You feel a tug in your gut, sweat forms on the back of your neck, and suddenly all the food you've eaten in the last 4 hours starts churning. Everything in your mind screams to not be here, and honestly, you should have listened to your intuition when the map said, 'Turn Right," but you wanted to turn left.
Road trips can be fun, until you find yourself in a space no living person should ever be allowed to go.
Reddit user, u/salemwinona, wanted all ears on the eeriest spots when they asked:
Have you ever been to a town, village, truck stop, gas station, diner, etc. during a roadtrip that just didn't "feel right", like time seemed to pass differently there, or the people there gave you the creeps? What was your experience there?
Not "Where," But Rather "When"
My girlfriend and I went to an AirBnB in a town called Tiger, Georgia to see a bunch of her old college friends. There was one other couple who got there about the same time we did. By day the cabin looks pleasant enough- 3 stories of rustic comfort with a hot tub overlooking the forest and sunrise. We didn't get there by day. We got there as the sun was sinking low. Rooms seemed to shrink and tighten. The stairwells were only as wide as a single body. And at the bottom of the basement stairs, a rug hid a padlocked trapdoor. It felt like the start of a horror movie.
We're trying to ignore the weird vibes and decide to go to dinner. We spent nearly an hour driving around searching for a place to eat. Steakhouses closed by 7pm, an Italian joint which was now someone's house. A Mexican eatery now abandoned and overgrown with vines...
Finally we find something. It's suitably called "The Last Dive Bar On Earth", and it's sitting on the edge of a retention pond. The parking lot is full of pick up trucks all festooned with old political bumper stickers from the late 90s and early 2000s. We head in. It's like we've entered another decade. But the beer is good, they have pizza, and the prices aren't bad. We eat in a hurry and get out of there.
As we get back to the cabin, the other couples are there and talking about how they had such a nice time in town. It was only by daylight at the end of the weekend that as we descended the mountain we found a ton of local shops and restaurants that I swear to f-cking god were not there the first night.
On the first night, the electrical outlets in the house fried my phone, leaving me with no way to contact the outside world.
The weekend ended up being nice, but the entire time we all felt like we had fallen through a crack into somewhen else.
Stripes And Chains? I'm Out.
Yep, stopped in a no name town in Texas for gas. Bunch of guys wearing nothing but denim hanging out in front of the gas station. Denim, cow boy hats, cow boy boots. It wasn't just a lot of people, EVERYONE was wearing that. Their drawls were so thick I could barely understand what they were saying to one another, a lot of hooting and hollering.
About 50 yards away, there was a guy sitting under a tree. He was wearing a black and white striped jump suit...and was chained to the tree by a shackle on his leg. Didn't see any law enforcement around, maybe they dropped him off? A girl with huge boobs, one and a half arms, and an eye-patch complimented my car and smiled at me when I was pumping gas. I saw a cow trotting down the side of the road, no one seemed to be chasing it. The fact it was twilight seemed to make everything surreal.
I unassed myself from that place as quickly as I could.
Mexican Ingredients Are Hard To Come By
Coatesville, Pennsylvania. I was with a friend who had come up from Mexico and we were staying a few nights at his grandmother's ranch nearby. Coatesville was the only town around where we could find Mexican ingredients. This is an old steel town that feels post-apocalyptic, everyone there didn't really seem to be doing anything or going anywhere, it was so creepy. The store we ended up going to had nearly empty shelves and I think the guys were a bit surprised to see us there.
All in all just very strange and eerie.
Where There's Smoke, There's No One?
I used to live in Southern Africa and we did charity work in a lot of very remote, rural areas, and when I say remote, I mean several hours rough driving on roads that can barely be called roads. Many times we would come across settlements that were not on any map, just a collection of cinderblock and mud houses sometimes well off the road. Usually these were what we called "working villages" as in there is some worksite, maybe a small brickwork, or farm, or something like that nearby (though when I say "near" the workers could be walking an hour or so to where they need to be.) When we would stumble upon places like this, we would stop, find coordinates and landmarks, make some records and pass it along back to our office.
One day, we are working in the area near the borders of South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana, and we see some smoke well off the road. Thinking it may be a village, we decide to go off road to take a look. It was fairly well hidden, behind a small hill, and from the road you would have never known it was there if it were not for the column of smoke on the horizon. We get to it, and sure enough it looks like one of these unmarked working villages, maybe 10 or so huts, but something seemed very off.
