Non-prep school kids typically don't like prep school kids because they have more fun. Because they're rich. Anyway, enjoy some tall tales from private school students.
HarbingerOfYeet asked people who studied in boarding schools: What are your craziest stories from your school life?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Can we top this today?
I went to boarding School from age 9-16.
In my country, parents usually wait until you are at least 12-13 but there was a big war in my town. On the day that the war started, we were all at school. Every car on he road was stoned, overturned and set alight. The riot police came and flung all us little kids into a walled compound adjacent from the school to keep us from the mob. I remember being cold and holding onto my little brother. My classmates were all with me as well. It was pitch dark by the time we heard our parents calling out our names. The next day, it was revealed that 11 children from my primary school had been killed in the riot. Some parents moved, some- like mine- sent their kids to boarding school. I went to the same school as 6 of my classmates. We all had some form of PTSD by the time we arrived at school.
In boarding school, our dorms were connected but there was a distinct boys side and girls side, chaperoned 24/7 by Matron- Comber Of Hair.
Anyway, our new boarding school was right on the edge of a national park and one night we heard a thundering and a trumpeting. Apparently, a rogue elephant had decided to break the fence and go on rampage in our school. We were mostly safe in the dorm, but villagers were screaming, and firing Ak's and trying to distract the elephant. Then a helicopter came and a guy shot a tranquilizer dart at the elephant. It didn't fall right away but teetered dangerously towards our dorms. I mean he could have kicked the door down but mercifully fell like 2 meters from the door. We were terrified!!! the 7 of us were freaking the f*ck out and freaking out the other kids too.
Anyway, a large truck and crane came and they lifted the elephant onto the truck and took him back to the preserve. That night there was no boys side or girls side. all the boys came over to our side and brought their mattresses and slept in the hallway. Eventually the teachers decided to move the boys beds in (all our parents were Okay with this as we needed each other so much) and we had the first co-ed dorm. This carried on for 4 years until we went to the high school section! We remained as a cohort throughout and while other kids got separated, the 7 of us always slept in the same dorm no matter what. Oh and we always said good night to each other, ritualistically.
Suffice to say, none of us has any remnants of PTSD.
Miraculously, none of us even grew up to date each other. We still keep in touch and everyone once in while, someone from across the world will text me goodnight.
Edit: WOW!!! this blew up and my first gold too! Idk what gold is but I daresay I think its good:)The country was Kenya in East Africa. I can't say the school name (idk why but something about not providing identifying details) but it was near Lake Nakuru National Park South Western Mau National reserve, and bunch of other parks. The town where the war was was Kisumu. Dr. Robert Ouko had been killed (allegedly by the president, Daniel T. Arap Moi) and burned, and when his body was found, it sparked a massive riot and for months the town was on lock down.
EDIT#2: Matron- Comber of hair was in charge of combing our hair. I am African but my mother is Indian and for some sadistic reason wanted me to have long hair. Anyone who has tight curly hair knows that its impossible for a 9 year old child to manage long hair on their own. So Matron-Comber of Hair was in charge of combing and braiding my hair every morning and night. She was in charge of all the girls hair, as well as some of the boys (2 were biracial and their hair was HARD!) so anyway, Matron - Comber of hair would line us up and try to comb our hair with a brush for the white and Indian children's hair. Of course it did nothing and it would snag and break my hair. Then I would cry, and then matron would cane me for crying, it was a right clusterf*ck. But I would leave that dorm every morning looking like a normal child instead of a golliwog. Thats what she used to call me, "our little golliwog."
This is kind of impressive.
Not me, but I go to a farming boarding school, and someone bought back a pet chicken from town, and managed to keep it in the dorm for 12 weeks without authorities knowing. It was like a personal alarm clock every morning too.
When you gotta go you gotta go.
After evening study hall, my company was called to a meeting. "Don't stick your genitals out the window." Apparently, someone decided to do that rather than go to the bathroom.
This happens more often than you'd think
Edit: And not just at military boarding schools, others as well.
I thought peeing in your sink was the usual practice.
He raised the dead.
One time, I had a dorm pet beta fish called Weed von Marijuana, for the little plastic seaweed toy that came with his tank. I regularly maintained his tank, but one time I pulled him out too roughly, and so he got scared and played dead. Thinking I had to bury him, I decided to call the only other person in the dorms at that moment - a very studious, reclusive student - to join me in the burial ritual. We somehow found a way to light a candle (illegal in the dorms) and dimmed the lights, as we made a candlelit burial procession from the kitchenette to the bathroom. All the while, I was holding my dead fish up, lion king style and we wore blankets like hooded robes while chanting somber tunes. When I was at the crescendo of the tunes and was about to pour my fish into the toilet, he started flopping around, and at the last second, I got to keep him.
