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North Carolina couple married 50 years dies minutes apart of coronavirus holding hands

North Carolina couple married 50 years dies minutes apart of coronavirus holding hands
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A North Carolina couple married for more than 50 years died of the novel coronavirus just minutes apart while holding hands, CNN reported.

The family of Johnny Lee Peoples and Cathy "Darlene" Peoples says it hopes the story reminds people that the virus is real.

"Mom and Dad lived hand to hand for 50 years, they died hand to hand, now they're walking in heaven hand to hand," their son, Shane Peoples, told CNN. "The message our family would like to convey is that Covid is real. It's not a hoax or a joke. Our parents took the proper precautions but tragically still contracted the virus."
 
According to CNN, the couple started experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 in early August. On Aug. 10, Darlene Peoples tested negative for the coronavirus, a result the family thinks was a false negative, as she experienced a fever and other symptoms. Both Darlene and Johnny Peoples reportedly later tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to the hospital on Aug. 11. 
 
The hospital said both struggled with breathing with the virus due to previous illnesses. 
 
The family says it was told on Sept. 1 that the couple had no chance of surviving. The next day, Darlene and Johnny Peoples were taken off their ventilators in the same room and died a few moments apart side by side.
 
In a Facebook post, their son wrote that the family was "cheated."
  
"My parents weren't just a blessing for me, my brother, my sister, our spouses, and our children. They were a blessing to every person that met them," the post reads. "I just wish everyone could see them through my eyes. You would see the two most loving and caring couple, ever. Without them, this world just got a bit more gloomy."
 
The coronavirus has claimed nearly 200,000 lives and infected more than 6 million people in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
 
Officials are working overtime to develop a vaccine for the virus, but public health experts warn that until one is developed, the U.S. will have to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing to prevent the pandemic's spread. Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Whatever happened to Deborah Birx? Infectious disease expert calls White House advisers herd immunity claims 'pseudoscience' MORE is warning the fall could see increased challenges with the flu season. 

“We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci said earlier this month

“We've been through this before,” he said. “Don't ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don't try and look at the rosy side of things.”