A covid-19 denier who never wore a face mask or observe social distancing protocols have died a day after he tested positive for the virus.
Gary Matthews, 46, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, insisted Covid-19 was a hoax and shared his view on online forums, continued to meet with friends and failed to wear a mask or follow safety measures.
His cousin Tristan Copeland, who said Matthews had developed a distrust for the media, added: ‘It has been heart breaking for the family.
‘I do feel guilt. There were lots of people trying to help bring him out of it but it didn’t work.’
According to Copeland, Mathews had been part of a Facebook group that spread false conspiracy theories about Covid-19.
He claimed the group was now “harassing” the family and asking for a post-mortem test, but that the cause of death had “already been confirmed due to being Covid by his dad, by the coroner, by the hospital who took his body”.
“I think they were complicit in Gary’s death for sure,” Mr Copeland said.
“They encouraged him not to wear a mask and I think if he had been wearing a mask, if he had been locking down, if he had not been going to work, I think he would have had a greater protection – I think he would be alive today.”
Matthews, a keen artist, had been ill for a week before he went for a Covid test, which came back positive. He died the following evening on January 13 aged 46.