Man dies one day after saying he contracted COVID-19 because of his own ‘stupidity’ as family blames pace of reopening
A California man has died after blaming his “stupidity” for contracting the coronavirus after attending a party where people did not wear masks, his family said.
Thomas Macias, a Southern California truck driver, wrote in a Facebook post, “Because of my stupidity I put my mom and sisters and my family’s health in jeopardy.”
His niece Danielle Lopez told The Washington Post that he learned after attending the party that someone with the virus, who apparently wrongly believed they could not spread it without symptoms, had also attended.
Macias, 51, was rushed to the hospital with breathing problems on June 21, the morning after the Facebook post, and died by 9 p.m., according to the newspaper.
Lopez said Macias, who had diabetes, had exercised caution for months while the Golden State was under lockdown, knowing his condition made him particularly vulnerable. She added she believed the state’s gradual reopening is giving Californians the wrong idea about the extent to which the virus remains a threat.
“It was absolutely preventable,” she told the Post.
Riverside County, where Macias lived, entered phase two of California’s reopening process in late May, allowing malls and dine-in restaurants to reopen, while businesses like gyms and nail salons were approved the next month.
However, conditions steadily worsened in the county over the course of June, with Riverside becoming one of several counties that was placed on a state watch list after it saw hospitalizations increase 19 percent over a three-day period.
This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered Riverside County and 18 other counties, which comprise nearly three-quarters of the state’s population, to reimpose restrictions on bars due to spiking cases.
“We thought that it was a mistake opening so soon” even before Macias became sick, Lopez told the Post. “There’s still no vaccine, there’s still nothing to fight against this. We should not have opened to begin with.”
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