Nah you just summoned his soul back from the dead.
Best years of this person's life.
I went to an Episcopalian boarding high school in New Hampshire.
One year anonymous letters were sent to all the black students with a picture of a target and the word "bang" written on them. The incident rocked the school but it was awesome how the community came together in support of each other. The FBI got involved and I remember giving a statement to two agents. I don't believe that case was ever resolved.
One of my classmates got kicked out for academic dishonesty because he cheated on a Spanish test. He was a native speaker.
The school got flooded out one spring and the last few months of the year were cancelled, including finals.
During my 5th form year, my dorm had a massive underground Texas hold em ring going. Of course, gambling for real money was strictly against the rules, but we managed to create a good system for concealing what we were doing even if faculty visited our room while we were playing. Despite being a bunch of high school students, there were never any instances of not paying up, which I find impressive in hindsight.
The mini library in the main academic building was one of the most popular spots for loud sex. I regularly heard people going at it at late hours while passing through.
The school internet from the dorms shut off at night until around 6 am, and it was normally quite slow otherwise. A friend of mine figured out that he could set up a VPN through a laptop he left in the science building. By connecting to that laptop, not only did we have 24/7 internet access, but during the hours the dorm internet was cut off, the VPN internet was blazing f*cking fast - the entire campus's bandwidth being used only by the few people my friend entrusted the information to. We called it Ford Prefect and it lasted a while until a faculty member somehow found out about it. He only got a slap on the wrist.
I'm probably forgetting a lot, this sh*t was so long ago. Boarding school is f*cking nuts and if I had a time machine I'd happily do it all over again.
For girls, boarding school is no fairy tale.
I wish your question was, "people who went to boarding school, how is it different to what you see in the movies?" I went to an exclusive all girls boarding school: it's not hot girls having pillow fights in skimpy lingerie. It's bad skin, braces and men's pj's (as in, that's what we all wore to bed).
When there were school functions (to raise money) we were the waitresses/slave labour. One time I nicked a few bottles of wine from one of these events & hid them up in the roof above our dorm. By the time that story went through the school gossip system (& got back to teachers) I was supposedly running a bar in the attic.
Late at night (2am'ish) i'd sneak out & over to the boys boarding school down the road. We'd just do stupid stuff like take their bikes or skateboards & ride around the neighbourhood, then purposely put them back in different places.
Two girls did get expelled for sneaking out through my escape route to go to a John Mellencamp concert.
Also attended all girls' boarding school and wore pajamas nearly exclusively when we were out of uniform.
Every school has one...
Fall 2012. One of the newer girls in school ran to the teachers in hysterics. She's deathly allergic to peanuts, and claimed someone crushed up some in her room after she got in a shouting match with some of the other girls.
The girls' floor is on lock down, basically. We're all grounded from going to trips to the mall or movie theater or something. The police aren't called or anything, since it would have been impossible to prove anybody did anything. However, regular classes are cancelled, and for maybe a fortnight all we did was team building exercises. Long conversations about what "sisterhood" means to us. I'm sure in the teachers' heads dramatic music was playing like the climax of a chick flick about a close group of friends.
However, a lot of us girls became suspicious. If it were true that somebody basically attempted to murder her, who cleaned up the mess, if not to verify there really were peanuts in there? Why was she still in the same room, and why wasn't any of her stuff sanitized? That girl claimed that she cleaned it up herself, and that she'd only die if she ingested peanuts. A week after the initial incident, she claimed that she was airborne. Later on in the year, she claimed she'd die if she touched someone who happened to eat peanuts in the past 24 hours. Then, she told us she was going through chemotherapy for an overactive thyroid, which, by the way, was why she was morbidly obese. Mysteriously, she didn't miss a day of school or a hair on her head (I know that chemo doesn't guarantee hair loss but still, she looked fine).
Until we graduated, she was basically shunned by everyone in our age group; even the boys avoided her. However, the teachers and much younger students loved her, mostly because of the sweet "big sister" persona she maintained when you first meet her.
As far as I know, she's currently working at a nursing home for the elderly, and that kind of disturbs me. I guess she could have changed in over five years, but then again, she was actually already twenty years old at that point...
