When 43-year-old Tony Green threw a party on June 13, he initially thought that the pandemic was a ‘hoax’.
They did not wear masks that day as they celebrated the birth of a grandchild.
But only days after the party, fourteen members of his family tested positive for coronavirus, including his partner’s sisters and grandmother, and the newborn baby.
Sadly, their grandmother also passed away.
In a Dallas Voice op-ed, Green wrote: “You cannot imagine the guilt I feel, knowing that I hosted the gathering that led to so much suffering.
“You cannot imagine my guilt at having been a denier, carelessly shuffling through this pandemic, making fun of those wearing masks and social distancing. You cannot imagine my guilt at knowing that my actions convinced both our families it was safe when it wasn’t.”
He said he was skeptical about the pandemic until his relatives contracted the infection.
Green, who suffered a stroke after the virus hit his nervous system, said he became concerned days after the event when he woke up feeling ill. His parents and partner also developed symptoms of coronavirus.
In a GoFundMe page he set up for medical bills, Green wrote: “The pain and trauma that was yet to come is more than anybody could have prepared for.”
Green also told NBC News: “We just felt the worst was behind the country because everything was easy, things were reopening and none of us were experiencing any symptoms.”
The funeral for the grandmother was held on July 14 and only ten family members were allowed to attend. But five more members later tested positive for coronavirus.
“For those who deny the virus exists or who downplay its severity, let me assure you: The coronavirus is very real and extremely contagious,” he wrote in his op-ed. “Before you even know you have it, you’ve passed it along to your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.”
He added: “You do not want your loved ones suffering and dying from this because you are taking a “political stand” or protecting the economy over their lives.”
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