It took a second and we realized that there was no one around, and yet it seemed as if whoever lived there was there only moments before. We head to where the smoke came from, and it was a large bonfire, when we looked closer, we noticed bones in it, goat and cattle bones. Other than the sound of the fire, there was not a peep from anything else. Once I stepped out of our truck to get a closer look, I had this overwhelming sense that I was being watched from afar, and that I was not welcomed here. The other guys in the truck said they felt the same, and that we needed to go. So we did.
A couple of weeks later when we were driving back, curiosity got the better of me and I decided I wanted to check the site again. This time however, the village was stripped bare. Anything that could be taken was gone. All that was left was the shells of the huts and a black patch of ash where the fire was. There was one thing that was still there though, the sense of being watched. We didn't stay any longer and never went back.
Heed Their Warnings
Gary, Indiana. I got off the highway to get gas.
Driving through the city was like a post apocalyptic movie complete with burned out cars, crazy guy in underwear walking down the middle of the street with a baseball bat and all the windows were broken or boarded up.
I stopped at a gas station and then guy came out and said 'Get back on the highway son. It's not safe here.' I had enough gas to get to a safer rest stop to refuel.
This was around 1994-95.
Sometimes, People Are Exactly Who You Imagine
I was traveling through Arkansas with my friend in the army. He was a big ol black dude and I was a medium height white dude. Everyone in McDonalds literally stopped and just stared at us until we ordered food and left. It was super weird and we made sure to bypass the place on the way back to post.
Just Waiting For The Air To Clear For The Bullets To Fly
This is my girlfriends story but is kinda up the alley of what you are asking for.
My partner went to Florida with her family when she was younger and they were driving around trying to find some food until they found a Chinese restaurant and they went in and had some food.
There were no other customers, lots of staff, everyone seemed very tense but the food was great.
They left and had a lovely rest of their day.
During breakfast the next morning they turned on their tele and the news showed the place they had eaten and they were like 'wow look we went there'. Then the story started and it turns out no more than 10 minutes after they left there was a massive shoot up and they all killed one another.
Turns out that the ignorant british tourists just sat in-between some kind of asian turf war.
Drop The Apple
I was on a roadtrip to go to Tallahassee with two of my cousins and my mom.
Like halfway between A and B, the driver he has to go pee, so we decided to stop in the next no name rest stop settlement. As soon as we drove in, I immediately felt something was wrong. The cars that were driving were all banged up and looked like they came straight from the 70s, confederate flags in a couple of places, ran down shanty looking houses, lots of Confederate flags, the American flags that were around were pretty banged up and/or torn, the people stared at us as we drove passed by, and everyone just looked "dead" inside. Honestly, if someone told me that there was a Klan rally right up the street, I would 100% believe them. That's the kind of vibe I got from this place.
So my cousin pulls into this decent looking rest stop/gas station and jogs into the bathroom. While my mom and my other cousin were knocked out, I decide to go in the stop with the intentions of going in, getting a snack, and getting out.
As soon as I walk in, it feels like time stopped and everyone (that I can see) is staring at me. It felt like something out of a horror movie ngl. Luckily for me, there were a pile of apples near the door, so I move my way there, and then I noticed the few people around me stopped dead in their tracks just to look at me. For example, their like hands were still on the items, and this man even stop reading his little cereal box to stare at me. Since I'm black, this place wasn't sitting well with me at all.
I put back the apple I was holding and I casually walked out (no need to cause a scene or anything) without getting anything. F-ck. That. Place.
When my cousin came back, we booked it tf out of there.
A Town That Wasn't There Before
Wife and I were driving up the blue mountains (big mountain range in Australia) to visit friends who were staying in a holiday place up there. It's crazy foggy in the late afternoon/early evening, so we can't see much as we're going up. But it's pretty much a straight run up so we take it slow and pull over sometimes when the fog gets too thick to give it a minute to lighten a bit. Super creepy but nothing weird, that's just how it is.
We stayed the night at friends and drove back down the next afternoon - lovely and sunny. We drove through a cute little town that hugged the sides of the main road, so you could drive straight through it without turning or hitting any major intersections. My wife said "oh are we going home a different way". No, no we were not.
