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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the world, professional athletes are making statements urging the public to adhere to government policies regarding hand-washing and social distancing. Several athletes, themselves, have tested positive for the virus, while others have been affected in other ways. Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns recently took to social media to issue a heartfelt plea regarding his mother who has contracted the potentially deadly virus.

Coronavirus making its way through the NBA

Since Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first known NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago, the virus has struck other NBA players and staff. Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell was the second player known to have the virus and then players such as Kevin Durant and Marcus Smart also announced they had it.

Immediately following Gobert’s diagnosis on March 11, the league decided to put a halt on the NBA season until further notice. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said he is optimistic that the league could be resumed at a later point this year, but the continued spread of the coronavirus has everything on hold.

When originally diagnosed, Gobert did not exhibit any symptoms of the coronavirus. He has since said he has lost his sense of taste and smell.

Karl-Anthony Towns says his mother in a medically induced coma

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns emotionally took to social media late Tuesday night to ask the public to take the disease seriously. Towns said his parents recently weren’t feeling good and his mother was since diagnosed with the virus. He said she took a turn for the worse and is now in a medically induced coma.

“This disease is real. This disease needs not to be taken lightly. Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself.”

Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns went into detail about how he and his mother thought the medication she was taking was working as her fever would come down, but spike right back up again at night.

“She just wasn’t getting better. Her fever was never cutting from 103, maybe go down to 101.9 with the meds, and then immediately spike back up during the night. She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating. She was deteriorating — and we always felt that the next medicine would help. This is the one that’s going to get it done. This mixture is going to get it done.”

Towns pleads with public to take coronavirus seriously

While some people have ignored the practice of social distancing and continue to live life as normal, Karl-Anthony Towns has a strong message for them. He is urging them to change their ways.

“This disease needs to not be taken lightly,” he said. “Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please don’t be in places with a lot of people; it just heightens your chances of getting this disease and this disease … it’s deadly. It’s deadly.”

Towns believes if everyone adheres to the practices of staying home and social distancing, it will help get this disease under control and may save the lives of many, including his mother.

“We’re going to keep fighting on my side, me and my family, we’re going to keep fighting this,” he said. “We’re going to beat it; we’re going to win.”