You're in my house, you follow my rules. Well, okay....as long as your rules aren't TOTALLY inane.
We all had a friend growing up whose house we dreaded hanging out at. Why? ...Because their parents had some crazy rules. And if you didn't have that friend...you were that friend.
Here were some of the answers.
Major MIL Drama
My MIL has some major issues.
- There is a room just as you walk in the house that is completely off limits. It's vacuumed constantly and is a picturesque pink frilly sitting room, pink carpets, etc. Think Dolores Umbrage. My parents brought their dog over once (who is a fantastic chill dog) and she put a paw on the carpet and my MIL almost had an aneurysm.
- When my husband was growing up, he and his 2 brothers had 1 hour of screen time a day. TV, video games, whatever, 1 hour.
- 1 bath a week. If you had more than that you got screamed at. The brothers would end up showering at a friend's house. I had to basically train my husband out of that one.
- If you had too much fun doing something, they wouldn't let you do it anymore. It made my husband very good at lying and also very obsessive about things he enjoyed. Or, if you had too much fun in a weekend you weren't allowed to do something fun later in the weekend. I.e. visiting a friend's house on Saturday, weren't allowed to do anything on Sunday except clean or do yard work.
- Not allowed to argue with parents. Mom has a personality disorder and constantly lies. Dad always backs her up. She will lie about what the boys were doing and say they were breaking a rule when they weren't and they couldn't argue. (This rule is literally pinned to their wall)
- They have to get the parents cards for birthdays etc. But the cards are not allowed to be hand made because it's "cheap." This rule persists.
- Have to take pictures every Sunday before going to church, in the church outfits. There are hundreds of pictures of this, in the same spot in the house.
There are other rules I literally can't remember/pick out of the piles of abuse.
My husband and his brothers have grown up very well adjusted and sane based on this mess.
My friend David was a tough guy... which was all the more cool that he chose to hang out with a scrawny nerd like me.
We went back to his house, once (and only once)... which was literally 4 houses down the street from me.
It was a small, normal house, with a small comfortable living room.
When I plopped into the big easy chair, David went white as a ghost.
"that's my dad's chair." (pause)
"no one's allowed to sit there." (pause)
"if he sees you in his chair, he'll bring the belt."
Well, I was a small kid, but even I knew that some other person's parent wasn't going to be allowed to beat the shit out of ME with his belt. So I said, nonchalantly, "so what? He can't hit me."
My tough guy friend (and, truth be told, a bit of a bully to other kids) just got paler and paler.
Then he said (very quietly)
"he might not wallop you. but he'll wallop me instead."
I hopped off that chair like a shot.
And learned a sh*tload that day.
One of my friends mother had some borderline obsessive rules. No walking on the carpets. You must remain on the strips of clear plastic carpet protectors instead, which were arranged to create walkways round the house. Guests must wear slippers, there were spares if you didn't bring your own. The leather sofas must remain completely covered in sheets to protect them. Even the dog was expected to follow these carpet protector paths and was constantly being told off for stepping off them.
I understand wanting to keep your carpets and furniture nice but this was crazy. You couldn't even see them under all this ugly protective stuff. Plus I nearly fell down the stairs wearing oversized slippers and tripping on this protective plastic mat that was draped down the staircase. I was also constantly getting in trouble for not following the correct route around the room and instead walking straight to where I wanted to be. She would literally check for footprints on the carpet.
It's Rude To Stair
Had a babysitter when I was about 8 and my sister was 5. The rule was all day we had to sit on the stairs. No couch, no kitchen table, nothing literally had to stay on the stairs the whole day (which was pretty f*cking uncomfortable even to my 8 year old body) and me and my sister were pretty well behaved so we did it without much question. When my mom would come pick us up and started talking for what seemed like forever, of course, we would get to sit on the couch. only years later did I realize how weird and sh*tty that was.
I'm a medic, so we go into people's homes every day. We had a cardiac arrest, so we were working a man, and the wife was having a fit about the mess we were making.
Yes, there was some garbage from the pads, needles, meds, but we put all of it into our jump bag.
She was screaming at us about it. I told her that her husband was very sick and we were doing everything we could to help. She said she didn't care if he died as long as we didn't make a mess.
My grandparents had a very specific order that food should be eaten. We're a big English family and tea would be served at 5pm or so, after lunch at 1pm. Plates and dishes would be placed on the dining room table all at once, but, could only be consumed in the correct order. Sandwiches first, then sausage rolls/assorted savouries, then sweet foods. It's only so strange, because after my generation (16 of us) my grandmother now couldn't give less of a shit, and all the rules are out of the window, especially for great grandchildren and our spouses. We're just pretty bitter that we would get such a telling off for eating a sausage roll before a sandwich, since now apparently you can have chocolate biscuits before 2pm. Anarchy.
Sheets And Incidents
So a few years back I was at a party and they home owner had a list of house rules on a chalk board. The one that sort of made me doubletake was "Overnight guests are asked not to masturbate."
I was a little confused, I mean nobody wants to think of someone else jerking it in their home, in their sheets, but that seems a little weird. Was there an incident that incited this?
Rules Rules Rules
I was in a foster home from ages 5 to 7. They were religious and the rules were as follows: women couldn't cut their hair, wear short sleeves after 5 years of age, could only wear dresses and nightgowns (even when swimming on vacation), and nobody could enter the home if wearing shorts. Pants were fine. The upside was the whole family ate dinner together every night and there was always dessert. As a kid coming from a home where food was not aplenty, I thought it was wonderful. I've stayed in touch over the years and went to the moms 80th birthday party last summer. Lots of people were there in shorts, so the rules have obviously been relaxed over the years. One daughter even had hair a little below her shoulders, so that rule isn't enforced, either.
