The novel coronavirus has certainly made 2020 an interesting year. Not only has it changed our lives in ways we never could have predicted when we were making New Year’s resolutions, but it has divided a lot of people.

There are people who fear the virus and don’t want to leave their homes at all. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who don’t believe the virus is any more serious than the flu and are choosing to live their lives as normally as possible. Then there are those in-between who are following the guidelines of social distancing and wearing face masks but actually go to the grocery store and send their kids to school if the option is available where they live.

Brian Hitchens was one of the people who didn’t think COVID-19 was very serious. He thought it was a real virus, but he thought “it was blown out of proportion and it wasn’t that serious.”

Brain is a taxi driver, and he lived in Florida with his wife, Erin. They had been married for 8 years. She had underlying health conditions, so he continued to get her medicine for her. They weren’t worried about the virus.

Then, in May, Brain and Erin got sick. They quarantined at home until they felt so sick that they decided not to take any chances. They went to the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, and they were both admitted and taken to the ICU.

They both had COVID-19. Brian started to feel better after just a couple days, but Erin’s condition got worse. Brian shared in a Facebook post that doctors “sedated her and put her on a ventilator.”

At the time of the Facebook post, Erin had been struggling with COVID-19 for several weeks, and Brian had already come to terms with the fact that his wife may not be able to fight off this virus. He wrote, “This thing is nothing to be messed with please listen to the authorities and heed the advice of the experts…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…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.”

Erin has now passed away, and while Brian is sad and regretful, more than anything, he has peace knowing that his wife “is no longer suffering.” He told BBC News, “This is a real virus that affects people differently. I can’t change the past. I can only live in today and make better choices for the future.”