Hana Horka (leftmost in bottom row) died on Sunday after she caught COVID-19 from her son and husband.
A folk singer from the Czech Republic has died after intentionally contracting covid-19 so she could get a health pass to access sports, entertainment, and dining venues.
Hana Horká, 57, a vocalist for folk band Asonance, was unvaccinated and died on Sunday, her son Jan Rek told Czech radio news outlet iRozhlas.cz.
He said his mother deliberately caught the coronavirus from him and his father, both of whom contracted covid-19 over Christmas but had previously received their vaccines. Horká chose not to isolate from her family but to “live normally” together, Rek said. “She decided that she would rather have the disease than be vaccinated,” Rek said.
Horká’s aim was to get a recovery pass, a proof of recent infection that allows unvaccinated people to visit venues like bars, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, and sports facilities. Two days before her death, she posted on Facebook that she was recovering from covid-19 and planned to attend a concert, go to the theater, visit a sauna, and have a swim.
Rek said his mother wanted to go for a morning walk, but she felt unwell and rested in bed. Her health declined rapidly, he said, and she died soon after. When asked by iRozhlas.cz if her death was directly caused by covid-19, he said: “It doesn’t look like anything else.” He blamed anti-vax groups for his mother’s death, saying she had “one hundred percent” been swayed by celebrities and groups on the internet spreading misinformation about vaccines and the coronavirus.
According to iRozhlas.cz, Rek posted an angry comment on social media sarcastically thanking these groups, saying they had “blood on their hands” for Horká’s death. “Sadly, she trusted strangers more than her own family,” he told the radio station. Still, Rek said his mother didn’t believe in some of the wilder theories about the vaccines. “Her philosophy was that she was more okay with the idea of catching covid-19 than getting vaccinated. Not that we would get microchipped or anything like that,” he told the BBC.
The band web page for Asonance, one of the Czech Republic’s oldest folk groups, has been updated with a tribute to Horká. It says that the beginning of 2022 “will be shrouded in black forever.” The Czech Republic is facing a fresh surge in covid-19 cases as the country reported its highest ever daily count at 28,469 new infections on Tuesday.
Around 62.9% of its 10.7 million population has been fully vaccinated. On Wednesday, the Czech government abandoned its plans to make vaccines mandatory, after thousands gathered in the capital of Prague to protest the decision.