Faith is an important part of life. Faith in oneself, in people and in God gives you hope that we're not all alone and that we're more capable than we initially give ourselves credit for. For many people the main source of faith is housed in the church.
And for some faith has been hijacked by predators and those who only know how to espouse judgement. This has led to a lot of issues with communities and their connections to religion.
Redditor u/everyone-hates-me wanted the freed to open up and discuss, asking... Formerly religious people, what was your breaking point?
Fahrenheit 451 anyone?Giphy
I was a Christian, but my church got to the point where they were banning tons of media (secular music, the news, certain books, wanted censoring chips in TVs, parental controls on the computer for adults) and then they started telling us that we needed to abandon/leave our secular friends and family (even Christians of different denominations) and only be friends with the members of the church/youth group.
At the same time they were saying that we were in the final years before the rapture/return of Christ and it would be best if we didn't go to college or have kids, due to the hardships it would bring. The youth pastor proceeded to have children and the regular pastor sent his grandchildren to college that year.
The red flags turned crimson. TitanicBead
No Pizza? No church!
I churched so hard in high school. So much so that in college I got invited to a dinner with my college Catholic priest. At dinner I said, "I love pizza!" He said, "You can only love God and people."
I mean I was already upset with broad, seemingly meaningless rituals, but that was the boiling point.
My dad (not a priest, just very religious when he feels like it) did the same thing. We couldn't say "girls rule" because only God the king can rule. It wasn't just dumb, it was objectively false. realhorrorsh0w
You are enough!Giphy
Striving so hard to be as good of a person as I could be but still being told I'd go to hell for certain aspects of myself or beliefs I held. Yet watching others carelessly do rotten things to others and going to confess their sins and feeling like they had the right to continue to be bad people or to act holier than thou. Finally realizing I didn't need a religion to be a decent human being or all the guilt that was put on me. faux--username
I got God.
I was raised Christian, but late in high school, I couldn't get it out of my head that good people I knew and friends I had that weren't Christian were supposedly going to hell. Be that Muslim friends, Jewish, agnostic, atheist, non-religious, etc. I had pretty much the gamut of religious beliefs among my friends, and I just found it hard to believe these people would be punished for how they were raised.
I'm not anti-religious. Religion is very cultural, and I think it's messed up to bag on people's culture. But someone's religion usually boils down to where they were raised and by whom they were raised. And I can't accept that people are judged based on these qualifications, in any religion.
For a while, I reconciled this by saying that being a Christian wasn't necessarily about announcing you're a Christian, and that accepting Jesus can also mean living a life like Jesus even if you're not consciously doing that, or not doing that in the name of God. But that's not what the Bible says, and it's not what the church believes, so I've moved away from that.
Now I'm kinda a universalist, agnostic or something. I don't really care if there is an afterlife or a God. If there is, then the God will reward those who were good people in this life, regardless of religion. If that God doesn't do that, I'm not particularly interested in worshiping him or his afterlife. Stinduh
I was raised by guilt. I finally got to the point where I refused to feel guilty for every little thing I did. cdplater
I can get that. The bible actually sets you up to fail. It's impossible to be sinless. You just have to have a church that goes, "well. We're sinners. It's a good thing Jesus loves us all the same." lucak98
I was already questioning pretty heavily, but for whatever reason one of my friends comparing Santa to God was the breaking point. He said "When we talk about Santa as an all knowing being who rewards good behavior and punishes bad its a ridiculous fairy tale, but when we talk about God in that context we're just supposed to believe it blindly." Frotodile
God isn't perfect...
I was told that God would help you. If you prayed to God he would give you strength. He would help bad things become fixed etc...
I lost my religion when, at 7 years old, after years of praying and fully believing God would help, I still had to watch my alcoholic father beat my alcoholic mother up almost nightly. It was one night while I was picking glass shards out of her hair that I realized that if there were a God he didn't care enough to make things change... and honesty the idea of a cruel, uncaring God scared me more than the alternative so I decided to believe instead that there was no God.
Things are finally better now after years and years of pain and suffering in my family... and it still wasn't God who fixed it.tinylottie
But the Bible...
It was years and years of asking questions that apparently didn't have answers besides "...but the Bible says", but specifically the final straw was praying that my sick and dying grandfather would pass quickly and painlessly, instead of the three weeks he spent after that vomiting up his own stomach bile and starving because he couldn't eat before the cancer took him.
I never asked for anything remotely self serving or personal because I always thought that was wrong, but this one instance I begged and pleaded for help, not even for me but for my dying grandfather, and instead it was almost like someone playing 'corrupt-a-wish' on a message board.
It wasn't even a matter of believing or not believing, I just didn't and couldn't pray anymore after that. I was almost afraid to ask for anything else. DMan304
Now that's not Christian behavior!Giphy
A pastor called my mother a whore. AgentDaleBCooper
In the baptist church I grew up in, I remember the adults nearly gasping when a woman member came wearing gasp JEANS. She had brought breakfast out to her husband who was working in the fields combining corn that morning, and went straight to church from the field. It was a wet year and harvest was getting late, they could only combine when the ground was frozen so many farmers were combining all night. They ended up having a meeting between the pastor, deacons, and the husband.
Looking back this infuriates me on so many levels. The guy was working on Sunday, but nothing was said about that. His wife could have skipped church all together but elected to come. So the man in the house can bend some rules and skip church, but for his wife to go out of her way when very busy to even make it to church, just in the wrong clothes was enough to have a meeting with the husband about how his wife should appear. It just makes my blood boil.yeah_sure_youbetcha
Worry about your own self Sir!
