A Florida man who initially downplayed the coronavirus crisis is now warning others to take it seriously after he and his wife were hospitalized with the virus. Brian Hitchens documented his battle with the coronavirus on Facebook after admitting he had previously considered it a "fake crisis" that was "blown out of proportion."
The rideshare driver said in early April that he was observing safety guidelines during the pandemic but wasn't afraid of the virus itself. "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 another post on May 12, he reflected on how his life and views about the pandemic started to change soon after.
"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," he wrote. "I still thought it was being blown out of proportion until about 4 and 1/2 weeks ago when I started to feel sick."
He developed symptoms and stayed home — and then his wife Erin fell ill, too. After a few days, he wrote, their condition started to get worse. Hitchens said he had "had just enough energy" to drive them to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, where they were both taken to the ICU.
"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," he wrote. "As of today [May 12] my wife is still sedated and on the ventilator with no signs of improving."
According to the post, his wife of eight years suffered from different physical ailments and doctors told him they were having a tough time improving her condition.
"I have come to accept that my wife may pass away... but I also do believe in miracles and I'm holding on to the chance that she may get healed," he wrote.
In two more posts over the next few days, he thanked the doctors and nurses "that are working so hard to try and help my wife get better" and asked people to "keep praying for her."
Hitchens also reflected on not wearing a mask early on during the coronavirus pandemic and urged others to not follow his example.
"Looking back I should havein the beginning but I didn't and perhaps I'm paying the price for it now," he said. "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 so the same thing won't happen to you like it happened to me and my wife."
On Monday, he posted an update addressed to "all you haters out there" who had sent him "nasty messages" — "I AM NEGATIVE"! "PRAISE THE LORD!" he wrote.