Coronavirus: Florida man no longer skeptical after experiencing symptoms

A South Florida man, who said he had his doubts about the coronavirus being a real threat, changed his mind after he thought he contracted COVID-19.

Brian Hitchens, 46, of Jupiter, is a ride-share driver who originally believed the pandemic had been overblown.

"I thought it was maybe the government trying something, and it was kind of like they threw it out there to kinda distract us," Hitchens told WPTV.

That was before Hitchens and his wife began experiencing symptoms, the television station reported.

Hitchens and his wife were admitted to an area hospital and his wife was put on a ventilator, he wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. That really hit home for Hitchens, who has been posting about his experiences on the social media platform.

"This wasn't some scare tactic that anybody was using. It wasn't some made-up thing," Hitchens told WPTV. "This was a real virus you gotta take seriously."

Hitchens said since changing his mind about the threat of COVID-19 he has received “nasty messages” on social media from people who said he deserved to feel suffering and stress.

"To all you haters out there that has sent me the nasty messages saying I deserve to die and all that I just got one thing to say to you and I hope you're reading this loud and clear, ready for this?" Hitchens wrote Monday on Facebook. "I an negative! Praise the Lord!"

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