An avid COVID-denier has passed away after catching the very virus he didn't believe in.

Here's the full story...

Now, during this pandemic, we have experienced a whole array of conspiracy theories.

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As COVID-19 wages on, there is still a point of discussion as to whether the virus actually exists, or whether it's simply a huge government-fabricated scheme.

Opinions on the matter are well and truly divided...

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But the fact remains that there are far too many people who believe the pandemic is simply the government's way of "controlling us."

And sadly, as the months have slowly trickled by...

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More and more people have been joining the anti-COVID movement.

This ideology is not only dangerous to the people who believe in it...

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But it is also incredibly damaging to the rest of us.

COVID-deniers have become known for refusing to wear masks or abide by social distancing...

Thus putting anyone they come into contact with at risk.

These enraged anti-maskers are on the rise...

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And, clearly, they're oblivious to the harm they are inflicting upon those more vulnerable to the virus.

But this week, one COVID-denier learned his lesson the hard way.

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Gary Matthews, forty-six, has become the latest life lost to COVID.

Despite his belief system, people are still saddened to hear of his death.

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Gary, from Shropshire, U.K, was "quite shy" and was "led astray" by conspiracy theorists he found on Facebook groups, his family have claimed.

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His cousin, Tristan Copeland, said that he had begged him to wear a mask and maintain social distancing measures, but to little avail.

He said:

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"But he and his friends had the mindset that they needed to go out and meet people to show they didn't believe the government... I think these groups gave him that. He was ripe to be adopted into it and they led him astray."

Gary had been sceptical of other events reported in the media, too.

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Tristan explained:

"About 2 or 3 years ago he became very concerned about the conflict in Syria from a humanitarian point of view. I think he read a few stories that led him to distrust the media. Eventually, that led him to some climate change denial groups which he started posting on."

"He would tell me I was brainwashed by the media. This thinking is impenetrable when you are arguing with facts."

Tristan called his cousin a "brilliant artist" before adding:

"He didn't deserve that. No-one does... He was still a beloved member of the family and he didn't change as a person. It has been heartbreaking for the family. We're still taking it all in. They were all very close. He'd speak to his family every other day."

Gary was found dead in his flat on the evening of January 13th, The Guardian reported.

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He had been ill for the week prior to his death, and had tested positive the night before on the 12th.

​Gary was believed to be in good health and exercised regularly...

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Though it is understood now that he had suffered from asthma - a condition his family said they were not aware of. They suggested he may have kept an inhaler on him to exempt himself from wearing a mask.

Conspiracy theorists are now claiming that Gary took his own life...

And have bandied about the outlandish suggestion that he was 'murdered' by the state. However, an autopsy has not taken place.

Rest in peace, Gary Matthews.