Life can be a real douche. Things beyond our control can wreck us forever, like the death of a loved one. And for others, the struggle of life in our modern age is lonely, pointless, and unfulfilling. Know that you're not alone if you're feeling these things, because let's face it, this was not what we were promised.
tvsalf asked: What is the saddest detail about your life that no one knows?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
15. Depression is a vicious thing.
I've not handled my depressive moments very well and have crushed my self esteem and any recognition of my value to people.
Why is this so relatable?
I feel like I just read my inner monologue and it's quite shocking.
14. Try a new approach, like expanding your social circle.
I feel like I'm never going to meet someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me, and I'll end up lonely and alone. Dating scares me so much and I'm tired of ending up heartbroken at the end of it.
Life is scary indeed.
13. Make headlines, you'll live forever.
I feel like I'm going to die alone. Haven't said it to anyone because I hate coming off as attention seeking but yeah. It's my main fear.
Your fear is my goal D:
Me too! The idea of people grieving over my death or even knowing about it, seems like an emotional intrusion. I would prefer people to only be able to ask, "what ever happened to what's his name?"
I don't care whether people grieve over me or not. It's the point of, I'm not what I would want as a parent. I don't want to burden someones life because I can't/won't give them everything. I don't think I'm fit to be a partner. I'm not interested in it. I'd prefer to be left alone and be alone.
12. This isn't your burden to bear.
My birth was a result of my mother's rape.
Know that this does not define you.
Holy crap, that would be a heavy thing to know. Do you have a good relationship with her?
She is deceased now(I am 57yrs old). We had a good relationship. She always told me she was glad I was here. I just feel terrible that she had to experience an assault like that.
That sh*t only matters in fantasy books my dude. Youre not some cursed being. Youre just as valid as any other person.
11. I mean, okay, I'm in.
I have to hold back tears when people touch me. I'm really starved for affection and physical contact. My friend leaned on my back and put her head on top of mine at an assembly and I cried when I got home.
Edit: just got back from an assembly where I sat next to my closest friend and her boyfriend and I left to "go to the bathroom" when in reality I left so I could take a walk and cry a little.
Edit2: lets all cry together tbh we need it
Holy sh*t, I will hug you for a solid hour. I will hug everyone on this thread for a solid hour each.
No timer actually, the hug goes on for as long as it needs to.
Where the f*ck are you, you're getting hugged dammit.
Similar, with one caveat. I only crave physical affection from people im close to emotionally. Coworker, classmate, random stranger? I'll recoil like I've been shocked if im touched.
The last hug I got from a close friend left me with a full body high for 20 minutes. I crave hugs way more than I crave sex, or even food. You're definitely not alone.
10. Things I can't think about, category 1.
I cannot look at pictures of my Mom. She's been gone for 6 years now. I put the photoalbums of her away because it hurts too much to look at it. I usually cave maybe 2 or 3 times a year. I know the day will come when I can look at her pictures and not think of everything that was lost when she died.
Lost my mom to Stage 4 liver and Pancreatic cancer two weeks ago. Was diagnosed 15 days before she passed, suffering 4 strokes in two days and just...died.
I just returned to work today and, somehow, I'm keeping it together at work, but when I'm home I am buried deep in grief, sadness, anxiety over losing her. All I ever wanted was one more conversation, one more hug, one more I love you.
But I know I can't. It sucks, and I know that two weeks is nowhere near close to enough time to get over this. It'll take forever. I'm so sorry for your grief.
Grief is so unfair. It is such an individual process but being in such bad pain still would feel alienating I would think. But ultimately you are right, the day will come.
9. Well... *gestures broadly at everything*
Even though I'm working towards things I don't really want anything except for it to be over. I have no remaining passion for anything and I'm just trudging through my life. I desperately want to find something that makes me feel alive again.
Sh*t you worded it perfectly. Sleep is pretty much the only joy I got left and I dread pretty much anything else when I'm awake.
I feel you there, I sleep for no reason at all a lot of the time. I have to force myself to do things a lot of the time. I find that getting myself out in nature or forcing myself to go on a coffee date with a friend ALWAYS make me feel a lot better. Sometimes all you need is a shift in scenery or the laughter and perspective from someone you care about.
8. Imposter syndrome?
I'm in a place where I interact with a lot of people and many of them look up to me, but deep inside I feel like I almost have no life. I feel so lonely, lost, and empty, but I have to keep up appearances for the sake of the many that would certainly be crushed if I gave up on myself.
Omg I feel the same.. I have a lot of acquaintances and not so close friends. People I do stuff with and hang out with that I met at work and through external activities.. but just a handful of close friends who I actually open up to. and a lot of these people actually enjoy my company and want to be my friends and have told me so.
Sometimes I'm out there having fun and all and then I come home and feel so empty. So yeah.. most people don't know this. they think I'm happy and fulfilled, even the handful of close ones. I can't keep complaining about feeling empty because they'd think I'm being ungrateful about having friends and people to hang out with.
