People Break Down Which Lessons That Their Parents Taught Them That They Won't Pass On To Their Kids
Sometimes, the hardest part of being a parent is taking the things you hated and using them as lessons on what NOT to do.
Even the most loving and well-intentioned parents screw things up. But not every parent is loving as well-intentioned. One Reddit user asked:
So yeah... this is a pretty solid "What Not To Do" list.
That you need to hustle 100% of the time and be constantly busy with school/work, extra activities, side projects, cleaning etc. Spending time unwinding is a sign of laziness and boredom, and intelligent people are never bored.
This really messed me up and I'm still learning the art of wasting time. Don't get me wrong, I love laying in bed doing nothing but it usually comes with guilt that I could be more productive during this time. I'm still in the process of learning that rest is needed for a healthy and well functioning body and mind.
Stop When You're FullFull GIF by memecandy Giphy
Eat everything on their plate. I try to get my kids to make an effort to eat their meals, but I'm never going to punish them for not being hungry when I say so. Sometimes you start it and can't finish. Sometimes you just don't like it. Now if they keep saying they're hungry sometimes you gotta learn to take what you can get though.
My parents were Depression-era kids, so they were taught that wasting food is a sin. I guess it was back then. But now I am trained to clear my plate no matter how full I am. It has been an uphill struggle to not teach my kids to do that.
That crying is shameful
I'm trying to not teach mine this one. But I still feel REALLY ashamed when I cry. I'll say it's allergies rather than admit I'm crying. I HATE it if anybody sees me crying.
"I'll give you something to cry about" was common for me. I hate it, I hate it so much.
This. My father has always been well... mean. Then he will tell me to stop crying because it makes me look weak and I 'm stronger than that.
It really messes with me. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Even now as a grown adult struggle with embarrassment when I cry.
The "Awkward" Stuff
That sex, sexuality, drinking/partying, politics, money, spirituality are awkward things to discuss. I want my future kids to know facts and that if they are ever in trouble, I am a safe place for them. We don't have to talk about it if they don't want to, they'll be taught how to be safe, but they should also know that these subjects are a part of life and should not cause shame.
A Crush Shouldn't Hurt
"If a boy acts like a jerk, it means he likes you!"
First of all, he shouldn't be let off the hook for acting like a jerk. (Whether he's 5 or 105). Secondly, it teaches girls that abuse is okay, or that they should expect to be treated like crap (and that it's okay for them to be treated like crap.)
My daughter had a little boy that was picking on her and I was pissed. I asked her what would happen if Tati (her dad) pushed me off of the sidewalk or pulled my hair?
She said he wouldn't do that because he cares about me and that other little boys in the school are a lot nicer. That's damn right... you stay away from that little boy. That little boy is an a$hole and don't forget it. Oh! And at the start of the Coronavirus thing he was "blowing air" on her.
Oh my god this sh!t brought me into so many wired and some even abusive relationships. It actually taught me to choose the guys that were mean to me.. "because that must mean they like me right?"
Go Your Own Way
That i basically have to be a smaller version of them, believe exactly what they do and not think for myself and have my own opinion. If I have kids id let them be open minded and believe what they want
I'm not saying I'll let them do whatever they want regardless of it being stupid or dangerous or harmful. I fully intend to offer guidance to them and try to reason with them if I believe something they think is wrong. I'm just not going to punish or censor them.
I've seen so many parents disown or punish their kids for leaving their religion or coming out as gay and it hurts me man. When they get older I believe they have the right to have their own opinions
The "Wait" Isn't Worth Itmr bean waiting GIF Giphy
To wait until marriage.
You know they won't anyway. The best you can do is teach them to be safe and pray they do ok.
Same with a lot of things, actually. I know my daughter is going to have sex no matter what. I know she's going to try alcohol at some point. I know she's going to probably try pot. Her safety is my priority, so the sex talk is going to include how to stay safe, where the extra condoms are stashed, that it's perfectly okay to ask me any questions about sex (like, "x happened, is this normal?"), all about consent, etc. And about the effects of alcohol (based on science) and how to stay safe when drinking socially with friends.
Definitely would prefer if she didn't drink before 21, but if she's going to, might as well try to help her help herself not get absolutely shitfaced and possibly assaulted.
My mother celebrates her pettiness, and never misses an opportunity to take the low road or seek revenge. For example, she had a customer skip out on a $150 bill. My mom turned it into collections.
Years (and I mean yeeeeaaaaars) later, she was contacted by a debt management company looking to pay the $150 bill so the former customer could fix their credit to buy a house. My mom dodged the call for weeks ON PURPOSE just to be an a-hole and hold up the process.
She told me this story all proud and smug. I think she was expecting me to clap for her. I just stared in disbelief. My kid is being taught to show mercy when given the opportunity.
Being hypercritical. My parents were very critical of me about so many things. My grades, my performance in extra circular activities, even how I did chores. What was worse was that they would often compare me to others as well, and would only ever praise me when they were basically bragging to other people. An example that always stuck with me was when I had a part time job as a waiter in high school, and my dad would often scold me for wasting my time at a a useless job instead of focusing on school, and how I was just gonna end up being a bum just like my older brother. But then when he's talking to his friends he brags about how his youngest son is so hard working, he even has a part time job in high school!
It's this sort of hypercriticism is why I struggle a lot with self esteem and confidence. What's worse is that I find myself even being hypercritical of other people's behavior, like if they make a mistake or don't do something how I would've done. I don't snap like my dad would do, but I still find myself immediately getting annoyed. It's something I'm working on, and hope to never do to my future kids.
"You Make Me Hit You"
That a parent's feelings are more valid than the childs.
