A Florida man who thought the coronavirus was “a fake crisis” has changed his mind after he and his wife contracted COVID-19.
Brian Hitchens, a rideshare driver who lives in Jupiter, downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus in Facebook posts in March and April.
“I’m honoring what our government says to do during this epidemic but I do not fear this virus because I know that my God is bigger than this Virus will ever be,” he wrote in a post on April 2. “Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
In mid-April, Hitchens, 46, began documenting his and his wife’s health on Facebook.
“Been home sick for over a week. Both my wife and I home sick,” he wrote in a post on April 18. “I’ve got no energy and all I want to do is sleep.”
A day later, Hitchens and his wife, Erin, were admitted to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Hitchens said in a Facebook post.
Hitchens could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. The voicemail box for a number listed for him is full.
There have been at least 46,442 cases of the coronavirus in Florida — with 1,997 deaths — reported as of Monday morning, according to state health data.
In a lengthy post on May 12, Hitchens said that he was once among those who thought the coronavirus “is a fake crisis” that was “blown out of proportion” and “wasn’t that serious.”
That changed when he started to feel sick in April and stopped working, he wrote.
Hitchens said he “had just enough energy” to drive himself and his wife to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center on April 19, where they both tested positive for the virus.
“They admitted us right away and we both went to ICU,” he wrote. “I started feeling better within a few days but my wife got worse to the point where they sedated her and put her on the ventilator.”
Hitchens said he never experienced terrible aches and pains but felt weak and exhausted. He said he felt better on May 12, at which point he had been in the hospital for three weeks, and that he still had COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. He also said he had pneumonia in his lungs.
“As of today my wife is still sedated and on the ventilator with no signs of improving,” Hitchens wrote. “There were a couple times were they tried to start weaning her off the ventilator but as soon as they’ve done that her oxygen level dropped and they had to put her back on the ventilator full time.”
He said his wife of eight years has been sick “quite a few times” in the past and she always fought through. This time, he said, “I have come to accept that my wife may pass away.”