California man who posted regret for attending party died a day later of coronavirus

A California man posted his regret on Facebook about contracting the coronavirus after attending a party in June. A day later, he died from COVID-19.

On June 20, Thomas Macias, wrote an impassioned message on Facebook in which he lamented ignoring social distancing guidance.

Thomas Macias died of complications from the coronavirus.
Thomas Macias died of complications from the coronavirus.

"Some of you may know, but most don't," Macias, 51, wrote. "I ... went out a couple of weeks ago" and contracted the coronavirus.

Macias, who was a truck driver, expressed guilt for possibly exposing his family to the virus.

"Because of my stupidity I put my mom and sisters and my family's health in jeopardy," he wrote. "This has been a very painful experience."

"Hopefully with God’s help," he added, "I’ll be able to survive this."

He died the next day.

An official from the Riverside County Office of Vital Records told NBC News on Wednesday that Macias died from COVID-19.

From late March through early June, Macias was only going out when necessary, his brother-in-law, Gustavo Lopez, said on Wednesday.

"He was quarantining because he was overweight and had diabetes," Lopez said.

The expletives have been blurred by NBC News. (Courtesy Gustavo Lopez)
The expletives have been blurred by NBC News. (Courtesy Gustavo Lopez)

Sometime in early June, however — after Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated that he would loosen the social distancing restrictions — Lopez said Macias attended a party in Lake Elsinore, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

Afterward, a friend of Macias who was also at the party contacted him to say he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, Lopez said.

The friend told Macias he was aware of the diagnosis when he attended the gathering, but because he was not showing symptoms, he did not believe he could infect anyone else.

The friend advised everyone who attended the party to get tested.

Naturally, Lopez said, Macias was upset. Still, he said, Macias took accountability for his actions as evidenced in his Facebook post.

Lopez said he was unsure how many people went to the party, but that Macias was among more than a dozen people who contracted COVID-19.

Macias visited his sister Veronica, who is married to Lopez, on June 11 at the couple's home, before he was tested. Lopez remembers being concerned for Macias after that visit.

"He did not look right," Lopez said. "He was really sweaty."

Macias, who never married and did not have any children, soon started to feel sick and believed it was related to his diabetes.

He was tested for COVID-19 on June 16 and received a positive diagnosis on June 18. In his Facebook post two days later, Macias implored people to take the coronavirus seriously.

"This is no joke," he wrote. "If you have to go out wear a mask and practice social distancing."

He was rushed to the hospital at about 11 a.m. on June 21. He was put on a ventilator sometime between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and died by 9 p.m., Lopez said.

"I think what he wanted people to know, this is a real thing," Lopez said. "It’s serious and it kills people."

Macias is remembered by his family as a really good guy with a lot of friends.

"He would do anything for everybody," Lopez said. "No questions asked."

He is survived by his mother, two sisters, four nieces and two great-nieces.

Veronica Lopez said her brother always greeted people with a smile and was not one to hold a grudge.

"He used to say opinions don’t matter," Lopez said. "Relationships do."