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Buddy Baker shared the heartbreaking story of losing both of his parents to the virus

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 01, 2020 04:39 PM
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Credit: BSIP/UIG Via Getty

In just a matter of minutes, Buddy Baker lost two of the most important people in his life.

The NFL agent shared via Twitter on Tuesday the heartbreaking news that both of his elderly parents — whom he believed were previously in “perfect health” — had succumbed to complications of coronavirus, the deadly disease that has impacted the globe since it began to spread in late 2019.

“My parents were amazing people,” Baker said of his mother and father, who died on Sunday. “They were married 51-plus years and they passed away six minutes apart. Just a few weeks ago, they were in perfect health.”

While elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable, coronavirus has claimed the lives of people in all age groups.

“We live in a world of, ‘It can’t happen to me. It can’t happen to us. It can’t happen to my family.’ Well, it happened to us,” he continued. “I’d like to take this time to make people start thinking about making a change. While the CDC and all the regulatory bodies make suggestions about what we should do, I’m not sure everyone understands the importance of it.”

Baker, the CEO of Exclusive Sports Group, then reemphasized what health groups around the world have asked others to do during the outbreak: stay indoors as much as you can, and stay at least six feet apart from each other.

“Hopefully, this can be the catalyst for a change,” Baker said. “Practice social distancing. Wash your hands as regularly as you can. And importantly, stay at home.”

“This is an opportunity for something, which is really bad, and tragic to my family, to prevent someone else’s,” Baker said. “Sometimes people, especially young people, can feel like they’re immune to something, they’re invincible, but that simply is not the case.”

“It’s not the easy choice, but it’s the right choice,” he added. “It’s the safe choice.”

According to USA Today, Baker also serves on the NFL Players Association advisory committee and helps to create the NFLPA agent licensing exam. Outside of NFL players, Baker also represents basketball coaches.

Baker’s client, former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, retweeted the video to his followers on Tuesday.

“My agent and friend lost both of his parents to Covid-19 two days ago,” Baldwin wrote. “He has an important message for all of us.”

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Baker’s video message has now been viewed more than a million times on Twitter.

Symptoms of coronavirus typically include trouble breathing, fever, coughing, headache and a sore throat. For now, the best way people can protect themselves is with basic hygiene and social distancing.

The CDC recommends that people wash their hands often with soap and water, lathering for at least 20 seconds. They also say to avoid people who are sick, and for people to not touch their face with unwashed hands.

According to the New York Times, at least 4,540 people in the United States have died of the disease, and there were at least 205,172 cases in the U.S. as of Wednesday afternoon.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.