People Who Went Missing When They Were Young Reveal What Happened To Them
It's every parent's worst fear. Heck it's every person's worst fear regardless of age. To discover you have a Missing loved one or to BE the missing loved one. There are countless tv shows, movies and books covering the topic. Whose heart doesn't sick at the sight of a missing child poster? Some see it as a fear greater than death. At least with death there is a knowing and a closure, not a happy one but a closure none the less. And to be a missing or to be lost and not be able to find your way to safety is a nightmare come to life.
Redditor _u/PrimarilyMarten wanted to know... Redditors who have gone missing but were found. What happened? Pay attention people this could be any one of us.
DON'T BE SPITEFUL, JUST WALK HOME!
My mom reported me missing one midnight. We were staying at a hotel a few miles from home (long story), we got into an argument and she kicked me out and told me to walk back to the house. I was 15. Instead of doing as I was asked, I said f*** this and messaged my theatre director, one of the only adults I knew, and said I was outside at night and that I wasn't safe. I spent the night at her house and the police were looking for me. I made sure my older brother knew where I was, and went to school the next day. Police took me home after I went to her house a second time.
WAITING FOR DEATH AT THE LOG...
Back when I was around 7 or 8, I was at this family camp during the summer. I would hang with this group of boys who were all a few years older than me and always thought "OH BOY, I get to hang with the big boys." So anyways there was this place people called "the secret hideout," where it was just a little hut made of sticks and a fireplace that you could find by going into the forest a little bit. Me and these dudes go to the secret hideout place and for some reason decide to find another. So we just walk deeper into the forest until we find a place and we're like _"cool, this is the second secret hideout, let's go find another." _Once we find the third secret hideout we decide to go back to camp and had no trouble finding our way. But as soon as we got back, I went to my cousin and was like _"Dude you got to come with me, there's like 2 more secret hideouts" _So me and my cousin go to the secret hideout, then I proceeded to lead the way to the second secret hideout. On our way to the third secret hideout I get completely lost and start crying and the both of start going mental. We're just two little kids frantically running through the forest having no idea where we are. Eventually I'm just like _"okay, let's just sit on this log and wait until we die" _and my cousin was like _"that sounds good."_ Apparently, that's actually what you're supposed to do if you get lost, you're supposed to stay in one place and wait for help. So me and my cousin have possibly the most intimate conversation about all the things we'll miss when we're dead. Eventually my family notices were gone and my dad eventually finds us. But yeah I essentially welcomed and accepted death at the ripe age of seven.
WHERE'VE YOU BEEN?
Happened twice. First time was comical second was quite serious.
When I was 5 or 6 my best friend lived a few houses down. We would see each other every day and do normal kid stuff. I guess he went on vacation one week and me being 6 didn't quite understand that... I took off on my trike and was determined to find him. I pedaled at least two miles before a concerned adult saw me and called the police. My parents were quite relieved!!! And took away my bike. Still friends with that neighbor and it's a joke that comes up every now and again.
So now for the not so funny part.
This happened when I was 22. I'll spare all the details, but my life literally fell apart. My father died and we were very close. My girlfriend dumped me because I was having trouble getting over the loss. I failed a bunch of classes in college and was told not to come back. My life was crumbling. I wasn't suicidal, but I felt this urge to leave. I hopped in my car and drove until the gas ran out. I found a cheap motel and spent the night. Then I kept driving the next day, and the next. I turned my phone off. No contact with anyone. Not quite sure what I was thinking, but it felt good to just keep moving. I was in a Waffle House one morning around 4am. Met a fellow traveler and we exchanged stories. I spilled my heart out to this random stranger. He gave me a hug and just listened for hours. He bought my breakfast and just said, _"Go home, kid. This too will pass." _I had a good cry and drove home. A lot of people were very worried about me. My mom was convinced I killed myself. It was extremely selfish. But whatever happened in those 5 days I was off the grid seemed to set me straight.
BLESS YOU REDDIT!!
Not me but my brother, and Reddit found him for us.