I'm agnostic but I stopped going to church once my pastor berated me for doing teenager things like getting a haircut and piercing my ears. He told me that that's what witches did when mourning their lost loved ones and handed me a conveniently provided information packet. He also had some hypocritical stuff to say during the bible study so I'm glad I never had to go again. Religion never really clicked with me but he was what made me hate christianity the most.tangledlettuce
No reading between the lines...
For me, it was seeing people misinterpret their own religious texts. Terrorists are prime examples of it. Also seeing how irrational people were being, following a religion. Riots, public parades, blockades... All for a god that others don't even believe in. Keeping the property and financial losses aside, this is probably why religious leaders are so successful. A mini government, in which their subjects have complete trust in. Manipulate them at your convenience, and get the work done
Ps: Maybe I'm not formerly religious. I used to go to gatherings because I was forced to, and couldn't understand anything. lestrenched
Bless you Father...Giphy
My grandmother asked our local priest for a blessing for my (low-functioning) autistic brother, to which the priest replied:
"I'll bless him with a brick." nicrotex
Did this really happen? Please tell me this s**thead never walked the earth. FrikkinLazer
SO many books...
I read 300 books
Note: Any books will do. Just read a bunch of them. Get some outside perspective and some conflicting points of view. Done. woodentraveler
Well yeah, because if someone only reads one book, it's pretty easy to guess what book it is. Hugo_5t1gl1tz
The church has no real room for actual discussion outside of cliche answers. AdouMusou
Eyes Wide Unshut!
I was a Jehovah's Witness. I took a break and left for a few years. When I attempted to come back the time off really opened my eyes at the control they try to exert over every aspect of your life. That's when I opened my mind that they weren't the one and true religion. Then it became obvious the horrible things they are guilty of. Then became disheartened with all religion since they all use guilt, shame, and fear to control their members for money and power. Then I realized the bible is utterly ridiculous and that if I were to believe the bible, that God is a total a**hole. Elbiotcho
Praying for many months and begging for things to get better while also getting bullied way more and finally falling into depression. I guess the anger made me start questioning everything, and religion is pretty easy to break with logic. Szarra
When I realized that God has never faith-healed an amputee, in any religion. AnticipatingLunch
Watching my primary guardian die of cancer over 4 years of my late child early teen life and constantly being told that it was God's plan that she was dying a slow and painful death while also being killed by her chemotherapy. If it was God's plan to kill the closest thing I have to a parent when I was 14, then I would rather burn in his hell than live in his heaven.animekid117
Not to be too cliché, but science and logic just won out over "big sky man get mad." SarahIsTrans
Yeah, me too. I wasn't raised religious. When I started thinking about religion it confused me that people would take it seriously and believe it was all true. It was all much too fairy tale for me. I tried my best to understand it and understand faith but it just would not compute. I think some people just have faith and others do not. I am comfortable not having faith and wouldn't change a thing about myself. starlit_moon
I was raised Christian. I believed the Bible and I believed in miracles and I really absolutely believed. But I was a bit of an optimist, so while I believed non Christians went to hell I figured God loves everyone, he'll give them time to find him.
Then I got a phone call that my non Christian friend died. And I knelt on the floor and I prayed, in tongues even. And I prayed that if Jesus could bring Lazarus back to life he could give my friend another chance. That I would die in her place, I'd go to heaven so surely it would be better that way. And I knelt and I sobbed and I prayed to die for hours. And I was so sure, I mean God loved her right, this was the perfect answer?
Shockingly enough my friend did not magically come back to life. I didn't lose my faith all in one go. I tried to find justifications but I just couldn't anymore. So now I just love my friends as much as I can while I'm alive and if I go to hell when I die at least I'll be in good company. Bunny36
Nothing left to give...
In Christianity, you're expected to "give up" a lot: money, time, whatever. However, I don't have the will or the energy to give any of my time to my faith. I'm a senior in high school and these past few years have been utter crap. I don't do anything except go to school, study, and do my extracurriculars. I'm also applying to colleges, which is a whole other ball game. I'm so very very tired and I know it's only going to get harder from here. Still, I'm already drained. I don't have time for myself. I haven't seen some of my friends so far this school year, because we're all busy and we can't meet up. I now have sciatica because all I do is sit and stare at homework for hours on end. Sometimes, I can't get out of my damn bed. And for God's sake, I'm a 17-year-old girl who doesn't know how to drive or even apply makeup, because I don't have time to learn these skills. That being said, if I had a little bit of free time to myself on a Sunday morning, I most certainly would NOT go to Church- voluntarily of course. I'm expected to go and sit through the same lengthy liturgy, which bores me to tears. Why should I give up what little to no time I have left for myself for others? I don't want to sound selfish or bratty, but I'm damn frustrated. I've become a recluse because of my studies, and if I'm expected to give up even more, then I want out. sweet_autumn_goat
The Rainbow Bridge outta here!Giphy
Oof, I have a lot of feelings about religion.
I was Christian until I was 16 years old. I had gone to Christian schools, went to church camps, etc. The bible didn't make a ton of sense, but I reasoned that it was all parables and metaphors.
And then my cat died, and now I was a shy, quiet girl and this cat was my very best friend, and he died. I was crying to a church counselor that at least my cat would be there waiting for me in heaven. And they told me no, that wasn't true, animals don't have souls. They're essentially meat robots put on earth for humans to do with as they wish, and they don't matter, that the rainbow bridge is fake.
That was literally the very last straw, and I was done. No way you can share your life with an animal and love it, and believe that if you can believe every other weird, horrible thing in that book.
As I've aged, my dislike for religion has only grown. I truly cannot stand how women and marginalized groups are treated across many different religions. It disgusts me, and I do not trust people who have found faith later in life. I understand being brainwashed as a child, it happened to me. I do not understand embracing those beliefs as an adult.onequestionisall
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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