This 42-year-old athlete tragically refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19 — before dying from it

This 42-year-old athlete tragically refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19 — before dying from it
Image via Ruperto Miller, image via Flickr.

In the U.K., John Eyers was an athlete who didn’t have any major health conditions. But Eyers was also an anti-vaxxer who downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and refused to wear face masks — and he was only 42 when he became infected with COVID-19 and died from it.

Journalist Sirin Kale discusses Eyers’ short life and anti-vaxxer views in an article published by The Guardian on November 30. And his sister, Jenny McCann, recalls some of the things Eyers said about COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic during the final months of his life.

McCann recalls an argument she had with her brother in June 2021, telling The Guardian, “John started saying really crazy things that didn’t make sense. About how people were only getting the vaccine for free McDonald’s, and there was formaldehyde in it…. He kept saying: ‘I won’t be a guinea pig.’”

Jonathan Cohen, a close friend of Eyers, also urged him to get vaccinated. But Eyers kept listening to anti-vaxxers on social media.

Cohen told The Guardian, “I would tell him: ‘Why won’t you get the jab? You’ll need it if you want to go away on holiday.’ He kept saying that he wanted to wait. It wasn’t that he would never get it, but it was more the misinformation, really. For whatever reason, he would not listen to whatever message was coming out of the government. I’d say to him: ‘John, why are you listening to that rubbish?’”

Eyers, according to Kale, was critical of social distancing measures enacted in response to COVID-19, and he started refusing to wear protective face masks.

Ever notes, “John felt that COVID was real, but that it had been dramatically overstated by the authorities…. If he got the virus, he would be fine.”

According to McCann, “John mentioned to me once that one of his beliefs was that we shouldn’t live in a climate of fear around COVID. If you were young and fit and well, you’d be fine.”

Kale notes that Eyers “was extremely unlikely to die from COVID, as a physically fit 42-year-old with no underlying conditions.” But what Eyers didn’t understand, according to Kale, is that “someone who is unvaccinated is 32 times more likely to die of COVID than someone who has been vaccinated.”

Eyers first tested positive for COVID-19 on June 29, 2021, and he was placed on a ventilator around July 11. In late July, hospital workers informed Eyers’ relatives that they were unable to save him.

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