Life is full of surprises. Some of those surprises are not all that pleasant.
Some of them are downright scary. Some really take a toll on people's psyche.
And those, unfortunately, stick with us for the rest of our lives.
Here were some of those answers.
The Worst Possible Ending
About 20 years ago, I was working at a school. A teacher was in my shared office working and she and her recently divorced daughter both worked worked at this school. Anyway, her ex son-in-law just came into the school without signing in and came into my office asking his ex mother-in-law where his ex wife (her daughter) was. At this time, I had only heard anecdotal, vague stuff about him, but the second he opened my office door, I was really scared. He just had this look that told me not to engage with him in any way.
He tried to get his ex-wife to go somewhere with him and she refused and he left the school. The mother and her daughter didn't show up to work the next day and they didn't call in either. The principal went to check on them and found them shot dead along with two other people. We just continued to have school that day with kids talking about them being dead all day and it was just horrible.
My mother always told me to close my window blinds as a kid before i went to sleep.I usually remembered but one night i forgot. I woke up in the middle of the night to an old man staring through my window, smiling. We stared at each other for like 10 seconds.I calmly got out of bed and walked to my mom's room. On the way there,I passed the living room and saw someone walking past our living room windows. I went to sleep in her bed and never brought it up.
The Woods Are Always A Bad Idea
About 5 years ago, a few buddies and I went camping in Tennessee. We were on mountain bikes so we were able to get way far out from civilization and set up camp in the middle of the woods. This was not a camping area, so we didn't run into any other people, and we were so far away from anything we didn't expect to. We all went to sleep without incident and it was as dark as dark can be outside with clouds blocking the moon. After being asleep for a couple of hours I heard leaves crunching probably about 20 feet from our tent.
It was obviously footsteps. I then noticed a little bit of light shining on the tent from what I assume was a flashlight. Then I hear two men whispering. Then I hear "ya'll asleep in there?" My instinct was to remain completely silent and I didn't make a sound. Eventually I heard more footsteps heading away from the tent until eventually I heard nothing again. Needless to say I got absolutely no sleep after that and I woke my buddies up about ten minutes later to tell them. In the morning there was no sign of anybody, and we left quickly. Never figured it out.
I was 21 and just moved to a college town living in my own. I noticed my AC unit was being turned off during the day. I thought maybe it was maintenance or a faulty breaker. So I talked to property management, they couldn't figure it out. I brushed it off.
Then I started coming home and there was dishes I didn't remember leaving in the sink. A cereal bowl, a fork. I had a brain tumor so I was concerned my memory was getting really bad.
Then one day while I was in the shower, I thought I heard a man downstairs. I turned off my shower, froze, and grabbed a razor. I realized the door had no locks so I braced myself against the sink and door. I held my breath and listened. I frantically texted my high school friend who lived in the unit next door.
When I heard his voice, I flew downstairs and he was staring at ammunition on my carpet. Just bullets, scattered everywhere.
And this began the three year saga of my stalker and we made the first of multiple police calls.
So while not traditionally creepy, those bullets made my skin crawl and heart sink. I knew someone wanted to hurt me and had been watching me.
I was speeding down this dead end road to get to the house i was house sitting (by speeding i mean 40 in a 35) and this dude runs out in the road and starts screaming at me.
I swerve around him and park behind the house, hidden from the road. While I'm getting out i hear a truck fly down the road and the man was walking around the cul de sac SCREAMING and slamming doors.
After i snuck in the house, i locked up everything and laid down.
Weeks later the owners were telling me about their crazy neighbor who is quick to pull out his gun in arguments and if people use his driveway to turn around in.
I know that's a lot and it probably sounds stupid, but i was scared.
