It has been months since lockdowns first started because of the coronavirus pandemic. As time goes on, it can feel harder and harder to stay home, which is still the safest place to be. As states loosen restrictions and allow more and more businesses to reopen, it can be easy to assume that the worst is behind us and that the pandemic is over. 

As NBC News reminds us, the pandemic is not over. In fact, in some states, things are getting worse.

Proceed with caution, and consider the story of Thomas Macias.

Macias was a truck driver who lived in California. His brother-in-law, Gustavo Lopez, told NBC News, “He was quarantining because he was overweight and had diabetes.” He only left home when necessary. 

Then, in June, Macias decided to attend a friend’s backyard BBQ in Lake Elsinore, California. He thought it was safe since California Governor Gavin Newsom had eased restrictions. Little did he know that one of his friends at the party had already tested positive for COVID-19. The friend chose to attend the party anyway. He thought that since he wasn’t showing symptoms he wouldn’t infect anyone. He didn’t tell anyone about his diagnosis until after the party was over.

Macias’ friend called him after the party and finally told him he had tested positive for COVID-19. The friend urged everyone who attended the party to get tested. More than a dozen people who attended the party ended up testing positive for COVID-19. Macias was one of them.

On June 11th, before getting tested, Macias visited his sister, Veronica Lopez. She remembers that he was sweating a lot. She was worried about him.

On June 16th, Macias got tested, and on June 18th, he found out that he did in fact have COVID-19.

On June 20th, Macias wrote an emotional plea on Facebook, urging others to learn from his mistake. He regretted going to the party and putting his friends and family at risk. He was praying for a full recovery.

 

At 11am on June 21st, Macias was rushed to the hospital. Around 6pm, he was put on a ventilator. By 9pm, he was dead. It happened that fact. He was only 51 years old.

Lopez thinks that Macias wanted people to know how serious COVID-19 really is. “I think what he wanted people to know, this is a real thing. It’s serious, and it kills people.”

Macias’ story is a very good reminder to continue to stay home as much as possible, to get tested if you think you might have COVID-19 and to absolutely stay home no matter what if you test positive.

Does it surprise you that someone would attend a party knowing they had tested positive for COVID-19?