Who knows what true evil really looks like when they see it? It feels like more of a feeling, something in your gut crying at you, "Run. Flee. Hide." Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't register with you until after something unfortunate happens.
TRIGGER WARNING: Many stories involve grisly deaths.
Reddit user, u/KeasMe, wanted the gates of Hades to open up and to see the worst of the worst when they asked:
"All we got in return..."
Back in 2011 my uncle down in Mexico had got [kidnapped] by one of the cartels. They gave my entire family on my dad's side a [ransom]: $10000 and we would get him back.
My dad called in people who owed him money and managed to get the 10k. He sent it down to the family down south and they paid the ransom for my uncle. All we got in return was my uncle's lifeless body.
"He had a look of pure joy on his face..."
There was a kid in my 6th grade class who loved designing his own custom shanks and then stabbing people in the arm or back with them.
He had a look of pure joy on his face when he saw that he drew blood and caused suffering to another human. He was only suspended for a week the first two times he did this before they finally kicked him out of school after the third time.
"Guess he just didn't have good luck with animals. "
I worked with a guy in Ontario who was always posting on Facebook that he just adopted new puppy like every 4 or 5 months. He adopted them from all different shelters and people. Had to have about 8 or 9 at one point. We went to his house for some reason and there were no dogs. No signs of dogs, no toys, no food bowls etc. We asked about the puppies and he just off-handedly pointed to the backyard, which we noticed was full of little mounds and said they all were sick and died. Guess he just didn't have good luck with animals.
The way he said it was cold.
The CSPCA investigated him and tested the remains. He was putting small amounts of his own homemade poison in the dogfood and conducting his own little LD-50 test.
"...she was a kindergarten teacher no less."
I felt like my aunt was pretty evil, and she was a kindergarten teacher no less. She pulled my arm out of its socket one time when I was four and she was "helping me cross the road". I visited her when I was sixteen and every opportunity she got she would whisper in my ear "you are worthless. You are nothing." and just keep walking. The visit ended with her trying to strangle me after I took issue with her trying to force feed my brother ginger, and that was the last time my family spoke to her. I remember fantasizing about getting back at her in some way for a while, but then moved on with my life and grew up.
Years later, she was being her typical self with my uncle (her brother) and berating him calling him worthless and he shot her in the head, killing her. It was a real tragedy for the family as he shot himself afterwards as well, but I certainly have not missed my aunt.
"How do you get expelled from a pre-school??"
I havent, but I think my GF has.
She works at a pre-school/daycare. Ages of children vary from infant to ~5. She teaches the 3 yr olds in her part of the building. She told me that there is this one 3 year old girl that is just a heathen. She literally only wants to hurt people. One day she got in trouble for hitting kids on the head with pots and pans (they use these in the sand pit for fun). She brought the little girl inside to talk to her and the entire time she is just not listening.
Mid sentence the little girl looks at my GF dead in the eyes and says "Can you let me go outside so I can hit more people?" The next day she was expelled because she just kept hitting kids in the head with pots and pans.. laughing about it. How do you get expelled from a pre-school??
"They justify, minimize, blame others."
In my job I have to interview convicted criminals for court purposes. They have committed all kinds of crimes: murder, domestic violence, child abuse. Some don't talk about their conduct but some do.
Most have no concept, or show no understanding or acceptance of how evil they are, which is pretty scary. They justify, minimize, blame others. I have an easy time putting them out of my mind after all these years at my job. But I also have to talk to the victims of their heinous crimes and that is the worst part of my job. Hard to erase their pain from my brain.
"...not allowed to have firearms but he has a sniper rifle..."
I had befriended a coworker, before I figured out that he was a total sociopath, psychopath, whateverpath, the guy was pure evil. He killed a yard dog we had at work after throwing it by the hind legs at a wall, I immediately reported him and he began to stalk me. He confessed to me to killing his wife, after her body had been cremated, he would call or text me in the middle of the night, asking me if I knew where my daughter was (He knew), or he would tell me to look out the window, and he would flash a laser at me.
He is a felon not allowed to have firearms but he has a sniper rifle (with a red laser) anyway. He said to me "What do I have to do, for you to hang out with me again? Kill someone for you?" Police were notified, interviews held, I moved my family out of the state, and for two years after I still got cryptic texts that could only have come from him. He is still out there. Free.
"These are the high points!"
Sadly....Yes. My ex-husband was a preacher. IMHO...I believe he was a narcissistic psychopath. I endured extreme abuse during the 9 years of marriage. My life was threatened on numerous occasions. I had a butch knife pulled on me. A gun pointed at my head. He threatened to beat me to death with a night stick. After our child was born he put a hot iron in my face after a C-section a week earlier and it got all infected. He didn't like what I cooked one day and threw it literally across the entire kitchen floor and left the house for me to clean up. He literally grabbed my breast and ripped my shirt.
These are the high points! Feel free to AMA!
"...literally scream at me in front of the principal about how I was trash..."
My 4th and 5th grade teacher sent me to the principal's office for sneezing, TWICE. No reason, she just hated me. Some kid and I were fooling around during recess.
Kid falls and gets a microscopic scratch. Blames it on me. The teacher literally grabs me by the arm and PULLS me to the principal's office. She then proceeds to literally scream at me in front of the principal about how I was trash and useless and was a disruption to the class.
She called me a piece of sh*t in front of the principal. I was 10.
"...I was cautious around, for a lot of reasons."
When I was young, there was a kid in my neighborhood that I was cautious around, for a lot of reasons. One day, a few of us were hanging out, and he found a dead, run-over squirrel.
