Paul Vasquez, who shot to viral Internet fame when he saw a double rainbow in California and used the social media handle Yosemitebear to continue growing a following with his positive messages, has died. He was only 57 years old.
According to KOIN.com, Vasquez died Saturday, May 9, 2020 in a hospital emergency room, but the cause of death was not clear. People appreciated Vasquez’s enthusiastic joy for life and the beauty in the world.
Vasquez became an Internet star in 2010, when he saw a double rainbow outside of his Yosemite valley home, sobbing and saying “whoa” to the beauty of it and inquiring, “what does this mean?” Jimmy Kimmel tweeted the video out, and a book and commercials followed.
“Double rainbow, oh my God. It’s a double rainbow all the way. Whoah, it’s so intense. Whoah, man,” he says in the video, which had 47 million views. It’s punctuated with enthusiastic whoahs and OMGs. “It was rainbowing for at least an hour on January 8th 2010. It was incredible. The camera could not capture the vivid intensity and brightness. Look into the mirror, look into your soul!” he wrote with the caption,
The video has had more than 47 million views on YouTube. According to The Modesto Bee, he once said, “You can’t look at a rainbow anymore and not think about me. That’s just the way it is.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Vasquez Wrote That He Was Getting Tested for Coronavirus But Added, ‘Whatever Happens, I’m Ready for It’
On May 5, 2020, Vasquez wrote on Facebook that he was being tested for coronavirus, but he didn’t think he had it. It’s not clear what the test result showed.
“Getting tested for Covid 19. I’ll get my results in two days, however at this point I’m fairly certain that I don’t have it. I didn’t have a fever. Something else is going on with me. I’ll update later on,” he wrote, sharing this photo:
On May 3, Vasquez wrote about health issues. He had a fever and was having trouble breathing.
I thought I might be having a heart attack today but I’ve vowed never again to go to an ER or hospital so I just rode it out.
It took me several minutes to catch my breath after walking 50 feet, I went to the farm feeling weak, did what I needed to do came home and took a nap.
My lungs are feeling congested, I’m suspecting pollen, after my nap I tested my oxygen level, it’s under 80, I have a fever of 100.2 I’m having a little trouble breathing if I walk in my apartment but it’s not to bad if I’m not moving. I signed up to make an appointment to get a Covid 19 test here in Mariposa on Tuesday.
Please don’t give me any advice, or sympathy I don’t want it. I seriously doubt that I have the virus because I’ve been pretty careful but who knows right?
Like I said I am never stepping into another ER or hospital again, that’s where people go to die, I don’t want to die in a hospital hearing beeps, alarms, getting poked and woken up, hell no!
Whatever happens I’m ready for it, I’m happy to experience it all, it might only be pollen and I’ll have more time in my apartment, if it’s the virus and it’s my time to recycle I look forward to coming back to a new body and starting over, whatever happens I’m enjoying the ride.
Vasquez’s last visible post on Facebook came on May 7, when he wrote, “Fun times at the Butterfly Festival.” That was a share of a photo of Vasquez holding a butterfly from 2017. You can find his YouTube page here.
On Facebook, he said he was a “vessel of spirit” who was a former professional cage fighter, a former long-haul truck driver, former fire safety and security officer, and former firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department. He was from Los Angeles.
Tributes Flowed for the Double Rainbow Guy
Tributes flooded in for Vasquez. “rip paul vasquez, aka the double rainbow guy. all the way brother,” wrote one man on Twitter, sharing emojis of rainbows.
People appreciated the enthusiasm Vasquez showed for life. “Dear Paul. How prophetic your words turned out to be. 😞. If you can hear me please tell your family I want to be sure your animals are all safely taken care of. I will never forget your kindness, ❤️” wrote a man on Facebook.
“Paul I can’t believe it…” wrote another. “I’m heartbroken. You brought a smile to every single person who knew you or whose lives you touched. The Valley will never be the same.”
A woman wrote, “You will be missed Bear! So fortunate that our paths crossed. May your love and passion live on in the lives that touched you and may you enjoy all the rainbows from a different view. Rest easy friend!”
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