“You’re left with nothing else, you have to take it seriously after that,” G.M. Gates told KFOX-TV.
Gates said he did not really take any precautions to protect himself from COVID-19 until his family of five became infected and his father-in-law also died from the virus.
“I was just thinking to myself, ‘Well, I’m not going to worry about this. It hasn’t impacted anybody that I know,'” Gates said.
For months, Gates said he’d go out without a mask and not distance from others. While he doesn’t know when or where he contracted the virus, he said he will never forget the moment he found out he was positive.
“On my way to get tested, I just broke down, because when you start having symptoms, you say to yourself, ‘Man, I don’t know how serious this is going to be but I literally may only have a few days to live,'” Gates said.
Now, Gates is asking others to do everything they can to stay safe, including staying home as much as possible and avoiding non-essential activities.
“I’m seeing people in their 30s and 40s you know having families who are just going by and they’re not wearing masks. Their children aren’t wearing masks,” he said.