Man dies of coronavirus after posting his regrets for not social distancing

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LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — A man who tested positive for coronavirus after ignoring social distancing guidance, posted a regretful message on Facebook the day before he died.

In June, Thomas Macias attended a barbecue in Lake Elsinore, California where he came in contact with a friend, who had tested positive for coronavirus but attended the party anyway. According to Gustavo Lopez, Macias’ brother-in-law, The friend later told Macias that he had the virus, but thought that because he was not showing symptoms, he couldn’t infect others, according to NBC News.

Macias, 51, started to feel ill not long after the party, but attributed it to his diabetes. He tested positive for COVID-19 on June 18 and died just three days later.

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The day before he died, he shared a post on Facebook about how he regretted his decision to attend the party and how it affected others he cared about.

Some of you know, but most don’t. I (expletive) up and went out a couple of weeks ago and I contracted the coronavirus. Monday I tested for it and it was confirmed on Thursday. Because of my stupidity, I put my mom and sisters and my family’s health in jeopardy. This has been a very painful experience. This is no joke. If you have to go out wear a mask and practice social distancing. Don’t be a (expletive) idiot like me. Thank you to all my friends that have brought me food, and to everyone who has been there for me. Hopefully, with God’s help, I’ll be able to survive this.
Facebook post by Thomas Macias

Danielle Lopez, Macias’ niece, said that Macias had taken the COVID-19 pandemic seriously before his death, according to Valley News.

“He wore masks,. He wasn’t really going out anywhere, which is why, when everything started becoming more lenient and he thought it was okay to go out immediately, went to spend time with his friends because he thought it was okay. But before that he was only going out when he absolutely needed to, he wore his mask religiously and he was taking all the precautions that he could,” Danielle Lopez told Valley News.

California has recently reversed course for reopening in the wake of a resurgent COVID-19 outbreak.

Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down bars, wineries, museums, movie theaters and inside-restaurant dining across most of the state for three weeks as of Wednesday — enough time to determine whether those actions will once again slow the spread of infections.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Macias came in contact with a friend who had tested positive for coronavirus earlier, but attended the party anyway.
Macias came in contact with a friend who had tested positive for coronavirus earlier, but attended the party anyway. (MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group via Getty Images)