My mom did this once when I expressed to my dad that she constantly hurt my feelings. She came into my room after that since my dad had just tucked me into bed when I told him and she said and I quote, "I hurt your feelings? You hurt mine when *you make me* spank you or yell at you!"
Almost every time she spanked me (with what we call "The Board" which is basically a shaped piece of wood with a handle) it would be about me talking during church or playing with my friends in restaurants too loudly. She never said to quiet down, she'd say shut up/stop and threaten me with "licks" aka spanking me with "The Board". So I never felt like I could have fun as a child.
Basically, that's a trauma I'm still trying to get over. Though my confidence is getting better and I'm finally branching out and doing things by myself. (I say finally because I'm around 20 years old and have yet to ever have a job or adult properly.) I do still have trust issues and issues with feeling like how I feel is valid and okay but I'm working on it.
This might sound mean but to give to the homeless
My parents always gave their spare change to homeless people who would just use it for drugs or cigarettes. I think it's better to give them food.
We were poor growing up and I would have rather them saved the money for useful things for ourselves rather than have them give it to people who use it on drugs.
The Neighbor's Daughter
My dad, when I was like 13-14, says, "Son, the neighbor's daughter is ready for some sex education, get on it"... This is not something that helps you grow up to be in the proper mindset!
I know you guys are very curious... No, I didn't bang the neighbor's daughter!
An Intolerant Pot-Smoking Atheist
My parents were extremely old fashioned in a lot of ways. My dad was a proud, racist, homophobic man that had a problem with everyone that didn't think the same way as him.
His lifestyle and ideals projected to my mother, who is mentally unstable and easily manipulated. My dad passed away when I was 11 but one of the things that really pissed me off as an adult (aside from his hateful nature) is them teaching me that if people don't think the same way as me, then I couldn't associate with them because they were horrible people.
For example, I wasn't allowed to hang out with any kids that didn't believe in God. They didn't have to be committed to a religion - but if their faith wasn't in god, I couldn't be their friend cause they would be a bad influence on me.
I've abandoned all his teachings, but that one has always kind of stuck with me and I hate it. Now that I'm my own person, I feel like I still project that behavior onto others based on their political views or religious views, and it's still something I have to correct in myself even though I'm a (in my dad's words) pot smoking atheist now.
I Will Not Be A KarenRedhead Karen GIF by moodman Giphy
My mom is very manipulative and she keeps trying to teach me how to be the same way. When I refuse to do something bad she gets a bit mad at me.
Sorry mom! But I will never follow your Karen footsteps
Maintaining The Un-Fun Things
That you don't have to keep doing something if you don't feel like it. For example, when I was a child, my dad showed me all kinds of possible interests. Baseball, golf, cars, music, books, etc. Most of them I said "I don't feel like learning this any more" very early on. He was just like "okay". It worked out because I came around to find true interests in music and art, but i think It would be a good idea if there was just a bit more discipline imposed.
I'm not a parent yet, but I think maybe I would say: "You can't quit after three days. You're going to play for a season and stick it out. Then you can choose to quit. You'll learn plenty of lessons and maybe make some friends." (Of course that would change if they're traumatized or being bullied or something) It's important to learn that if you want to do something you need to stick things out when they're not fun. I still have a hard time knuckling down and getting to work unless I really feel like it.
I will have them do small chores as well. It doesn't have to be every week, they don't have to be punished or something. Teach them how to keep a clean house, how to maintain those un-fun things that are necessary in life. My first apartment in college became so messy. I remember not wanting to wash gross dishes and after a week I'd just throw them out. I had to learn on my own those seemingly simple things.
I suppose the thing they did best though was teach me how to learn. Learning is a bit of a skill. You need to be able to break down problems and identify obstacles. You need to be persistent and believe you can learn. If you have that skill plus some books or the internet, you can do anything.
These are super minor things, I had fantastic parents growing up, they were trusting, understanding, and never played head games or withheld love. If I was in trouble , they were mad, but I was still their child and loved. Come to think of it I was never in trouble much. My dad's dad used to use the belt, so he made sure to never hit me, I got time outs and groundings if I was really in trouble.
Feeling Weird About Religion
Religion, I guess. And I kind of feel a bit weird about it.
I grew up catholic but my parents were not militant about it. We went to church on Sundays, I went to Sunday school for a little while...but that was the extent of it. My parents never preached or made a big deal about it...they obviously believed in god and all that but we weren't living our lives for religion.
Then, two things happened: One day my mom was picking me up from high school and on the corner of the street were a ton of anti-abortionists on the holding graphic signs of aborted fetuses. My mom flipped out. My mom herself was mostly pro-life but she was absolutely livid that this group would expose kids to these really horrific images. I remember her getting out of the car and screaming at the top of her lungs at these people. She found out the people went to our church and we immediately stopped going.
The second thing was when my grandfather died and we had a traditional catholic service in the church. The entire service was all about god. They barely said a single thing about my grandfather or what type of a person he was...it was just about god and everything else fell by the way side.
After that I rarely heard my mom ever talk about religion. I'm not sure where she stood after that.
When my kid was born there was never any talk from her about getting my daughter baptized. Never any talk about religion, really. I think I remember her teaching my daughter about the manger scene she put out for Christmas but that was about it.
I don't necessarily have an opinion one way or the other about religion. I don't think it's a bad thing but I find it difficult to believe it. My wife and I feel conflicted about religion in general (wife's parents were a bit on the wacky spiritual side) and it's become one of those things we just don't even discuss.
My mom died last year so I'll never know what she really believed. Like I think if it was important to my mom we would have had our kid baptized for her but it really doesn't mean anything to me either way. I just don't see it being a big part of our lives and I'm still trying to determine what I actually believe myself.
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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