There was basically an entire small town we'd driven through the night before right near the house and we never saw a single indication of it. We hadn't seen any lights/street lights, other cars, "Welcome to Spookyville, pop 1" signs, anything. We had pulled over to check the map (pre-smartphones) to make sure we hadn't missed the turn off and we would have been practically in the middle of the town. It's amazing how something so big can disappear in the fog so easily. Early evening and not one house light? Mole people I reckon.
I know there's a logical explanation but it's 20 years later and I still think "nah not going back up there"
My family was driving through a really rural part of the Philippines when my sister announced she had to go asap. It was very late.
My dad stopped at the first place he could ~ a little shop that sold weird antique stuff, with an old lady at the counter. My dad talked to the old lady while us kids headed for the bathroom (an outhouse separate from the shop/main house).
We didn't think much about it and stayed a few days in our province. On our way back to the city, my dad said he wanted to stop by that shop again to thank the old woman and when we got to the place where my dad swore the store was, there was nothing. Just the highway and thick forest on both sides. We still bring it up sometimes because thinking about it gives everyone in the family chills.
No One In Derry Ever Really Dies
YES! Oh man, quite a few times and in quite a few different places. I've driven all over the US - both coasts, the Midwest, and along a lot of the northern Canadian border. I have driven through more than a few towns that Society has seemingly forgotten about, yet people just keep living there all the same. I have gotten a creepy vibe from a few of them, but I wouldn't say it's the right word to apply to all these towns. I would say it's more just a general feeling of… Discomfort. Just being in the town, driving through it doesn't give you a warm fuzzy for the town, and it's often accompanied with a strange feeling relating to the passing of time. Like the town is stuck in some timeframe from the past and you may end up stuck there if you stick around too long.
Two For Two
During a road trip with a friend, we decided to follow this road to a compound that had a gate, cameras and a sign that said unauthorized personnel will be shot on site. We turn around as fast as we could and drove and a few miles down the road there was a trunk stop and a Mexican restaurant. We were shaken by the sign and we're hungry so we go to the restaurant. I'm not kidding when I say it was silent and everyone looked at us as we walked through the door. What made it weirder is literally no one had food.
Anyways the food wasn't bad but we are quickly and got the heck out of there as soon as possible.
Martians On Venus
Back in the late 80s and early 90s when I was a teenager me and my friends were in a hard core punk band. We mostly played shows in our medium sized city, the surrounding area and occasionally the major city 2 hours away. A member of one the bands we would play with had set up a punk showcase in their home town about 3 or 4 hours away and asked my band if we could play. It paid and we were able to sell merch so we decided it was worth the trip. Most of the time we played just for fun since we rarely made any money on shows and we would be lucky if we sold 10 t-shirts and CDs. But playing small towns we could usually sell everything we brought with us.
So we loaded up our gear in 2 cars and convoyed to this town. None of had heard of it and we had to spend an afternoon with a map trying to figure out where it was and how to get there. We got there hours before the show and all I can say was that we constantly referenced "Footloose". People were looking at us like we were from Mars or something. According to movies we should've been flattered but the reality is that we were more than a little put off. It's like c'mon; you people have cable TV so it's not like you haven't ever seen a person with a mohawk or blue hair in the 15+ years that style has existed.
The show was cool though. And we did sell everything we brought. But everyone we met smoked really shitty weed so luckily we brought our own.
I was driving between Midland and Alma Michigan late one night, and this area has some of the darkest, loneliest country roads I've ever driven on. There are also a bunch of windmills in this area and at the top of every windmill was a blinking red light so that planes could see them, but the lights blinked in sync, so it would be dark, and then all of a sudden, the red lights of the seemingly 100s of windmills would all blink on. Absolutely creepy.
Wrong Place, Wrong Everything
My friends had a story about visiting Dublin and wandering out of the touristy area looking for a drink. They walked into a little pub, but when they tried to order a round, they noticed the bartender was acting nervous. They looked across the room to see four of the meanest, toughest Irishmen they'd ever seen giving them the evil eye. After the bartender served them, he quietly suggested they leave once their drinks were finished, and as they sat and chatted, a couple of the men passed back and forth across their booth like sharks. When they left, they learned from a local that they had just wandered into a very serious IRA pub.
Ever been to a spot when things seemed just a bit off? 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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