A Florida man who derided the coronavirus pandemic as a "fake crisis" has changed his tune after he and his wife contracted COVID-19.
Brian Hitchens, 46, initially downplayed the coronavirus pandemic 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," Hitchens wrote on April 2. "Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords."
However, in mid-April, Hitchens wrote on Facebook that he and his wife had been home sick for over a week.
"I've got no energy and all I want to do is sleep," Hitchens wrote.
One day after writing the post about becoming ill, Hitchens and his wife, Erin, were admitted to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
"Many people still think that the Coronavirus is a fake crisis which at one time I did too and not that I thought it wasn't a real virus going around but at one time I felt that it was blown out of proportion and it wasn't that serious," Hitchens wrote on Facebook on May 12. "We kept on watching the news and kept on hearing about the spreading of the Coronavirus and to be honest I didn't really think nothing of it."
However, all that changed after he and his wife were diagnosed with COVID-19 in April. At one point, Hitchens says he had "just enough energy" to drive himself and his wife to the Medical center on April 19, where they 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 wrote that he was spared the terrible aches and pains, but was incredibly weak and exhausted thanks to the virus. After about three weeks in the hospital, he said he began feeling better.
"As of today my wife is still sedated and on the ventilator with no signs of improving," Hitchens wrote on May 12. "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."
Hitchens wrote that he is now coming to terms that his wife may pass away from COVID-19.
"This thing is nothing to be messed with please listen to the authorities and heed the advice of the experts," he wrote. "We don't have to fear this and by heeding the advice doesn't mean that you fear it that means you're showing wisdom during this epidemic time."
Hitchens' post has been shared hundreds of times.
"Looking back I should have wore a mask in the beginning but I didn't and perhaps I'm paying the price for it now," he wrote. If he passed the virus on to his wife, he said, he knows that she and God forgive him.
"So just think about what I said and if you have to go out please use wisdom and don't be foolish like I was ... so the same thing won't happen to you like it happened to me and my wife," he wrote.