Czech folk singer Hana Horká has died after deliberately contracting Covid in order to avoid vaccination.
Proof of vaccination or a recent infection is required to access cultural and sports facilities as well as for travel and for visiting bars and restaurants in the EU member state, which is facing a soaring Covid count.
In reaction to her death, her son has lashed out at Czech anti-vaxxers on social media, blaming them for her death.
Hana Horká, who died on Sunday at the age of 57 after Covid-related complications, had been a long-time member of Asonance, one of the oldest folk bands in the Czech Republic. The singer also cooperated with other well-known Czech musicians, such as Petr Skoumal.
Hana Horká died only two days after informing her fans on Facebook that she was recovering from the disease. According to her son Jan Rek, a guitarist in the band Jelen, his mother had refused to be vaccinated and wanted to gain immunity by contracting the disease.
Rek and his father, who are both inoculated, were infected with Covid during Christmas. Instead of keeping away, his mother deliberately stayed in close contact with them, he told Czech Radio.
“She went for it. 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.”
On Friday, Hana Horká wrote that she had intentionally contracted the disease, claiming that she was already on the path to recovery. “Life is here for me and for you, too,” she said in a social media post.
Her attitude was supported by many of her followers and friends, who expressed the hope that they too would become infected with the coronavirus.
However, only two days after posting the news about her recovery, the singer succumbed to Covid-related complications.
After returning from a walk outside, she started to complain about back pain and died in her bed after suffocating, her son said in an interview for Czech Radio’s news site iRozhlas.cz.
Jan Rek is convinced that it is representatives of the Czech anti-vax movement, such as the actor Jaroslav Dušek and the biologist Soňa Peková – whose claims his mother frequently shared through social media – that are to blame for her death.
When he made the news of his mother’s death public on Facebook, he openly accused these people of having blood on their hands.
Rek says he and his father had long tried to persuade his mother to get the Covid vaccine but in vain.
He says he hopes that sharing his own personal experience with his mother’s pointless death could convince at least some people who don’t trust hard data or expert opinions about the importance of getting vaccinated against the virus.
According to the latest figures, 63 percent of people in the Czech Republic are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, which is below the EU average. Thirty-one percent have received a booster jab.