It was only two weeks ago when Jason Hargrove, a Detroit bus driver, logged into his Facebook profile and went live via the social media platform to complain about a woman who had been coughing repeatedly without covering her mouth.
Hargrove shared that he was frustrated about the incident as the number of COVID-19 deaths doubled in the state. He said there were at least nine others on the bus when the incident occurred.
“I feel violated,” Hargrove said in the eight-minute video, which had been viewed nearly 7,000 times by the afternoon of Friday, April 3. “I feel violated for the folks that were on the bus when this happened.”
But what he didn’t know was nine days later he too would test positive and die from the virus.
“We out here as public workers, doing our jobs, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families, but for you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering up your mouth … that lets me know that some folks don’t care. Utterly don’t give a f—, excuse my language,” Hargrove said in the video posted a week prior to his death.
Michigan now ranks third in the number of deaths in the United States, behind New York and New Jersey, according to the Detroit Metro Times. Between 1,000 and 4,500 residents are projected to die in the state this year, the newspaper reports.
On March 17 bus drivers refused to work and demanded for more to be done to protect them. Glenn Tolbert, the president of the union for the Detroit Department of Transportation, told Detroit’s ABC affiliate WXYZ that of the 530 drivers in the department, 100 were in quarantine and seven had tested positive for the virus.
In response to the strike, Mayor Mike Duggan implemented a new measure that allows people to board buses from the back doors and also to ride without the collection of bus fares.
Duggan said news of Hargrove’s death “hit close to home.”
“He knew his life was being put in jeopardy, even though he was going to work for the citizens of Detroit every day, by somebody who just didn’t care. By somebody who didn’t take this seriously,” he said giving an update about the virus on Thursday, April 2. “And now he’s gone.”
He encouraged everyone to watch Hargrove’s video, while also cautioning that it includes expletives.
It should “touch everybody in the city of Detroit, should touch everybody in the country,” Duggan said.