SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio doctor said one of her hospital's patients, a 30-year-old man, died after attending a so-called "COVID party" -- a bizarre trend where young people intentionally get together with someone who's infected.
Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children's Hospital, said the patient thought the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax.
"He thought he was young and he was invincible and wouldn't get affected ... One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, 'I think I made a mistake,'" she said.
Many who attend "COVID parties" are competing to see who can catch the virus first. During events reported in Alabama, some college students even gambled money to give to the "winner," the one who catches COVID-19 first.
Appleby said she is seeing more and more coronavirus patients in their 20s and 30s. She said she shared the story not to scare people, but to make sure they understand that the virus can affect anyone.
On Friday, Texas surpassed 10,000 hospitalized patients for the first time, capping a week of grim markers that also saw the state exceed 10,000 new cases in a single day. And it has been the deadliest week of the pandemic in Texas, with 95 new deaths reported Friday.
"The tsunami is here," said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, the top official in one of the largest counties on the Texas-Mexico border.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.