The wife of a Florida rideshare driver who refused to wear a mask on the basis that the coronavirus is “fake” has been hospitalized with the disease.
Her husband, Brian Hitchens, said he has learned from this experience that the coronavirus is a real threat and not a “scare tactic.”
“I don’t want to see anyone go through what I went through,” Hitchens said in a Facebook post. “This wasn’t some scare tactic that anybody was using. It wasn’t some made-up thing. This was a real virus you gotta take seriously.”
Hitchens said he did not take the virus seriously but stayed home when he started to feel sick.
“I came down with the coronavirus and a couple days later after I started to not feel good, my wife started to not feel good,” he wrote on Facebook. “We stayed at home quarantined and my wife did go to the hospital to get tested and they told her, ‘yeah, you probably have the coronavirus, so go home and quarantine yourself.'”
When his story made it to Reddit, it became a warning symbol of what can happen if people don’t take the virus as seriously as they should. While a fair few have taken the opportunity to wish tragedy on Hitchens, whose wife has been intubated, others have praised him for owning his mistake and sharing his experience.
Redditor u/kogeliz shared Hitchens’ post and pointed out the bravery necessary to own a mistake so publicly.
“This guy is brave to publicly admit he was wrong, detail his experience and warn everyone” u/kogeliz wrote. “Now is getting tons ‘you should have died’ messages and I think that is sh*tty. He already feels sh*tty—no need for hundreds of people to tell him to go die. We have to put some blame on the horrible leadership and media as well. I hope his story helps others to take things seriously.”
The thread including Hitchens’ story has been locked to prevent further commentary.
A Facebook update from Hitchens indicates that he has tested negative for the virus.
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H/T: My Stateline