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Cape Coral drummer contracts coronavirus despite taking precautions; uses opportunity to give back

Drummer Willie Miller of Cape Coral was being extra cautious to not contract coronavirus. He was wearing his mask and continued using hand sanitizer. But one day, he decided go out and complete some errands, while absentmindedly leaving his mask at home. Now he’s in the hospital fighting for his life.

“I’m in Cape Coral hospital right now, and the reason that I’m in Cape Coral hospital is because I contracted COVID-19,” Miller said.

Miller was doing his best to be safe. “I always practice safety. You know, wearing a mask, you know, when I’m away from my home and also when I’m out and about and working. I actually let my guard down for one second, and I contracted the virus,” he said.

COVID-19 has taken him away from his work and his music, which he loves more than anything. “Put me out of work and took me down to the ground to be totally honest with you,” said Miller.

But Miller wants to use his experience to educate people about the virus. “This whole thing about a hoax about COVID-19, it’s a lie. It is not a hoax. It’s real, and right now Florida is one of the hottest spots probably in the U.S. right now,” he said. “COVID-19 is a very, very, very serious virus. The reason that I did that Facebook LIVE video, it was to bring awareness to people.”

But instead of pitying himself, Miller is using his platform for awareness, as he mentioned. His band, The Collaborationis planning two benefit concerts. The first to support the Charlotte Local Education Foundation and the second for the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

He saw the need for food in the community first hand. “The line was going to Mariner High School where there was, they were handing out food. It was a food bank. It just broke my heart,” Miller said.
So while he isn’t in the hospital fighting for his life, he’s also fighting for the lives and comfort of others.  Miller said, “I know it’s stupid; it’s crazy; I should be worried more about myself, but these are the same people that you know come to the restaurants and clubs to see us play, and, you know, they support us. So for me, to give back to the community means the world to me.”
Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Drew Hill
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