The widow of a Detroit bus driver who complained of a passenger coughing without covering her mouth on his bus days before he died from COVID-19 pleads for residents to adhere to lockdown provisions set by their states.
Desha Johnson-Hargrove said since the proliferation of cases in the U.S. her husband feared having to interact with the public. She encouraged nonessential workers to abide by state orders and remain at home.
“I promise you, you do not want to be the person sitting right here right now trying to make funeral arrangements for your loved,” she told ABC News in an interview after her husband Jason Hargrove’s death. “Please, people, I’m begging you. I am begging you. Do not let my husband’s death be in vain.”
By April 8, Michigan ranked third in the number of cases and deaths in the United States, behind New York and New Jersey. Between 1,000 and 4,500 residents are projected to die in the state this year, the Detroit Metro Times reports.
On Friday, April 3, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer strengthened a previous “stay home, stay safe” order to provide employment protection for workers who stay home due to symptoms from the novel virus. The amended order prohibits individuals who display symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or come into close contact with an infected individual from leaving their homes. If an individual returns to work before the specified quarantine periods, they are not entitled to the new protections against discharge, discipline, or retaliation, it also states.
It’s not clear whether this new order would have protected Jason Hargrove, but his loved ones are sure about the need for everyone to do what’s necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
“I am pleading with everyone if you do not just have to be out. Please obey your orders,” Hargrove’s widow told ABC. “This is not a game out here. This is not a joke out here. I am missing my husband, and my children don’t have their dad anymore. This is serious.”
During a Facebook live in late March Hargrove expressed his frustration about a woman who refused to cover her mouth while riding on the public transit vehicle, which, according to the Department of Transportation worker, had at least nine other individuals onboard.
The widow and mother of six said the incident left her husband distressed.
“When he came home, he was so distressed, he got out of the clothes — it bothered him so bad,” she recalled to the network. “He talked about it. He just kept saying, ‘Baby, I’m so mad.’ And I just kept trying to calm him down. And I’m just like, ‘It’s going to be OK.’”
The couple’s 26-year-old daughter, Darmone Hargrove, said her father was “there for other citizens” and “did not deserve this.”
His son Darshawn, 21, said, “In the end, he wasn’t alright.”