US: Man dies after 'COVID-19 party'; thought coronavirus was 'hoax'
13 Jul 2020
A 30-year-old man died from the novel coronavirus at a hospital in the US state of Texas after attending a "COVID-19 party" hosted by an infected person.
He was a healthy young man who caught the infection at the party, which he had attended believing that coronavirus was a hoax, according to San Antonio's Methodist Hospital, where he was admitted.
Here are more details.
What exactly is a COVID-19 party?
A COVID-19 party is held by someone who has tested positive for coronavirus to see whether it's real by inviting their friends, said Dr. Jane Appleby, the chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital.
"This is a party held by somebody diagnosed with the COVID virus...the thought is, people get together to see if the virus is real and if anyone gets infected," she explained.
'I think I made a mistake': His final words
Dr. Appleby said that the deceased man had even spoken with the nurses attending to him about the COVID-19 party, which was hosted by someone diagnosed with coronavirus.
"I think I made a mistake," the man reportedly told the nurses about him going to the party. "I thought this was a hoax, but it's not," he said before his death.
The patient thought he was young and invincible: Doctor
"Someone will be diagnosed with the disease, and they'll have a party to invite their friends over to see if they can beat the disease," said Dr. Appleby.
"He (the 30-year-old deceased) thought the disease was a hoax. He thought he was young and invincible and wouldn't get affected by the disease," she added.
People should understand virus can affect anyone: Dr. Appleby
Dr. Appleby said that she does not want to scare anyone by sharing the story of the 30-year-old deceased, but just wants to ensure that everyone understands the risk that the deadly novel coronavirus can pose to people, irrespective of their age.
The doctor underlined the fact that even younger people are at risk for serious COVID-19 illness.
Younger patients often don't realize how sick they are
The doctor said younger patients often fail to realize how sick they actually are. "They don't look really sick. But when you check their oxygen levels and their lab tests, they're really sicker than they appear," she said, emphasizing people should take the risk seriously.
'Please wear a mask, stay at home when you can'
"I don't want to be an alarmist, and we're just trying to share some real-world examples to help our community realize that this virus is very serious and can spread easily," said Dr. Appleby, adding that a broader age range was getting infected.
"Please wear a mask, stay at home when you can, avoid groups of people, and sanitize your hands," the doctor said.