Flying, for a lot of people, can be a scary experience. But when you do it every day for your job, the thrill of it fades away. Then there are the cases where it all comes rushing back because ALERT things have gone wild and you're trapped in a speeding metal container hurtling through the sky, thousands of feet in the air. Thanks to these flight attendants for dealing with these situations and telling their tale on Reddit.
1. My godfather has been a flight attendant since the late 80s, and over the years he's had some great stories. One time, one of his passengers brought her cat on board in a pet carrier. However, she took her cat lovingness to a new level when it came to the cat's feeding time. Instead of cat food and a bowl of water, this woman pulls out her breast and proceeds to breast feed the cat. I don't want to think about how much that must have hurt. Needless to say, my godfather was unamused and firmly asked her to stop.
2. Not a flight attendant, but this qualifies. Last month I was on a Vegas to Boston flight when some poor guy passed away on the plane. We diverted to NY and emergency personal carried him off the plane and his widow was also escorted from the plane. Just before we took off to resume our flight, some jerk in the front row looks at the clearly stricken flight attendant and asks if we now all get free drinks.
21. My older brother used to date a girl who was a flight attendant for one of the more major airlines.
Allegedly, some years back on a transcontinental flight on a Boeing-something-or-other, she encountered the worst passenger she ever had to deal with. On flights it's pretty common to meet rude, self-entitled, and borderline belligerent people, but this dude was something else. This guy was a mess of pit stains and unidentifiable odors.
About 45 or so minutes after takeoff this dude starts delicately moaning. It wasn't very audible to the whole plane, but my brother's ex was alerted by other passengers that this man was making a bit of a ruckus. When she went over to ask the passenger if everything was alright, she noticed an unbearable odor coming from his seat. The passengers directly surrounding him looked absolutely miserable. When asked, he assured her that everything was fine. But this dude was definitely squirting some dookie in his pants. The flight attendant suggested he might want to go to one of the lavatories if he was feeling ill, so he complied, pushed past the ridiculously unfortunate woman who was in-between him an the aisle, and went off to the bathroom, crop-dusting a trail of death and destruction down the aisles as he went. After an indiscriminate amount of time occupying that lavatory, he emerged, smelling like the dickens. As he returned to his seat, my brother's ex-girlfriend saw that this guy had a blossoming flower of poo staining his grey sweatpants. He finished the rest of the flight apparently ripping wicked farts and bringing the other passengers to the brink of odor-induced toxic shock.
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4. I had a friend who worked as a flight attendant and she got into a mild argument with a guy who insisted on having EVERYTHING that was free or complimentary on the flight. He was highly annoying and constantly asked crew for stuff. If he saw someone next to him get something, he wanted it too.
At one point during the flight a lady asked for a sanitary pad to help her with an 'emergency' situation. He insisted he should have one too - cos you know, it's free, right?
My friend tried to reason with him, but again, he insisted.
Upon receiving his sanitary pad he proceeded to peel the paper backing off and expose the sticky side; he stuck the thing over his eyes and soon afterwards fell asleep.
5. One of my friend is a Flight Attendant and once he was on this Paris-Sydney route and some guy boarded the flight. His seat was near the galley, and whenever he wanted something, he would turn his head around and yell for the attendants.
Obviously, this was disturbing other passengers, so my friend went over to ask him about his need. He was not fluent in English but was able to convey that he need some water. My friend went into the galley, poured some water in a glass and went over to him and said, "Sir, here's your water. If you want some more then kindly push this button (indicating the Flight Attendant Call Button). I will be here".
So my friend went inside the galley thinking that now other passengers might relax without any noise from this guy. Nope! A little while later, he saw the call from the same passenger on the display, so he went to assist but the scene completely blew his mind.
The passenger was pressing his mouth up against the Flight Attendant Call Button, thinking that it is some kind of drinking water fountain.
6. When I was a flight attendant the weirdest thing that happened to me (besides finding people joining the mile high club) was when there was a flight full of a basketball team going to a game, and they had all eaten something with food poisoning. Maaaan that was a smelly and awful flight. Huge men running back and forth to the toilet, puking their way through all the available sick bags, and someone even sharted in their pants. Not a pretty sight.