The Garage PartyGiphy
She wouldn't actually let us into the house.
She threw a housewarming party and we were all excited about attending, but instead she herded us all into her garage and locked us in there. There was a door in the garage that led into the kitchen that she would only unlock if someone wanted the bathroom. She would then escort the person to the toilet and stand outside the door until they were done, take them back to the garage and lock the door again. The garage was empty as well. Not even so much as a deck chair or box to sit on.
The guests did not stay long. I left in under an hour and the rest not long after. She was offended after she put so much "effort" into having us over.
Chores For Play
Anytime I was over at their house and we would go outside and play, I would have to knock on the door each time to come back in, even if I had been there for a while or if I had just walked in with their kid.
Their mother kept tabs on exactly how much I ate or drank while I was there and expected me to work for whatever they had given me.
I had accidentally left something by the door and I realized after I got a few steps away from their porch so I just opened the door and reached in to grab it. Her mother grabbed my arm and jerked me back into the house and screamed how I was a guest at their house and that I was to always knock before entering, how I was a rude child, she didn't care that I was just there and what I grabbed was mine etc. I had known this woman my entire life. We lived in the same neighborhood, she knew all of my extended family and treated me like I was some stranger.
That was my last day playing over there.
Not The Nirvana Tape!
I went to a private Christian school, which was actually a pretty great place for me and much better than the public schools I attended before that. But there were always a couple of super strict parents around school.
I never went to his house or talked to his parents, but this one kid came to school super tired one day with a horrible case of bed-head, wearing the same clothes he wore the day before. He said his parents found the Nirvana tape (this was the late 90's) he borrowed from one of the potheads at school and made him sleep in the back yard in a tent. He had to dig a hole to pis/shit in and he had to eat back there as well (they did bring him food, though). They weren't going to have their son listening to that devil music. I think he was in the back yard for a couple of weeks.
Really, Brenda? A Fire Drill?Giphy
I had a friend who's mother ran a daycare when we were 6 or 7. On having a play date at the house - she made us enact a fire drill. We had to crawl down the stairs on our bellies, with a wet towel over our heads while she screamed at us. There was some other stuff too. His older brother got wrapped in a duvet and dropped out of a first floor window. At the time I though it was awesome, but I told my Mother on returning home and wasn't allowed to play there again.
Modern Family, But Without The Modern
I was dating a girl just after high school, her family was one of those families, Modern Family type get-together-seven-nights-a-week families.
Went to her house for a weekend, I wasn't allowed to go smoke, because that would mean I'd be away from the group for too long.
I went to the toilet and I had been gone for like 4 minutes when I heard a little search party looking for me.
Wasn't allowed to go to bed when I was tired, it was like 2am.
Wasn't allowed to go into town (to wander around alone) on Saturday morning.
We spent the whole weekend together, like every minute.
Just Call Her Lady Tremaine
A friend of mine had a SUPER mean and strict step mother. Here are a few "rules" I can remember from her house.
She had to make her bed everyday, but the dust ruffle had to be so many inches from the floor and even around the bed. The sheets and comforter had to be done just so. If it wasn't she would come in and rip them all off the bed and make my friend redo it.
We were only allowed to play with one item at a time. For instance, if we wanted to play Barbies, we each were only allowed to take one out of the box at a time. If we wanted to switch out-say a child doll or a Ken doll, the Barbie had to get put back into the box.
They had phones in every room. The only phone I was ever allowed to use was in the creepy basement. Also we were only allowed to use the bathroom in the creepy basement which sucked since there was one right next to my friends room.
Last i can remember is that she was only allowed to have 1 friend allowed to play in the house. She was allowed to have 2 friends play in the backyard. Never anymore than two.
I AM The Island Of Misfit ToysGiphy
At one of my ex-girlfriend's house on Christmas day, both myself and my girlfriend's sister's boyfriend were told to go down into the basement while the rest of their (extended and immediate) family opened presents. I had never met this guy before and we were the only two people down there, all because the older members of the family didn't want "outsiders" to see what they had bought their relatives (did they think we were going to steal something?). There were something like 35 people in the house, so while I thought we would only be shunned for a few minutes, we ended up staying in the basement for TWO HOURS before my girlfriend called us back upstairs. Apparently the guy I was stranded with had been there for multiple Christmas celebrations, and was usually told to just go sit by himself. This was a normal thing for this family.
Joke's on them, though - I had a much better time playing pool with the guy than I ever would have interacting with their family, who I came to discover over time were really bitter, uncaring people.
The TP Struggle
A friend I visited a few times when I was a kid had really strange parents. One weird thing was when my mum called his mum to arrange a time, his mum said that she'd like it if I brought a shirt I'd already worn to their house. She said they had a rescue dog that lost its sh*t around new people and would keep it in the bathroom for my first visit, then put my shirt in its bed so it got used to my scent for next time. I f*cking did it too. Dog still went nuts.
There were wacky bathroom rules, like if I had to go she'd say "one or two?" Then she would carefully count the number of squares and hand it to me. This was particularly embarrassing since I had a little crush on my friend and he was always there to see me say what I had to do. It was never enough, I always, always ended up poking a finger through the TP and they never had soap! I had to wash my fucking hands with shampoo, once it was dog shampoo.
Lol I hated it there.
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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