My brother moved to Hawaii and from there Iceland. One day we stopped hearing from him, like he vanished off the face of the Earth. He had stopped posting on social media, he had stopped contacting all his friends (even the ones his family didn't know). It was always a possibility that he was going off the grid for some reason, but last we spoke everything was fine and normal. Still, we thought he would pop up somewhere, as he was an extensive world traveler and often went incommunicado for periods of time. A year goes by, we are more worried. What if something happened to him? Why wouldn't he be on social media anymore? Why would he cut contact with his entire network of friends and family? He had never done that before. There was no fight or drama. The last conversation he had with my mom was about Christmas presents. We start looking for him. We message everyone we know he knows. We message his best friend, who gives a VERY cryptic response neither denying or confirming anything. This gets us worried, why is this guy being shady? Last we knew these two were travel the world together. My mom email bombs his best friend, who refuses to respond. We wait another year. Nothing. We are starting to think he might be dead. My mom files a missing persons report, and the police find no trace of him. I start posting missing persons reports. We scour the internet. We find nothing. Another year. I haven't seen him in 5 years now. I think ill never see him again. Half my family is convinced he died somewhere abroad. He hasn't filed any W2s or Pplied for government services oranything in the US in 5 years. Another year. My mom hires a private detective for 10k. The guy can't find much, he is worthless. I start posting on Scandanavian subreddits, because that was the region my brother was last seen in. I basically make a missing persons poster with his pic and all his info. A week later someone sends me a message, they had seen my brother!
We are freaking out. The person explains that he was in Norway, and had worked with my brother doing construction. This Gentleman was from Michigan, but owned a business in Norway, so could kind of weed out the BS in my brothers story. My brother was telling people that he was adopted (he wasn't) and that his family had stolen him as a baby. (We didn't.) He said my brother seemed kind of mentally off, with a lot of conspiracy theories and rambling thoughts. I thanked this guy PROFUSELY. It was so nice to know my brother was alive.
Still, this isn't proof positive. There is no picture of my brother, and by the time this guy messaged us my brother had moved on. Reddit dude told us where he my brother had said he was going next. We contact our local police with this new info. They message the police force in Upsalla, where my brother had said he was going. The police there know where he is! They go to his door and let him know his family is looking for him. He tells them he knows, and doesn't want to talk to us. They check his passport to make sure he is actually my brother. This is the best/worst news we have had. It was now 7 years since we had talked to him at all.
A couple months later my brother sends me a Facebook message! He hasn't directly contacted me in almost 8 years. He wants me to remove my Reddit post about him being missing, it was showing up when you Google searchd his name. I say I will and try and start a conversation with him. Slowly we being talking again. He agrees to taken to the rest of the family. We keep in contact for the next 2 years and I go visit him in Sweden. The year after that he moved home.
So thank you Reddit, for finding my brother :)
HI HOE SILVER!!
My brother (when he was a toddler) got put down for bed at night. My dad worked nights and I guess my brother decided he missed dad... grabbed his hobby horse and let himself out the door. Some neighborhood people called the police because this little kid wearing only a diaper was "galloping" down the street on his horse on a stick.
THE WICKED WITCH LIVES!!!
My stepdad was really sick when I was 4. We lived next door to his mom, my evil step grandma. While my sisters went to school I had to stay with her because my mom stayed at the hospital with my step dad. Evil Grammie was mean as a snake and haaaated me. She refused to turn cartoons on and I didn't have any toys with me, so when she went to take a shower I escaped from her house and broke into my house next door. To this day I cannot remember how I got into my house, but I hid in the bathroom cabinet behind the towels. I'm guessing hours pass, I hear people in the house calling for me. My step-Aunt says _"If I was her momma I would whoop her!" _So I stayed in the cabinet until I heard everyone leave. Including cops. Once it was quiet I called for my mom to come help me out of the cabinet. I ended up not being in trouble because my mom was sooo pissed at Evil Grammie and Auntie because I was missing for a while before they called her.
DON'T BE TOO LITERAL...
When I was in second grade... so I was 6 years old I think, the teacher got mad at me for something I can't remember now. The teacher tells me to get out of the class. I go outside into the hallway but I was pretty upset and just left. I walked out of the school and walked straight home. We only lived about 1/2 mile from the school. I went straight into my bedroom and just started playing with star wars stuff. About three hours later my frantic mother came rushing in from wherever she had been... apparently there had been quite a ruckus kicked up looking for me. My defense at the time was that the teacher told me to leave. So I did. They made me go back to school the next day.
JUST ONE LAST CHAPTER....