7. A friend of mine was a flight attendant who told me that a guy called the air hostess and very politely asked if the pilot could shut off one of the jet engines so his son could sleep peacefully.
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8. Had a couple sleeping near the back of the plane on an empty flight her head was under a thin airplane blanket on his lap, obviously giving him some special oral attention while he concentrated on squeezing his eyes shut and not making noise. I did a double-take as I walked past them; it was just so obvious what was happening. I told my coworker who went to take a look for herself and agreed. We decided to do a water service to see if it was still going on, but they had stopped by the time we got there. At the end of the flight, the girl tried to give the blanket back to my co-worker, who just said, Oh, you keep it, you might need it on your next flight.
9. My mom has been a flight attendant for 33 years now. They always know when people try to have sex in the lavs; if theyre not extremely busy, two or three will try to assemble outside and clap when the people come out.
10. I have a job where I board planes and review the service of flights. So, many years ago I was evaluating the service on a flight between two countries. The flight was full and the crew included one junior. She had done a good job on her first flights and had been complimented by her fellow crew-members. But what was most noticeable was the fact she appeared to be rather shy.
Boarding for the return flight went fine.
It was a relatively easy flight. It wasn't full and it afforded me time to offer service tips and observe.
But we weren't an hour into the flight that the young junior rushed into the back galley in tears.
She was sobbing. After calming her she finally blurted out that the man in 36K (indicating a window seat in the back of the aircraft), had lifted his thobe, exposing himself to her.
After years of flying your first thought is 'oh no, not another one of these pathetic idiots,' but your professional side prevails, whilst you deal with calming the new crew member and then needing to address the offensive and illegal act committed by the passenger.
I, along with two female crew members calmed the girl. I recall one of the more senior crew members 'welcomed' the junior into her initiation and assured her that she'd be seeing much worse in the years to come.
Then I had the task of dealing with the passenger. There was no one sitting next to him, nor was there anyone in the last row of seats behind him. "Sir," I began, "I understand you have exposed yourself to one of our crew members." I paused a second, waiting for the inevitable denial to come from the passenger. But his response was a surprise. "She liked it, didn't she?" he asked, with an utterly creepy look on his face.
I was now stern. My response was prompt and succinct. "No, she didn't and neither would anyone else. And, Sir, if we have any reports of this happening again, we will have the legal authorities come on board to deal with your behaviour."
I felt I had said enough. He had his warning and I hoped that would be the end of it. I was consciously ready to now go back to the galley and tell the young crew member that she should work the other side of the aircraft and simply forget about the matter.
But my stern admonishment prompted a response from the passenger I hadn't anticipated. He fixed his gaze on me and said "Maybe you want to see too?" And he then lifted his thobe again.
Needless to say, the police got involved in this one.
11. I get that on long flights you want to get up and stretch your legs a little, no problem. But on a 45-minute express flight...
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11. I get that on long flights you want to get up and stretch your legs a little, no problem. But on a 45-minute express flightis it really necessary to get up and start doing yoga in the back galley? This actually happened and I couldnt believe it. Get out of my way, so I can finish serving drinks to the other 70 passengers on board.
12. A couple of WWF (now WWE) wrestlers were on a flight that was about to land but one of them needed to go to the lavatory. You obviously can't leave your seat when you are about to land so they told him no, so he decide to go in the aisle instead.
13. My mom was a pilot for Northwest Airlines. She was a captain, and a man comes on her airplane. He takes one look at her and says "Ugh, a woman captain. I'm getting off." She replied, "Good, get off my airplane. There are people waiting on the standby list to get on." The guy turned right around and got back on. We guessed he wanted her to submit and ask him nicely to come back. She told him "Hell no."
14. Had a 20ish year old girl going to see her SO. She needed to shave so she did so in the bathroom, turbulence pursued and she cut herself really bad. Had to bring paramedics in and they carried her out. After unloaded, the FO noticed the trail of blood down the jetway.
15. My mother was a flight attendant for TWA since the 1960's so she saw a lot of stuff that people could never get away with now. They also didn't really have the capacity for dealing with mental illness back then that they do now. As it turns out, my mom was really great at dealing with this!
