An 81-year-old man died this week at his Scott City, Kan., nursing home, and he "was not surrounded by friends and family." That's not because Marvin James Farr wasn't loved: The farmer and veterinarian died after being infected by COVID-19, and his obituary is now serving as what the Kansas City Star deems a "scathing critique" of those who dismiss the seriousness of the virus and the associated safety precautions against it. "He died in a room not his own, being cared for by people dressed in confusing and frightening ways," reads the obit, written by son Courtney Farr. "His final days were harder, scarier, and lonelier than necessary." The younger Farr notes his dad was born right before World War II, a time of great sacrifice, yet "he died in a world where many of his fellow Americans refuse to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another."
"As a young man he debated between studying mortuary or veterinary science," the obit continued. "He chose life over death. The science that guided his professional life has been disparaged and abandoned by so many of the same people who depended on his knowledge to care for their animals and to raise their food." In a Wednesday Facebook post, Courtney Farr said he wrote the obituary in this manner after spending most of 2020 hearing locals "talk about how this disease isn't real" or otherwise shrug their shoulders at it, including by mocking masks. The Star notes that even though Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has issued statewide mask orders, counties are able to opt out. "Because of the prevalence of those attitudes, my father's death was so much harder on him, his family, and his caregivers than it should have been," Courtney Farr wrote. (Read the obituary here.)