SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Before his death, a man told his nurse that he thought the coronavirus was a hoax, according to a doctor in Texas.
Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio told The New York Times that she is sharing his story to warn others as cases surge in Texas.
The man, who was not identified, apparently attended a “COVID party” according to Appleby. She told KSAT that she has been hearing about COVID-19 parties.
“One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, you know, I think I made a mistake and this young man went to a COVID party. He didn’t really believe, he thought the disease was a hoax. He thought he was young and he was invincible and wouldn’t get affected by the disease,” Appleby told KSAT.
Appleby said that her warning is intended to help the community realize that this virus is very serious.
So called “COVID Parties” have been reported in several states since in recent months.
Several college students in an Alabama city organized “COVID-19” parties in early July as a contest to see who would get the virus first, an official said.
Students hosted the parties to infect each other intentionally with the new coronavirus, news outlets quoted Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry as saying. McKinstry said party organizers purposely invited guests who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. She said the students put money in a pot and whoever got the coronavirus first would get the cash.
“It makes no sense,” McKinstry said. “They’re intentionally doing it.”
Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council that fire officials confirmed some students had attended parties despite knowing that they were infected. The department thought the parties were rumors, but Smith said that after some research, officials discovered they were real.
“Not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information,” Smith said.
State Health Officer Scott Harris said he had seen the news story about the reported parties, but could not officially confirm it.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough which clear up in two-to-three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Cox Media Group