For example, she once had a man urgently call for a flight attendant because he was claiming to be receiving messages from the aliens that they were going to intercept the plane. He could not be calmed and demanded to talk to the pilot. My mother heard the commotion, ran to first class and grabbed a silver salad bowl. She then proceeded to put it in his head and tell him it would protect him from the alien messages, so they couldn't track the plane. He spent the rest of the flight with it on his head.
Another good one was when a man, about 5'2, wearing a tweed suit, round glasses came onto the plane, and strapped his bag into the seat next to him. My mother informed him that he had to put the bag in storage, and he very politely showed her that he had a ticket for it. He comes back later, and in place of the bag, is a...
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He comes back later, and in place of the bag, is a dead stuffed monkey that the man is carrying on a conversation with. He politely asked my mom for a banana, to which he then attempts to feed to the monkey. Goes on like this the whole trip, and then packs the monkey up at the end of the flight.
Last short one. My mom went to the front of the plane to find a man trying to open the door. She stops him in time, and asks what the man was doing, to which he replied " I'm going to be late for my meeting, I have to get off now." To which my mom replied, " but sir, we are over the Atlantic." He then proceeds to argue with her, until my mom says, "Oh sir, they've moved your meeting to the coat closet (which they had in older days), he thanks her for the update, and sits in the closet for the rest of the flight.
16. My mom always tells this crazy story from her many days flying first class.
Two years ago she was on a plane that had just boarded and was sitting on the tarmac about to pull away from the gate. Sitting next to my mom was a typical business guy asshat who was on a phone call yelling at someone on the other end. A very nice flight attended comes over, leans over my mom and says "Sir, you're going to have to turn the phone off, the cabin doors are closed." (Of course if this was economy class she would have been more forceful, but she gives him a small warning)
The guy quiets down but he does not get off his phone. At this point the flight attendants are doing the safety protocol speech as the plane backs up and all of the sudden the guy starts yelling again on the phone. Another flight attendent, this time more forceful tells him to turn off the phone. The man turns to her and says "Eff you." She gives this 'humph' face and then turns and goes out of sight.
It is at this point of the story that my mom reminds everyone listening that many pilots are veterans, they are military men and do not take that type of crap from asshats. My mom hears a door slam open and out of the cockpit comes the pilot. He is so angry you can see the veins on his face. His eyes bulge as he yells in rage, "WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER?!!? This is my aircraft and in case of an emergency I expect every passenger to follow the commands of my air staff. You disrespecting her, disrespects me and puts every person on this plane at risk!"
The jerk now being borne down upon by this massive angry ex-soldier cowers, puts away his phone and stammers an apology. Without missing a beat the pilot continues "You can take your sorry and shove it! You are not going anywhere! It is a federal crime to disobey an order from your air crew and you can tell whoever was so gawd-damn important on the other end of the phone call that fact after you talk to TSA." The pilot goes back into the cockpit, pulls the plane back to the gate. Some uniformed police come in and take the guy off.
Dead silence on the plane. As my mom always closes the story, "As god is my witness, everyone in unison takes out their phone, waves it in the air and shows that it is clearly in the off position," just like the "tickets" scene from Indiana Jones.
17. I'm a pilot. We were going from Chicago to Milwaukee and back and then we were done with a four-day trip, so we were definitely wanting to get on with it and go home. We were all boarded and waiting for the de-ice truck to come spray us because it was snowing. After waiting for over an hour for the truck, they finally spray us down and we start pushing back.
As we are pushing, the flight attendant calls up and tells us there's a lady that wants to get off the airplane. We tell her we can't, so the lady then tells the flight attendant that her baby is having a medical emergency and has to get off.
Fine. We pull back up to the gate and let her off, the baby looks fine mind you, and ask her if she needs paramedics. She denies medical attention and refused to take the baby to the clinic that is literally 50 feet away.
They had checked bags, so we had to call rampers to dig through the cargo hold to find their bags. Finally, we had them off and we were getting ready to go again, about 2 hours late at this point. As we were getting ready to close the door, the gate agent ran up and said that when the lady found out that we were the last flight up to Milwaukee, she begged to get back on the airplane and come with us. The captain and I looked at each other in shock, told the gate agent there was no way in hell she was getting back on the airplane, and got out of there.
Continue reading this story on the next page.
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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