Someone's In The House
I got a short one from a while back, maybe 8 years ago. At the time my wife was pregnant, two kids were in the living room with us and 2 kids were upstairs in their bedroom with the door closed. The oldest in the room with us went to microwave something and accidentally turned in the gas stove without lighting it. A half hour later we realize what happened so I turn it off and open some windows. A few minutes later the kids from upstairs run down screaming and crying because someone was banging on their door. They thought it was me messing with them at first so we laughed it off. Well, at first, until they said they saw black boots and heard heavy steps in the hallway. I was downstairs the entire time. Right after they finished telling their story the lid to the hamper came flying down the steps. No windows were open up there and there was never any circulation through the house. We left for a while to calm them down
When I was 16 my parents got a divorce and I went through the typical angst, part of it was firmly denouncing religion and anything not explained by science. My mom, sister and I moved into a creepy old house where they both complained of paranormal instances, which I was quick to dismiss. I came home from a track meet around 7:30 pm on a Friday. When I came in I heard my sister hysterically laughing with her signature snort.
I asked her "what's so funny Taylor" and while barely speaking through the laughing and snorting she replied "just come up here, it's hilarious". I slowly walk up the creaky steps as I listen to her laugh the entire time. She kept saying "you gotta see this, come up here". When I opened the door it was pitch black and she was nowhere to be found. Then I realized when I drove into the driveway there were no other cars, I was home alone. I then remembered my mom and sister had gone to tour colleges that weekend.
I got out of there ASAP. I now believe I know nothing about this world.
Republicans In My Passenger Seat
I was dropping off a rider in NJ from Manhattan and decided to pick up a couple of rides near Newark. A guy gets in my car with his family and sits in the front seat. He then turns my way and doesn't talk for like 2-3 minutes. I'm now officially creeped out and start thinking I should move a little faster. Then he starts to ask where I'm from. I'm instantly even more on alert and say Brooklyn. He says "no where are you originally from" and I'm like dude Brooklyn.
He starts getting agitated and asks where are your parents from and I'm like Brooklyn. Then he screams dude where are they originally from and I'm now officially terrified. His daughter starts screaming in the back telling him to stop cause he's scaring me and to be honest, I lost all control and may have started going through reds. Not once did I even think about looking in his direction. Made a 15 minute ride in like 6 minutes and not once was I stupid enough to mention that my family originally came from Pakistan. He started yelling at his family next and l began to regret taking rides in NJ. I was trapped in a box with a maniac and kept expecting a knife or a gun to pop into his hands any second. I was pretty happy when I pulled into a gated building and the police was there. I dropped him off, turned off the app and drove all the way back to the city without a rider. Lesson learned, no more driving in NJ.
When I was five years old I had a nightmare. In that nightmare there was a man, and he just stood there doing nothing but repeatedly saying "You won't wake up" over and over. I was scared to the point I couldn't move. When I woke up from the nightmare, I could still see and hear my dream. He was laughing at me. I forcefully opened my eyes with my hands but I couldn't get him out of my head. I was so frightened I was about to cry. I got up from my bed and felt my way to the kitchen where my mum was making breakfast.
I tugged on her shirt but and asked her to help me but she just said "Just open your eyes." I tried to show her my eyes were open. "They are!" But she didn't turn around and ignored me. Well, if mom wasn't going to help me, then I was. I thought if I went back to sleep I could fight this laughing man for my freedom, so I went back to bed and closed my eyes. And eventually the man and his laughing faded as I counted down from ten. Immediately I ran back out to mum, just to make sure that what happened was actually real but she just laughed and ignored me again. To this day I have never felt so betrayed by someone.
The scariest thing I've ever encountered was I was mowing the lawn around 9PM when I was 11. I remember the lawn mower kept randomly sputtering as if it was going to shut off but wouldn't completely die. I checked the gas at least 3 times to see if that was the problem. When it finally just completely made a clunk and shut off. At the exact moment the sound could no longer be heard there was a large cracking sound behind me.
