A bride's grandfather allegedly died after the woman and her groom proceeded with their wedding plans despite having "textbook symptoms" of COVID-19 and their family being largely unvaccinated.
Sharing the sorry story to Reddit, a relative recounted the chain of events that led to the death of the US bride's grandfather and multiple hospitalisations as the family wedding became a hotbed for the virus.
The story was later crossposted on Sunday to the popular forum Bridezillas, a space for the strangers of the internet to shame, you guessed it, bridezillas and their intolerable behaviour. The user who crossposted the anecdote titled it, 'Bride literally murders grandpa'.
In the post, the self-proclaimed cousin of the bride began by claiming that their mother's side of the family largely holds racist and anti-vaccination views, as well as being supporters of the controversial and divisive former US President Donald Trump; a man who attempted to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, culminating with him inciting a violent insurrection against the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. They also implied that the family have actively denied the existence of COVID-19, which can prove deadly to those with underlying health conditions.
"My cousin gets married in Florida during peak COVID at the end of 2021. She knew she, her husband, baby, and MIL [mother-in-law] were coming down with textbook symptoms. Her husband allegedly tested positive before the wedding, but she 'didn't get her results back until her primary care doctor called her the night of the wedding'," the relative wrote.
"Anyways, hardly anyone was vaxxed [vaccinated], of course. A lot of people got insanely sick from it including being hospitalised, but of course they denied it was COVID-related and [said] they were only there for pre-existing conditions."
The cousin then claimed the bride's own grandfather later succumbed to COVID-19, after supposedly contracting the virus while walking his granddaughter down the aisle.
"Her grandpa who walked her down the aisle died. She knew they had COVID, didn't tell anyone and her grandpa died so she could get Instagram wedding pictures," the cousin continued.
"When I asked a member of the bridal party if she was upset about the situation, she went nuclear on me - and the whole family then got mad at me.
"I can't with these people. There is no reason, logic or care about well-being. It's either Trump or nothing with them. I hate it here," they concluded, summing up the story as: "My cousin knew she had COVID and still had her wedding. Her grandpa who walked her down the aisle died. My mom's side of the family doesn't talk to me anymore for asking questions."
Despite the forum typically being a space for users to air their unfiltered and uncensored opinions on the given scenario, the majority of readers in this case admitted that the story was devastating.
"I can't even snark on this 'cause it's just really sad. Poor family," one commented, with a second opining: "The cousin should be charged with intentional manslaughter. Anyone knowingly doing this stupidity should be charged with intentional manslaughter as they know what they are doing is infecting others."
Another reader shared a similar experience that had happened to the family of their colleague during the early months of the pandemic, writing: "I obviously don't know the family's political beliefs... it was a coworker's niece. Coworker chose not to attend as she has some health issues and the wedding would have involved travel.
"A bunch of people got sick and the bride's dad died. I could not imagine the guilt of having your dad die because you didn't want to follow the recommendations for your wedding."
"I can totally believe this, I live in a Trump Town and I can see several people being EXACTLY like this," a fourth agreed.
Others were less sympathetic, with several expressing their outrage at the couple for proceeding with their plans and putting the family at risk.
"My empathy is highly minimal to people who have all the resources to procure masks and get vaccinated but don't," one said bluntly, with a second adding: "It sounds like they did this to themselves. No vaccinations and probably no masks. That's a choice."
The original post also attracted attention from Redditors, many of whom also condemned the couple for their "selfish" actions.
"The reason they got mad at you is because they [knew they had] COVID and still went ahead with the wedding, but acknowledging out loud that they did this would be to admit that she killed her grandpa," one suggested.
"Them getting mad at you is a desperate attempt to maintain the fragile illusions and lies they have so heavily bought into, while also trying to justify that the grandpa's death isn't their fault... but deep down, they know."
There are currently three approved COVID-19 vaccines in New Zealand; Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novavax. The vaccines stimulate the body's immune system to produce antibodies that will fight the virus if exposed to it.
According to the Ministry of Health, vaccines against COVID-19 help lower the risk of infection and can prevent severe illness, meaning a fully vaccinated individual could experience little to no symptoms and recover quicker than those who are unvaccinated. Pfizer is the preferred vaccine for use in New Zealand due to its safety and effectiveness profile.
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health recommends a course of two doses and a booster, for those who are eligible. At the time of writing, 95 percent of New Zealand's population aged 12 and over is fully vaccinated.