COVID-19 is real whether you choose to believe it or not. There are far too many stories of people who either didn’t believe the coronavirus pandemic was serious or who thought it was over, and when they let their guard down, didn’t wear a face mask, ignored social distancing and acted like everything was back to normal, they got sick. In some cases, they got better; in others, they didn’t

We all want life to go back to normal, but in the meantime, it’s best to play it safe.

Richard (Rick) Rose thought the coronavirus was “hype.” He refused to wear a face mask in public. He complained on social media about missing sports and said he was sad that Halloween might not be a thing this year.

Rose was 37 years old. He lived in Ohio. One day he started feeling sick.

On July 1st, he posted on Facebook saying that he was feeling sick and had symptoms of COVID-19. He shared that he had been feeling sick for several days, and he got tested earlier that day. He said, “I just want to feel good again!”

Later that day, in another Facebook post, he shared that he got his results back, and he tested positive for COVID-19. 

It seems that after testing positive for COVID-19, he no longer believed that it was just “hype.” He shared on July 2nd that he felt out of breath.

Two days later, on July 4th, he passed away. He didn’t have any pre-existing conditions.

Rose’s friend, Nick Conley told Cleveland 19, “We were blown away, you know? You hear about this virus and you don’t expect it to affect people, younger people like ourselves.”

Rose posted on May 28th that he wasn’t buying a mask and that the pandemic was just “hype.” Conley says that it’s not fair that Rose is being criticized for these comments. Conley said, “We should still be compassionate whether we agree with someone’s beliefs or not. Someone has passed away and we should have some compassion towards that.”

Conley is sharing Rose’s story as a warning for anyone else who doesn’t believe that the coronavirus is real. He added, “I know a lot of people that haven’t met someone that they know of that has been diagnosed with the virus and I wanted people to see it was real and my hope is that people will see that this does happen and people will be more cautious.”

Do you know anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19? Does Rose’s story change your feeling about the pandemic?