Dallas, TX – For Tony Green, the coronavirus pandemic was just a ‘scamdemic’ — until truth hit home hard. He writes in Dallas Voice, “Imagine the sound and vibration of an old-fashioned electric heater going through your whole body. Imagine gasping for air with every step you take. Imagine rubbing Icy Hot all over your head to soothe a painful headache. Imagine your eyes in a bowl of water while you’re still seeing through them. Imagine collapsing and waking up in the ER only to find out COVID-19 attacked your central nervous system, and the doctor had just saved you from a stroke. If that were the worst of it, it would be bad enough. But that’s not the worst of it. This is the story of one family’s harrowing fight with COVID-19.

            “Full disclosure: I am a gay conservative, someone that often juggles persecution for my sexuality while being true to my values. Such a combination requires a lot of tenacity to earn respect from either group. I admit I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. I admit traveling deep into the conspiracy trap over COVID-19. All the defiant behavior of Trump’s more radical and rowdy cult followers, I participated in it. I was a hard-ass that stood up for my “God-given rights.” In great haste, I began prognosticating the alphabet soup about this “scamdemic.” I believed the virus to be a hoax. I believed the mainstream media and the Democrats were using it to create panic, crash the economy and destroy Trump’s chances at re-election. And so, believing the pandemic to be a hoax, my partner and I hosted family members on Saturday, June 13.

            “On Sunday, June 14, I woke up sick. By Monday, June 15, my partner and my parents were all sick. That same Monday, my in-laws traveled to witness the birth of their first grandchild. They took with them my father-in-law’s mother and one of my partner’s sisters. That night my father-in-law became ill. Then my mother-in-law and their daughter began feeling sick. . . Two days later, my father-in-law’s mother got sick. . . My father-in-law’s mother . . . died of COVID-19/pneumonia. . . On the day of her funeral, which was July 14, five more of our family members tested positive for the virus. That evening, my father-in-law was put on a ventilator. You cannot imagine the guilt I feel, knowing that I hosted the gathering that led to so much suffering. You cannot imagine my guilt at having been a denier, carelessly shuffling through this pandemic, making fun of those wearing masks and social distancing. You cannot imagine my guilt at knowing that my actions convinced both our families it was safe when it wasn’t.

For those who deny the virus exists or who downplay its severity, let me assure you: The coronavirus is very real and extremely contagious. Before you even know you have it, you’ve passed it along to your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. . . America, this is not going to go away without sacrifice. . . To ignore or question the validity of this virus, its contagiousness or the consequences of selfish attitudes is — at this stage — completely stupid. . .[I]f we continue being more worried about the disruption to our lives than we are about stopping this virus, not one American will be spared. (Dallas Voice – Tony Green at https://dallasvoice.com/a-harsh-lesson-in-the-reality-of-covid-19/)

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