Come to find out a few weeks later there had been a man who was watching us from the fern tree behind our house. There were only 2 windows in view from that side of the house. The first one was ground level and you could see the backdoor, kitchen, living room and if my mom's door was open her room. The second one you could only see if there were lights on upstairs. If the lights were on upstairs it meant us kids were awake. The police even found a sheet of plywood in the tree for him to sit on and it was believed he'd sit there for hours on end. We never found out what his intentions were but he'd just been watching everything about us.
This happened very recently. I was driving east on the 91 freeway (CA) two days ago (31st) I saw a woman who was about to jump off of an overpass. As I drove past, it was so nerve wracking to see her up there. Then I got back on the freeway and the westbound traffic was backed up for several exits. I kept seeing people in stand still traffic, getting out of their cars.
Googled it later and she was detained and is safe. Thank god.
A few years ago, when I was at college, I was heading back to my apartment building after class. It was still early evening and the sun was still setting so it wasn't like it was dark and gloomy or anything, and I got dropped off by my school's shuttle system so I felt relatively safe. But while I was walking down the sidewalk I saw a man in jeans and big sweater round the corner of my building. The hoodie was up and over his face so I couldn't make it out and he didn't look, to me, like a college student. The build looked more for a 30/40 year old and there was no one else around but us two.
But the second he came into my line of vision my body went cold, my heart started racing and literally every single hair on my body stood up. I quickened my pace to my door but that was what caught his attention. He turned right to me and began speed walking, almost running, right at me and I was so scared I thought I would freeze. Luckily, I had my key already out and I flew inside, bolted the door and closed all the blinds. I called public safety and they sent out a patrol car but it took me forever to calm down. What sucked even more was that I was all alone that night. It was a feeling I've never felt again (knock on wood) but one I won't ever forget. I'm grateful I was lucky!
Not A Pupper
I was walking home from school one day and I saw a coyote about 20-30 feet from where I was standing. Originally, it looked like a little husky so I whistled to it. It made a loud snarling noise and ran away back into the woods. I didn't give it much thought until later that night on the local news the coyote was said to be rabid and attacking other dogs in the neighborhood. The story itself isn't that scary it's just the thought that what if it came to me when I whistled at it and attacked me is frightening
I was out by myself around 12am and a scary guy followed me home and stayed outside my windows until I decided to call the cops. They said no one was there when the did a sweep of my land. I went to bed and woke up around 5am. The creepy dude was just staring into my bedroom looking at my bed, I stared right back at him and made sure to keep my eyes on him. I texted my neighbour to call the cops. I left my room and heard my window break so I went into the bathroom because the was the safest place around the time. I heard the cop cars and his foot steps. I decided to fight this guy because, it was either sit down and cry in the bath tub like a little bitch or fight. So I got my broom and opened the door. I looked around for a little and found him. He charged right at me and gave me a bloody nose, I him multiple times with my broom until the cops came. They said it was self defence and said nothing of it. After that night, I've never been out past 10pm alone.
If I could go back, I should have used my plunger.
The Bored Ghost
Ok, this one I cannot explain. It happened when I was between 8-10.
I used to get home from school long before my mum got home from work. It wasn't a big deal. I'd grab a snack and sit myself in front of the TV. This happened before we got Sky TV and kept the TV and Sky box plugged in all the time. My mum was terrified of electronics getting fried by lightning so she never left anything plugged in. I got home from school and my usual routine was to lock the house back up and turn the TV on. This afternoon I really, really needed to pee, the TV was unplugged so instead of turning it on first, I ran upstairs and with the door open I used the toilet. About half way through my TV comes on, the sound on full blast. I just froze. I could see down the stairs from where I was and nothing was moving. I finish up and eventually pluck up the courage to sneak back downstairs. No one was down there, but the TV was now plugged in and it was freaking loud. There was no way that could have happened. I turned it down and checked the house. It was still locked up tight, no one else was inside. I just went back to my usual routine and never brought it up to anyone. Now, even if the TV was on standby, which it 100% wasn't, we didn't have a remote for it so it couldn't have been that. The sound turning itself all the way up was especially weird.
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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