In pre-K I loved to read. One day the teacher told us to line up to go to chapel (Christian school) but I was deep in a picture book and didn't hear. They left me and didn't notice I was gone until she was counting heads after lunch hours later! I got in soooo much trouble but never understood why it was my fault as a 4 year old that the teacher didn't check the room before leaving it.
WELL THERE'S A DATELINE EPISODE...
My dad had my uncle babysit my sister and I for the day when I was ~4 and sister was 2. It was awesome, we got to hang out on his boat and eat ice cream all day. When he took us home really late I remember my mom was hysterical and a cop was there. Dad had told mom that he got rid of us and she would never see her kids again and refused to tell her if we were dead, alive, or if he even knew. The cop took us away that night and ultimately mom's parents raised us for a few years while my parents got their shit together independently from each other.
Got really drunk, woke up face down in the snow in the woods in Montana. I'm not from Montana and this was my second night there. Found the lake that we were staying on and used the moon to find the house where we were staying. Walked in the door at around 2:30 am to a group of relieved friends.
When I was around 8-10 years old my mom would drop my dad, a few of his friends, and I off on a part of Oahu in Hawaii that was all jungle with no people/buildings. We'd hunt, fish, and surf all day every day with no communication to the outside. My mom would pick us up 5-7 days later at a pre-designated spot/time.
One of the times 2 days before pickup I wandered away from camp and got lost. I had my pack and surfboard with me. Ended up camping alone for a night and surfed a few times by myself. The next day my dad found me and we never told my mom.
I honestly had a blast, would do again if I was 10 still.
JUST SAY NO!
My best friend and I went to a party in Portland, Oregon on a Friday night. I lost track of him at around 10 and didn't hear from him all weekend. I receive a phone call on Monday afternoon from him saying he was in Chicago.
Moral of the story: don't do drugs.
UNDER THE PILE...
My parents were shopping with me when I was 4 or so years old. I disappeared from right next to them and they couldn't find me, had employees searching for me, yelling my name etc. My mom was frantic. They were about to file a report and do the whole Amber Alert business when I popped out from the middle of one of those round clothing racks, happy as could be because nobody found my hiding spot.
They were not pleased with me.
Not technically missing but..
When I was about 10, I went to walk to my friends house for the very first time. I usually go with him or other friends and never really played close attention to the route, but thought I will just 'remember.'
As I got about 3/4 of the way there, I suddenly arrive on a street I have NEVER seen before, this was before I had a phone, and as English was my second language having arrived in England a year before, I couldn't even ask for instructions properly.
About an hour of walking around in circles, a woman with a push chair saw me and asked if I was lost, I wasn't able to ask her for directions, I had no idea what street my house was in, no idea about my house's phone number, so she just took me to the local supermarket and from there I knew the way home. - after that, my step-dad made me memorize his mobile number, home number and address
My father had kidnapped me from my mother when I was 6. She had kicked him out of the apartment and just told me he was staying with my grandmother for a bit.
He picked me up early from school and took me to the beach. I thought it was just a fun trip to the beach with my dad. He basically spent most of the time nodding off. Two police cars pulled up and my father just got on his knees with his hands up. He was handcuffed in put in one car and the cops in the other car just told me they were taking me to my mom.
I didn't find out what actually happened until I was 17. My mom kicked my father out because he was abusive and on some drug (Thinking back on it was probably Heroin). He picked me up early from school then called my mom from a payphone (It was the early 90s) saying if she didn't let him back in the apartment he would sell me and she would never see me again.
WHEN YOU'RE EXHAUSTED...
So I fell asleep on a cot inside of a display tent in a sports supply store when I was about three or four...
It didn't help that I was my parents first kid.
WHAT DID WE DO BEFORE CELLPHONES?
Not me but my uncle.
Where he went to college there was a few train tracks that ran near campus. Trains would roll by pretty slowly, one night him and a friend drunkenly jumped on a train fully intending on jumping off close to their house. They passed out and woke up in a train yard 2 hours away from their college.
This was 25 years ago so no cellphones, took them 2 days to hitchhike back, they called their parents but friends thought they got abducted on the wrong side of town.
Got lost in the jungle for 2 days. Had the national guard find me. 6/10, would do again.
IT'S WINTER... SHUT THE DOOR!
I was a baby and it was winter. My mom left our front door open and I crawled out.
She freaked out, but a few hours later the mailman brought me home.
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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