This is how I currently feel right now, I'm just barely managing to keep up appearances and life honestly feels terrible every waking second. I wonder what I'm doing as I aimlessly wander the halls of my confines as I pretend I'm doing alright. I talk to a lot of people, yet I feel so abysmally lonely that I wince after every interaction. I feel like an absolute failure with little to no redeemable qualities. I'm so lonely despite it all, all I really want is someone to love me, someone to hug and cuddle with me and to tell me everything will be alright. I don't have anyone like that in my life and it hurts the most. I've done my best to try and help everyone I can in the hopes that someone will do so for me, but it's all for naught... I've just finished my crying session and am honestly using this comment as a method or laying out the thoughts in my head so as to be done with them for now, at least until they come haunt me like some wretched poltergeist with a vengeance.
7. It's hard to feel fulfilled in these times.
I hate it. I don't have a life, I just exist.
The feels. Right along with you buddy.
I went to a therapist and they described what I was going through as depression (bear with me here) and the way you just go about life miserable and just for the sake of existing, she described it as being "the walking dead. Not really having a life, but existing for the sake of existing."
She advised me to get medication, which would require seeing a psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis and prescription, which after calling all of the psychiatrists in the city that were covered by my insurance, the shortest appointment time was almost 3 months out.
For someone who had to summon every ounce of motivation just to see a therapist who had a 3 day appointment wait, 3 months was far too long and now I just go on existing, now with the knowledge of how I've failed to do the one thing that might help.
I will never live up to what I want from myself.
This is probably the most accurate one. That's it. Other people would think I do fine because I do better than most, or appear to at least. I want to be passionate things and achieve something larger than me, but I just... well... you know.
This hits deep.
5. If you don't fit in, stand out.
I feel like I don't fit in with anyone.
The entire concept of "fitting in" is the strangest thing humankind has come up with.
Do you think a cow cares even slightly when it's met by a weird cow?
Do you think a dog cares when his fellow dog meows?
Do you think the universe gives even the most fleeting hint of a fuck that there are not that many people like you?
I don't, at least.
The only truly weird thing in existence is that things can be weird.
Our time on Earth is limited friend. Laugh in the face of people who rob you of the feeling that you belong.
You do belong. You're a human. The only intelligent life form we've ever known of.
4. Confidence is a difficult life skill.
I'm one of those people was told to shut up constantly as a kid and now can't effectively communicate with others without taking forever.
Same. I was a really passionate and excited kid, but people would often mock/shame me for it, talk over me, or be like "who cares?"
I'm still energetic and passionate when I talk, but you can bet that I'm monitoring every sentence I say in hopes that I'm not rambling/being annoying.
3. Times is tough, but there's no shame in accepting help.
I 'forget' to eat because we can't really afford for both of us to be consistently fed. My partner's gotten on me about it lately, she worries, so I lie a lot. She needs it more than I do though.
For all that it sucks, it's a rare person than can set aside the very painful spectre of hunger for someone they care about.
So, so many people are in your position or have been in your position. It's really fu*king hard! My husband and I were in this position when we first got married.
I did the same, I told him I'd eaten when he was at work when in reality I hadn't eaten for sometimes two days. He was working so he needed it more than I did. I'm not sure what country you're in so I don't know about the cost of certain foods where you are, but I'm in England. When we went food shopping I would buy the regular food plus I would stock up on the cheapest noodles (ramen), pasta, soups, cereals etc. And I would buy the reduced stuff that was about to go out of date and freeze it for later use. That way when there wasn't much to eat we could at least have something.
Please try to eat something, even just some toast or some cereal to keep you going. I'm sure things will work out for you soon but in the mean time if you need anyone to talk to please just give me a shout.
That my last words to my mother before she committed suicide were: "screw you, I don't want to be your daughter anymore. Get back to me when you sober up." - she started drinking again, she was drunk that day, I was tired, had enough of screaming at her to get help because I need her so I yelled that and ran away to my grandparent's house. I never spoke to her again after that because she committed suicide an hour or so after I left.
Edit* Thanks for all the replies, I honestly didn't expect this to blow up over night! I think that I managed to reply to most of the people, I will reply to the rest later since I have to go to work soon. But if I didn't get to you, thank you so much for your kind answers and words, they really did make me feel better.
Also thanks to whoever gave me silver, you rock and you are amazing <3
Thanks for gold as well, you people are amazing <3
I know that now. Didn't know at the beginning though, I kept blaming myself and I kept going through all the what if scenarios even the most ridiculous ones. Not that I can go back and change that day :(
1. Quiet time alone with someone is immensely rewarding.
I'm not made to be around other people. I struggle to maintain a relationship and have always struggled with friendships. I'm happier alone than I am around other people, but when I'm alone for long periods of time I long for human contact, which turns into resentment of the majority of other people.
I feel like Pigeon Man from Hey Arnold.
If you feel like there's no light at the end of that tunnel, all the best relationships in my experience have times where you simply spend time alone together.
Content to spend time with each other while you both do your own thing. You aren't alone in what you feel.
Maintain online friendships. Its keeps the balance.
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!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
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!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.