Popular Czech singer Hanka Horká died after she purposefully contracted COVID-19 in an attempt to avoid restrictions for those refusing vaccination. Certain venues were allowing access by those recently recovered from COVID-19.
Two days before Horká passed, she posted on social media she had "survived" the viral pathogen and planned to attend concerts, go to the theatre and visit the sauna and the sea.
"I'll tell you my secret, yes, I endured, and I survived. . . however, it was very colorful."
"Life is here for me and for you too."
Horká's son, Jan Rek, said she was purposefully spending time with him and his father after they contracted the virus. They both are fully vaccinated but Horká reportedly was not.
In the Czech Republic, proof of recovery from infection allows access to dining and leisure spaces and can be used if a person is not vaccinated. Rek told the BBC his mother had been seeking a recovery pass.
The Czech government had initially mandated vaccinations for certain professions and anyone over the age of 60, but they were met with protests. Cases more than doubled from 12,371 on Tuesday last week to 28,469 on Tuesday this week and most countries throughout central Europe expect about 50,000 new cases daily. Only 63% of the Czech population has been vaccinated at this time.
Rek told BBC News:
"She should have isolated for a week because we tested positive."
"But she was with us the whole time."
Horká, who was part of the Czech folk group Asonance, felt better on Sunday. She decided to get dressed and go for a walk.
Suddenly, her back began to hurt so she laid down.
"In about 10 minutes it was all over."
"She choked to death."
Rek insists his mother did not believe in the conspiracy theories about COVID-19 many anti-vaxxers espouse.
"Her philosophy was that she was more OK with the idea of catching COVID than getting vaccinated."
"Not that we would get microchipped or anything like that."
The family had tried to talk about vaccines at one point but unfortunately it became too emotional to continue.
Rek also spoke with iRozhlas to encourage others to get the vaccine.
"If you have living examples from real life, it's more powerful than just graphs and numbers."
People are hoping COVID disinformation ceases as it continues to take its toll across the world.
As the pandemic's second year inches to a close, more people have questioned if "natural immunization" is a possibility.
When it comes to COVID variants like Delta and Omicron, it's best to get the vaccination. Vaccines have been known to lessen the likelihood of hospitalization, long-term COVID side effects and death.
A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention looked at over 1.2 million people who are fully immunized. They found those who were between the ages of 18 and 65 who were otherwise healthy were the least likely to need hospitalization when contracting COVID-19.
Though, it is still important to continue practicing pandemic safety measures for the disabled and chronically ill who have comorbidities. 78% of those who died while vaccinated had four or more comorbidities.