The novel coronavirus has reportedly claimed the life of a Lake Elsinore, Calif., man who had expressed regret for attending a birthday party shortly before his death.
Family of Tommy Macias, 51, told NBC Los Angeles that he developed a COVID-19 infection after he was likely exposed to the novel virus by a friend who also attended the party.
“Some of you know, but most don’t. I (expletive) up and went out a couple of weeks ago and I contracted the coronavirus,” he wrote on Facebook just days before his death, according to a screenshot obtained by local news station KTSM. “Monday I tested for it and it was confirmed on Thursday. Because of my stupidity, I put my mom and sisters and my family’s health in jeopardy. This has been a very painful experience.
“This is no joke," he continued. "'If you have to go out wear a mask and practice social distancing. Don’t be a (expletive) idiot like me. Thank you to all my friends that have brought me food, and to everyone who has been there for me. Hopefully, with God’s help, I’ll be able to survive this.”
The 51-year-old, who suffered from diabetes, passed away on June 21 after he was rushed to the hospital when he experienced difficulty breathing, according to NBC Los Angeles. He was intubated and put on a ventilator after arriving but succumbed to COVID-19 just a couple of hours later, his niece, Danielle Lopez, said.
Lopez told the news station that her uncle had been in quarantine for months before he attended the party, adding to Valley News that Macias "wore his mask religiously and he was taking all the precautions that he could.”
"It was just one moment for him. Because things were becoming so much more lenient, he hadn’t seen his friends for so long, he thought things were getting better and he decided to go see them and so quickly he was taken from us," Lopez told NBC Lose Angeles.
Lopez, who described Macias as a “fun-loving person,” urged others to take COVID-19 seriously.
"You can’t just assume you’re OK. You need to take that extra precaution to protect everyone around you. It just seems like it should be common sense and common courtesy to not unknowingly cause this harm onto other people," she said. "We wish we could have told him how much we love him. And to be able to say goodbye.”