JUPITER, Fla. — A Jupiter man, who admits he was skeptical that the coronavirus was a real threat, has a new outlook after contracting the virus.
Around this time last month, Jupiter rideshare driver Brian Hitchens was a self-proclaimed COVID-19 skeptic.
“I thought it was maybe the government trying something, and it was kind of like they threw it out there to kinda distract us,” said Hitchens.
He made Facebook posts downplaying the seriousness and sticking to his faith, saying God is bigger than this virus will ever be.
“I'd get up in the morning and pray and trust in God for his protection, and I’d just leave it at that. There were all these masks and gloves. I thought it looks like a hysteria,” Hitchens explained.
Fast forward to this week and Hitchens has a whole new outlook from his hospital bed at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center as a coronavirus-positive patient.
"I don’t want to see anyone go through what I went through," Hitchens said.
He recently took to social media about his experience, now encouraging people to take the virus seriously.
“This wasn’t some scare tactic that anybody was using. It wasn’t some made-up thing. This was a real virus you gotta take seriously,” Hitchens said.
This hits even closer to home for Hitchens after his wife was admitted to the same hospital at the same time for coronavirus.
"My wife’s on a ventilator. It’s been like that for three weeks, and it’s tough. It’s sad,” said Hitchens.
He and his wife are both still hospitalized at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
Hitchens and his wife aren't able to see each other, and neither is sure when they’ll be discharged.