A beloved member of the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida has died due to complications of the novel coronavirus, the executive director of the chorus announced Friday.
"It is tough to know that Florida's death toll from the Coronavirus has climbed to 23 and one of them is a dear man I knew and who was a member of the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida," Mark Kent said.
"I am usually not public about personal pain, but I share this in the hope that it helps more people take this epidemic seriously."
George "Skip" Panse is remembered for his passion for music, sense of humor and dedication to his community.
Bill Spinosa, a member of the choir, says Panse's death should reminder for other to take the virus seriously, because cases are not just numbers.
“Every time you see a number, it’s someone’s mother. It’s someone’s father. Somebody’s brother,” Spinosa said. “It’s amazing and because people are dying alone in hospitals in the ICU, it’s even more devastating because there's nobody there to hold their hand.”