David W. Nagy didn’t usually like it when his wife talked politics, but when he died last month from COVID-19 she channeled her devastation and anger into his short obituary, blaming his death on President Trump, the governor of Texas, and “the many ignorant, self-centered and selfish people” who refuse to wear a mask.
“Dave did everything he was supposed to do, but you did not,” Stacey Nagy, 72, wrote in the six-paragraph tribute to her 79-year-old husband, who died on July 22. “Shame on all of you, and may Karma find you all!”
David had a list of medical conditions that increased his risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, Stacey told BuzzFeed News, including diabetes, heart problems, and early signs of dementia.
As the pandemic spread through the US, Stacey and her husband tried to take every single precaution possible to stay safe, but they never could have accounted for the politicization of the pandemic and basic health recommendations.
“We were married for 20 years and now I’m not with him,” she said. “It’s just been devastating for me. It pisses me off because he didn’t need to die. Had people been following the recommendations, things would have been different. But people don’t.”
Published in the Jefferson Jimplecute newspaper on July 30, the obituary has been shared widely in social media, where Stacey lays blame on the Trump administration and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Family members believe David’s death was needless,” the obituary reads. “They blame his death and the deaths of all other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all of the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives.”
Stacey said she believes Trump and Abbott dismissed early recommendations like wearing face masks, helping to fuel anti-mask movements across the country.
“Also to blame are the many ignorant, self-centered and selfish people who refused to follow the advice of the medical professionals, believing their ‘right’ not to wear a mask was more important than killing innocent people,” she wrote.
David had suffered a fall in late March that forced him to be hospitalized and then go into a nursing home to recover, Stacey told BuzzFeed News.
He wanted to go home but with his injury, health condition, and the risk of COVID-19, she and his son thought he would be safer if he stayed at the nursing home. It was a difficult decision but Stacey said she was worried that if he returned home that she could catch the coronavirus — perhaps on a visit to a supermarket — and infect him.
A lockdown soon came into place at the nursing home. “He stayed there and I would go and visit, and just go to the window and we’d yell back and forth at each other to talk,” she said. “We’d kiss the glass to give kisses to each other.”
Then in early July, David got sick and was taken to a local hospital, where he tested positive for COVID-19.
Stacey said doctors tried Remdesivir, plasma therapy, placed him on a ventilator, but her husband’s condition only worsened.
She was able to see him through the sliding glass door to his room, but nurses and doctors wouldn’t let her open the door more than an inch to talk to him.
“He was unconscious by then, but I told him I loved him and I cried,” she said. “The next day his kids came out and they went up and they were allowed to go into the floor to his door, but they couldn’t open it to say goodbye.”
On July 22, he died.
“I was pissed,” she said. “I was super pissed because it didn’t have to happen and every time I think about it I get angry and cry. People running around not wearing masks when they should, people making masks a political thing when it isn’t. It’s life and death. It’s not political. It’s about people.”
On Monday, Stacey said she learned a picture of her husband’s obituary is now going viral, which surprised her.
She wasn’t sure what kind of reaction she would get in her local community, but it really doesn’t matter much to her. “I didn’t do it to make people like it,” she said. “I did it because I was pissed off and I wanted people to know the ones that refuse to wear a mask, that they are the killers and they are to blame, not just for Dave’s stuff but for all these people. He’s not the only husband to die. There’s been thousands of other husbands and wives and fathers and mothers and brothers that have died.”
Although her husband was not a fan of President Trump, Stacey said he also didn’t like it when she criticized the administration, got political, or, as she put it, “got atop of my soapbox.”
She believes he’d be proud of her now, though, for standing up for him and others.
“If he saw the responses we’re getting for the obituary and my fighting for him, I think he would be pretty proud of me, I really do,” she said. “I think he’s smiling right now because I’m fighting for him and all the other ‘hims.'”