scott, 30, from Kemp Town.

He said: “Do I believe media the coverage? I’m not sure I trust it.

“There’s a lot of scaremongering.

“I’m trying to keep as reliably informed as possible and trust my own initiative.

“I think the reaction is extreme.

“I’m trying not to get worried.

“My actual life is challenging enough, and I think we need to be rational about all this.”

The Argus:

Tony Myers, 73, from Kemp Town, said: “If you get it, it’s very bad. I’ve seen a lot of people wearing masks.

“Can you catch it just by breathing?

“All I’ve heard is it’s a sort of flu-like thing.

“But if you’ve got it, I don’t see how a piece of plastic over your face will help.

“Older people and children aren’t at full strength.

“I’ve just come back from seeing the doctor.

“But I’ve got this absurd confidence I won’t get it.”

The Argus:

Paul Mahatani, 56, from Rottingdean, volunteers at a group combating addiction.

He said: “I don’t really watch the news much, but it’s all linked to an outbreak in China, isn’t it?

“Or at least it was at first. It’s quite concerning it’s in Brighton already.

“You get frightening news like this now and again.

“My family are doctors in Brighton. One’s a GP. I’m worried for them.

“I don’t see a problem with people buying masks and gloves and things, if that’s what they need to feel safe.”

The Argus:

Support worker Steve Pollard, 45, from Hove, said: “I’m not really worried. There’s a lot of hype. I heard you’re more likely to die from flu.

“I’m more concerned about older people and children.

“I’m trying to wash my hands and catch sneezes.

“People are a bit more aware now.

“But I think everything will be OK. Hopefully they’ll be able to prevent the spread.

“I’m not buying a mask. That’s a little bit over the top.

“Still, the authorities should be more open and provide more support.

“They can be very cagey at times like this.”

The Argus:

Isabelle Brookes, 35, is a mother from Hollingdean. She said: “I’m not worried. This has been totally blown out of proportion.

“Everyone’s going a bit mad. And there’s been a lot of racism towards people from China.

“People are taking it too far.

“I got an email from my daughter’s school warning about the virus – but there’s no reason for my kids not to go.

“The parents phoning up the school are just scared. It’s been blown out of proportion.

“How long is it going to be going on? People don’t even know if they have it or not.

“Children and older people are more susceptible though, from what I’ve read.”

The Argus:

Alessandra Difede, 48, from Seven Dials, works in customer services. She said: “I’m not worried. 
“You know what – I have to live my everyday life, and I’ll take it as it comes. 
“I don’t want to think about the consequences. 
“I don’t think it’s too much if people are trying to get hold of masks and gloves. 
“It’s good if they want to do something about it. 
“But I don’t think this will have too much impact on my daily life. 
“Depending on how high risk this is, schools should probably close – children are among the most vulnerable.”

The Argus:

Cathy Curwood, 67, from Queen’s Park in Brighton, said: “I read there are five cases in Brighton now.

“I don’t think there’s too much hysteria.

“If you think about cases like this in the past – the Spanish Flu killed more people than the First and Second World War combined.

“It’s only a matter of time.

“But from what I’ve read there’s not much you can do.

“Apparently one way it spreads is through touching your face with your hands

“I’ve been washing my hands – I just wish I could get a matching face mask and gloves from M&S or Accessorize.”