ORLANDO, Fla. – Remy Colin said the banner his plane carries over the skies of Central Florida is part of a personal mission.
It reads, “Stop Whining. Wear The Mask. Save Lives.”
“My family’s been through it,” he said.
Colin said his uncle tested positive for the coronavirus right after attending a soccer match in New York.
“Two weeks on a ventilator. We thought he was out of it. The prognosis was pretty good. They said he no longer had corona,” he said. “The thing is -- it ate at his heart. He died. The day they took him off the ventilator, he died.”
Soon afterward, Colin said his father came down with COVID-19 in Switzerland. He survived.
Now, Colin, who owns the company Aerial Messages, said he is watching the number of new cases rise. According to the Florida Department of Health, 11,433 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Friday.
Colin said he’s concerned people are not taking the threat seriously, or ignoring warnings, and not wearing masks. That’s why, he said, his business is now flying a plane with the short message.
“This is a small, small sacrifice to do to keep you safe, older people safe and not spread the virus more,” he said.
Colin said he is paying for the flights out of his own pocket, fearing that another economic shutdown could ground his business for good.
“My company cannot afford another shut down,” he said. “Right now, we are one ‘beach closed’ away from going bankrupt.”
Colin won’t say how much he’s paid for these flights over Central Florida, but he does say fuel for planes is roughly five times higher than gas for cars.
He said he’s going to continue the flights with hope that it helps.