Johnny Lee and Cathy Darlene Peoples who had been together for over 50-years, died of the Coronavirus just minutes apart from one another while hospitalized in Novant Health Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina,

“They were married 48 years, been together 50, they walked hand in hand for those 50 years,” their son, Shane Peoples, told local news station WBTV.

He added that both of his parents contracted the coronavirus about a month ago, with his mother first showing symptoms just days before she was scheduled to retire.

“It was mainly the fever and loss of taste,” Peoples said. “My dad starting showing symptoms two days later. About two weeks later they were both put in the ICU. Everything just went south, everything just got worse.”

He said that once they knew that his parents’ time was limited, the staff at the hospital did what they could to help the two stay together.

“The next day they put them in the same room, same ICU room, they put their hands together, the nurses gathered around and they passed within four minutes of each other,” Peoples said.

He poured out in his heart in a widely-read Facebook post:

“We were cheated. The lives of Mom and Dad were stolen by a virus that many joke about on a daily basis or just straight out believe it’s a hoax of some sort. Both of them took this pandemic seriously and still got sick, still died…

I told myself when I started this, I would not do so in anger, but for the love they inspired me to give.

So, let’s change course.

My parents weren’t just a blessing for me, my brother, my sister, our spouses, and our children. They were a blessing to every person that met them. My mom had the most beautiful soul of anyone you could have met. She was very generous with the love she had for everyone. If she didn’t love you or have love for you, something was wrong with you.

I’m not sure if my dad ever met a stranger, he could strike up a conversation with anyone and make them smile. He went years coaching youth sports and loved helping these children become better people.

They both loved their family very much and did anything and everything they could possibly do for them. Their love for family was greatest when it came to their grandchildren, nine of them in total. They wanted the best for their grandchildren, they would go out of their way just to make each one of them feel special. I had some pretty darn awesome parents.

I miss them so very much. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal without being about to talk to them every night on my ride home from work or not being able to send them pictures and videos of my family. I’ll never be able to hug them, again. I’ll never hear Mom sing happy birthday to anyone, again. I’ll never see them smile when they see Liam and Ava come in the room. They won’t get to see their grandchildren grow up, or see many of their grandchildren graduate.

I know a lot of people believe they have/had the most loving, most caring, affectionate, and devoted parents, but they are wrong. That’s my parents. I only wish I could fill their shoes.

Hold your family close. Treat every moment with them like it’s your last, it could very well be. Love and keep on loving.

I just wish everyone could see them through my eyes. You would see the two most loving and caring couple, ever. Without them, this world just got a bit more gloomy.

Sorry, this was so long.

Love all of you.

Wear a mask.

Wash your hands.

Practice social distancing.

Be kind to each other.”