I have an overactive thyroid and let me tell you, chemotherapy is not a treatment for it nor is morbid obesity a side effect.
She had crazy stories about her damn thyroid problem. She showed us pics of her at a wedding that took place maybe the summer before she came to our school, and there she looked mildly chubby at best. Apparently her thyroid made her gain well over a hundred pounds. The spring before we graduated, she apparently claimed to the younger girls (like thirteen or so) that her thyroid problem was contagious that particular morning. (Then again, perhaps that wasn't her compulsively lying and rather her just trying to get those kids to fuck off...)
She constantly made excuses for her weight. That is, until a veterinarian told her that her horses' spines were all fucked up because of it, and as a result the guys who owned the barn/hosted horse racing competitions basically forbade her from riding until she dropped a few pounds. She initially claimed they were all fat shaming her, but eventually realized that her horses' physical health was at stake and she took up jogging. She actually lost a decent amount of weight!
...but then she claimed her family was soooo pooooor because they couldn't afford to have their horses live at their house. They had to keep them in a barn and pay their rent like a bunch of bums. Y'know, forgive me if this is judgmental, but if you live in Connecticut, have bought three racing stallions, and go to a private high school that costs ten grand a year, don't be so shocked if you end up living paycheck-to-paycheck.
So many. I'll share the first one that came to mind.
My roommate had bought a small turtle on a school trip without asking me. This was against school rules, but we decided to hide it by moving our bunk against the window and hiding its tank between my very large sheets and the window.
Eventually he moved it to his desk, which I also objected to, but our room was never checked. Asshats from the 2nd floor of our building would frequent our room, play with it, and sometimes 'accidentally' drop it.
One day, when we came into our room, it wasn't in the tank. My roommate, who does not give a f*ck about it, decides to just leave the room and let me figure it out. I turn the entire room inside out looking for it, and I'm starting to lose my sanity not finding this thing.
I check under his bed as a last resort, and see his dirty underwear. I decide to grab it just to clean the room some more, and I find the turtle wrapped in it, belly up, dry and not moving. I toss it back in its tank and, after a while, it begins to move again.
Needless to say, I took it back to my house the next break and care for it myself.
Another really fun story was the annual senior dorm retreat earlier this year. We went to a lake with a bunch of log cabins, where we split about 150 kids into 15 cabins. Obviously all the girls are on one side of the lake, and the guys on the other. The about 5 faculty on the trip with us are somewhere in the middle.
My cabin, which was the 2nd furthest guys dorm, looking for some fun, persuaded a small group of the girls to come to our cabin at around 1 AM. To our horror, we look outside and see all ~75 girls pouring over to our cabins little patio. We desperately try to quiet them down but they keep making noise and the faculty catch on.
One of the faculty starts walking over and, thankfully, we had someone keeping watch of them. Our guard quickly notifies the guys, and we alert the girls of the situation. Cornered and with nowhere to go, they desperately start streaming into the 3 closest guys cabins, including ours, in an attempt to hide. I funnel them into our bathroom, out of sight from windows or faculty. Their attempt was futile, however, as the faculty came in the cabin and basically gave the girls one chance to leave or face severe punishment. Suddenly, 30 girls flow out of our bathroom and sprint back to their cabins. The involved faculty never further addressed this incident.
Well, at least you got a turtle out of it. How is he/she doing now?
Thriving! It has quadrupled in size.
Attended a New England boarding school for two years. It was what you may imagine. Lots of rich kids and athletes. This is a coed school.
Anyways craziest story... our school like many others had a chapel. The chapel had a big bell tower that was only accessible through a locked door.
One day I got to go up there for a photography class. On the way out I left it unlocked. At approximately 10 pm that night I snuck out of my dorm, as did a female friend. We met at the chapel and snuck in a back door.
We climbed the three internal ladders to the top and proceed to desecrate that bell tower, while looking over the entire campus. Not realizing how long we had been up there the clock struck 11 and the bells rang for lights out.
A bell like that ringing by your head is not enjoyable. I nearly fell off of the tower in the scramble to get down the first ladder. Then I was successful in sneaking back to my dorm to play video games or something.
We also had other crazy sh*t happen, lots of drugs, fights, suicide attempts, skinny dipping in the pond in the woods, having friends get you into NYC clubs. Just stupid high school sh*t but with more money.
Hey, it's not all turtles and bell towers.
Nothing crazy, it was just depressing--All we did was study--100% of our senior class was accepted to 4 year universities.
If you went to boarding school, what's your craziest memory?
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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