A young man has died after attending what is known as a ‘COVID party’ because he thought the virus was a hoax.
The patient, who has not been named but who is said to have been in his 30s, became critically ill before passing away at Methodist Healthcare Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
Before he died, the patient told his nurse he had attended a ‘COVID party’. These kinds of gatherings have started to occur in a number of places across the US, as people risk their health to see if coronavirus is real or not.
Parties are held by someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and healthy partygoers attend to see if they catch the virus. In Alabama, students were accused of putting money in a pot at parties, with the cash ‘rewarded’ to the first person who caught the virus.
Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer of Methodist Healthcare, recalled some of the patient’s final words, describing how he told the nurse: ‘I think I made a mistake.’
The patient continued:
I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.
Despite the overwhelming evidence and the ever-increasing number of coronavirus cases, the young man refused to believe the virus was a threat and actively chose to put himself in harm’s way by attending the party.
Dr. Appleby pointed out this is just ‘one example of a potentially avoidable death in a young member of our community’, ABC3 News reports. As long as people continue to ignore the advice and the evidence presented by officials with regards to the seriousness of COVID-19, members of the public are at risk.
The doctor said:
[The virus] doesn’t discriminate and none of us are invincible. I don’t want to be an alarmist and we’re just trying to share some real-world examples to help our community realise that this virus is very serious and can spread easily.
She explained that there are a number of young people currently receiving treatment at Methodist Healthcare, and while some can be discharged home, ‘others become ill very quickly and require intensive care’.
Dr. Appleby expressed her hopes that locals would never need the help of Methodist Healthcare, and urged people to ‘wear a mask, stay at home when you can, avoid groups of people and sanitize your hands’.
According to the doctor, the positivity rate for coronavirus cases in Bexar County has jumped from 5% to a ‘concerning’ 22% in a matter of weeks.
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