An unvaccinated Michigan man who defied an order to close his restaurant has died of COVID-19

An unvaccinated Michigan man who defied an order to close his restaurant has died of COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic slammed Michigan in 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered social distancing requirements in response. John Parney, who operated a diner in Quincy, Michigan, reopened his business even though the Michigan Health Department adopted a policy against indoor dining in restaurants. Parney, according to the Associated Press, has died of COVID-19 at the age of 62.

At first, Parney obeyed the Michigan Health Department and closed down his diner. But in December 2020, Parney — in violation of the agency’s orders — said he was reopening the business because, in part, he needed it to pay for his wife’s cancer treatment.

Parney, in December 2020, said, “My wife’s fighting stage-four colon cancer. We depend on this restaurant to help subsidize billing and all of that. My employees need that. Of course, if I’d had stayed closed much longer, I’d have lost the business.”

According to AP, Parney said he was trying to take precautions with the diner despite being in violation of the COVID-19 policy the Michigan Health Department had at the time. Employees wore masks, and customers were spread out.

Parney said, “We’re doing all the stuff we’re supposed to do, other than the fact that my doors are open.”

In 2021, according to AP, one precaution Parney didn’t take was getting vaccinated for COVID-19. Parney, however, changed his mind after becoming seriously ill and said he would become vaccinated. But by that time, it was too late.

Parney, according to AP, “was admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 in September, went home but quickly developed significant health problems that put him back in the hospital, according to a GoFundMe page.” Parney died on December 14.

On the GoFundMe page, Parney’s in-laws explained, “On September 29, 2021, our brother-in-law was suffering from shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms. After a 24-hour period of worsening conditions, John was taken to the Hillsdale Hospital Emergency Department, where it was discovered that he had contracted COVID-19. John spent three days in-patient at the hospital and was discharged home. After two full days at home, John’s conditions raged with a fierce vengeance, and he was found by family members incoherent and confused in his bed. Upon entry into the ED, John’s stats were dangerously low, and he was immediately placed in isolation and given oxygen.”

Parney was placed on a ventilator.

Parney’s in-laws wrote, “For those who will ask, no, John was not vaccinated from COVID-19. However, during his battle, when he was able to talk, John shared with his family that he will be getting vaccinated because the battle, at that point, was worse than any training he endured in the military.”

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