Czech folk singer Hana Horká purposely caught COVID-19.
Her son, Jan Rek, spoke with a radio station, saying that his mother, who was a singer for one of the best-known and oldest Czech folk groups, Asonance, deliberately exposed herself to the virus after both he and his father, who are fully vaccinated, caught it in late December.
He said, "She was supposed to stay away from us, but she decided to remain at home with us normally, preferring to go through the disease than to get vaccinated. It is sad that my mom trusted strangers more than her own family."
He blames her death on the anti-vax movement. On her social media pages, Horká had shared the claims of Czech anti-vax leaders. He said they'd brainwashed his mother and now had "blood on their hands."
Currently, COVID rules in the Czech Republic state that only citizens who have proof of vaccination -- or who have had a recent infection and then test negative -- are allowed to travel, and get into public places such as restaurants, theaters and spas. This was the main reason she was thrilled to come down with the virus, so she could do those things without being vaccinated. Two days before her death, Horká wrote on Facebook: "I survived Delta. It was intense. So now there will be the theater, sauna, a concert… and an urgent trip to the sea."
Last Sunday, she felt well enough for a walk outside, but by the time she returned home, she began to feel pain in her back and went to lie down. Ten minutes later, she began choking and died in bed. Horká was 57 years old.
Rek, heartbroken, said he wanted to share the experience in order to convince people to get vaccinated.
Approximately 63 percent of the Czech Republic's total population has been fully vaccinated, similar to the United States, where the rate was 62.8 percent as of January 13, 2022. The average vaccination rate in the rest of the EU is 69 percent, while in Canada, it's 83 percent. ~Alexandra Heilbron