More than a dozen members of the same family have contracted coronavirus after a member, who believed the virus was a hoax, hosted a party.
Tony Green, 43, from the US state of Texas, wrote in a column on LGBT news site Dallas Voice, saying he believed the virus wasn’t real.
“I thought it was going to be fine,” he told WFAA.
“We’re not really going out. We’re just spending time together, hanging out at the house, (having a) grill, you know?”
He hosted a party on June 13 and the following day woke up sick.
Two days later, both his husband and his parents fell ill. His in-laws Marisa and Rafael Ceja also became sick after visiting too.
On June 24, Mr Green was hospitalised after the virus attacked his central nervous system.
But staff managed to stop him having a stroke.
“My father-in-law’s mother was admitted a day later. On July 1, she died of COVID-19/pneumonia,” he wrote.
“The chaplain wanted the family to break the news to my father-in-law, and he learned how his mother lay on her deathbed and then drifted off without any family by her side, even though he was in the room next to hers.”
On July 14, the family hosted a funeral for Mr Green’s father-in-law’s mother.
Five more members of the family tested positive.
He told NBC his mother-in-law called him the same day as the funeral "crying and screaming in terror" to tell Mr Green her husband was on life support where he remains.
In total, 14 members of the family contracted the virus.
Mr Green wrote he feels guilt for not believing in the virus and for hosting the dinner party.
He said he has a message for those that believe COVID-19 is a hoax, saying it is “very real and extremely contagious”.
Mr Green wants people to take the virus seriously, wear masks and adhere to social distancing.
“That pool party, the mixer or family reunion you’re pushing could result in you being cold and alone in a hospital bed, fighting for your life,” he wrote.
“Imagine the only human contact you feel is a stranger’s rubber glove giving you medication, checking your vitals and changing your diaper.
“That is exactly what has happened to our family.”
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