He started running the tire of his bike over the head, and he took a lot of pleasure in it. When we were in high school, he shot and killed both his grandparents.
"At some point, this should have been the first red flag."
Yes, I believe so.
The last place I lived, was rented from what seemed like a nice elderly couple. The man was very soft spoken, with a timid and pleasant demeanor, while we didn't see much or ever talk to the wife. At some point, this should have been the first red flag.
When I moved in, it was 3 other people sharing the apartment, for a total of four. All tenants then and later were students. I'd expected everybody to sign a new contract as a previous tenant had moved out, but was informed I'd just sign a contract for my part alone, as everyone else had. No worries.
A few years pass, every original tenant but me moved. Suddenly and without warning, we're informed the lease is over, and we had 30 days to move (unheard of where i am from, 2 months plus is common). Additionally, I learnt the wife was a retired lawyer, and she was mean. They had worded the contract cleverly, and hid behind the mans timid personality, so as to not raise suspicions, and lull us into a false sense of safety.
So everyone signing on the contract, was accepting that for this apartment there was no concept of "expected wear and tear", and that once the lease was over, it'd have to be made sure the apartment was in the same condition as when the lease (very first contract, many many years ago) was signed.
And they hammered down hard on this point. They hired contractors to come inspect the house, and compare to 15 year old photos and expected average wear and tear that we'd be reimbursing on top of actual damages of 15 years of student parties etc. And on top of that they billed us the hourly charge of the inspectors.
So yes, the evil here is consciously preying on poor students for the ease of access by offering up a malicious lease. Some part of the fault is on us for not taking the contract at face value, but something something nice elderly couple.
"He gaslighted her so bad that she was institutionalized..."
Before he had me he was with a girl who he got pregnant.
He wanted her to have an abortion but she did not.
His solution? He gaslighted her so bad that she was institutionalized by her family and over here, when someone was institutionalized whilst pregnant they were forced to have an abortion.
He tried pulling the same crap on my mum when she was having me but when he realized it ain't gonna work he just waited until the day I was born when my mum went to the hospital to grab all our life savings and disappear permanently.
I'd say that was pretty evil.
"Where do you think her remains are?"
Met a guy who had killed his wife. He owned a local restaurant, and when asked at his trial where she thought her step mother's remains were, his daughter responded "he's a chef and owns a restaurant. Where do you think her remains are?"
It was a cute little place and I'd always planned on eating there, especially because the daughter was a friend of mine... But I'm glad I never did.
"I see a lot of crazy stuff with my job..."
I see a lot of crazy stuff with my job, also go through a lot of court files and because I'm weird I can't help but read them (sorta like this thread!)
Two off the top of my head - parents starved two of their three kids, nearly to the point of death. The two they starved were girls, they took good care of the boy.
Man killed grandparents and their grandson, stuffed their bodies in barrels of acid, then put what was left through a wood chipper.
"...she went on the run with them..."
My kids went to visit their mom in the UK on a court ordered visit. I knew what was going to happen, but couldn't prevent the visit. Sure enough, rather than put them on a plane back to me in the USA, she went on the run with them & her boyfriend. I got a lot of help from the center for missing & exploited children, the US State Department, and the Scottish Government paid all my legal fees over there.
During the 5 months she had the kids, she tried to brainwash them. She told them if they came back to me, I would kill them. This was relentless. My son was incredibly strong and refused to believe her or cooperate ( they were 13 at the time), but my daughter was much easier to manipulate. I really don't know for certain that they weren't physically abused, but a lot or the stuff she accused me of, was things she and her then boyfriend ( now husband) did to the children. I had to fly to Scotland to appear in a trial. I walked out of the courthouse at 9pm on a Friday night with the children.
Normal process for these cases is to have a designated handover 2 or 3 days later, but the child psychologist who interviewed us all was positive that my ex wife would kill the children, and the judge agreed. I got them back in the clothes they stood in. I have no doubt she would indeed have killed them rather than hand them over to me. Five years later, she has no contact with the children ( their choice). they have anxiety and depression, but are doing remarkably well. They are high school seniors now, and they make me proud every day
"I chalked it up to the divorce..."
A few years ago a friend of mine was going through a nasty divorce. Like really bad. He came to visit me one evening as I was getting off of work. When I sat down with him he just seemed off, like a completely different person than the man I had known before. Blank stare in his eyes, no smiling, anger behind everything he said. I chalked it up to the divorce and just thought to myself that he would get better when everything calmed down. I told my wife when I got home about seeing him and she agreed with my assessment.
I bumped into his ex-wife and some friends a few days later at another work event. She was actually out celebrating their divorce being finalized I think and she invited my wife and I over to a house party. That would be the last time I saw her. My wife and I ended up not going to the house party but the ex-husband did show up. He killed 9 people, including his ex-wife.
You Can Look Them Straight In The Eye...
I've told this story before - about meeting a murderer. Was a journalist on weekend duty. Got called out to a story - guy claims his car was hi-jacked with his 2 year old son in it. I met him at the police station, he seemed devastated. I was devastated - I mean, I'd done plenty of grisly crime stories, but a missing kid is next level awful.
Next day I had my day off, the regular crime reporter called me - they'd arrested the dad and found the little boy's body at a rubbish dump. He did it out of revenge for his wife cheating. It still bothers me to this day how I could have felt so much sympathy for this man, I shook his hand, I cried with him. I'm usually very good at picking up when someone is "off". Just goes to show you, true evil disguises itself very well.
Have you ever encountered someone or something truly evil in your life? Tell us all about it.
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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