Florida man who thought pandemic was 'hysteria' loses his wife to COVID-19

A Florida resident who at one time blew off the novel coronavirus as "hysteria" is now mourning the loss of his wife, who died from the disease this month.

BBC News reports that 46-year-old Florida resident Erin Hitchens has passed away after spending the past several months in a hospital on ventilator.

Erin and her husband, Brian Hitchens, both contracted the disease in May after Hitchens said he blew off wearing a mask and social distancing because he didn't believe the virus was a real threat. While Hitchens eventually recovered from the disease, his wife remained in intensive care for several more months before passing away.

"We thought the government was using it to distract us, or it was to do with 5G," he tells BBC News.

Hitchens also tells BBC News that at least his wife is "no longer suffering, but in peace."

Hitchens in a Facebook post this past May admitted that he regretted not taking the virus seriously.

“This thing is nothing to be messed with please listen to the authorities and heed the advice of the experts,” he wrote. “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 but I know that if it was me that gave it to my wife I know that she forgives me and I know that God forgives me.”