‘I think I made a mistake’: Young man from Texas dies after attending COVID-19 party

Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 1:32 AM EDT
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SAN ANTONIO (KSAT/CNN) - A San Antonio doctor says a man in his 30s who thought the coronavirus was a “hoax” died from the disease after attending a COVID-19 party.

Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital, says lately she’s been hearing about COVID-19 parties, which young people allegedly attend to see who gets infected first or who can survive the virus.

“Someone will be diagnosed with the disease, and they’ll have a party to invite their friends over to see if they can beat the disease,” Appleby said.

The doctor says a 30-year-old man recently died at the hospital after attending one of these parties.

“One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, ‘You know, I think I made a mistake.’ And this young man went to a COVID party,” she said. “He didn’t really believe. He thought the disease was a hoax. He thought he was young and invincible and wouldn’t get affected by the disease.”

Appleby says some young patients don’t know how sick they are.

“People will come in initially, and they don’t look so bad. They don’t look really sick. But when you check their oxygen levels and their lab tests, they’re really sicker than they appear on the surface,” she said.

The doctor says if you’re not feeling well, have a high fever, cough and severe muscle aches, you should get help.

"My plea to our community and especially all of our young folks in the community is to take it seriously. Wear your mask," she said.

Health officials say young people are not only dying from COVID-19, but they’re also experiencing long-term effects, like joint pain that could last for months.

Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, has seen a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since mid-June. At least 175 people have died in total.

Copyright 2020 KSAT, Methodist Hospital via CNN. All rights reserved.