Beating the odds and surviving a normally deadly situation, such as a plane crash or freak illness, can truly be a one in a million experience. If you're lucky enough to pull through, you get bragging rights for life. And you may even end up fearless... who wouldn't want that?
--SharkBoy-- asked: Were you ever that 1 in 1,000,000? If so, what's your story?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Seems like a waste, but okay.
For my seventh birthday we went to Disneyland.
They just happened to be having a car a day giveaway when we were there.
For my seventh birthday, Mickey Mouse gave me a Pontiac Firebird.
Do you still have the car?
Nah, since I was only 7 at the time, the car went to my mom. By the time I was old enough to drive, it was scrap.
Nature works in strange ways.
I was diagnosed with leukemia and I got a bacteria growth which killed the leukemia, a real 1 in 1,000,000 chance. I almost died thanks to that bacteria, though.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
But did you pee on it?
When I was a kid, I was chilling in the water of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. Suddenly I felt an awful burning sensation on my stomach and my legs. I looked like I had been brutally sandpapered and I got a 40°C (104°F) fever.
Turns out I made contact with a jellyfish, and later found out that it hadn't happened on that beach for 10 years or so. I was just extremely unlucky.
What beach was it? I got a really minor jelly fish sting when I lived in Turkey also. No idea on the rarity at that beach tho.
It was in Alanya, 22 years ago.
There are like three 1:1,000,000's in here.
Not sure about the odds on this one, but I survived a "non-survivable" plane crash. I was on an old po-2 (famous for being very safe and uncrushable) on a tour of the desert in western China when I was like 7. My father's friend who hosted me and piloted the plane didn't survive but somehow I got out with a concussion and apparently passed out for almost a day in the middle of the desert, in the wreckage of the crash, 50 km from the town/airport, on the edge of the desert. The people who found me were some tree planters (they plant greens in the desert to protect towns from sandstorms, a lot of people who live in these desert towns in China do this) found me on their way picking up a shipment, and the only reason they looked was bc they were making a bet on how fast the egg would cook in the sand and went off the road to test.
Edit: First thing first, according to legends, 15 min, I never tested it though. So, according to my dads, the theory that I might have lived was because the plane was mostly made out of fabrics and wood. So when the plane crashed, the front half collapsed and took the majority of the impact. Though I got knocked out, I was probably covered under the wreckage and in the shades, it cooled me off enough to survive for a day or so!
That's awesomely unbelievable! Did it make you afraid to fly, or fearless?
Nah, tbh, I didn't remember enough for it to actually cause like a traumatic experience or anything.
And that, kids, is how I met your mother.
How I met my wife.
I'm from the Netherlands, she is from the US. We met in Israel.
It was my first weekend in Israel, decided to go on a pub crawl to meet some people and have fun, as I'm buying the ticket my now wife walks up to the counter to also buy a ticket. The girl working there introduces us, we hit it off the first night but I'm leaving in 2 days to stay with friends of friends in the middle of the desert for 3 months.
2 days after I leave I lose my phone, don't have any way to get back in touch with her. I had little money and could stay/work with the people in the desert. But I kept thinking about her so after a week I say I'm leaving. Take the next bus (goes 3 times a week, at 5am) and then a train to Tel Aviv. I had no idea how to find her, where to stay and very little money.
I email a couple hostels to find a work/stay agreement, those jobs are very popular and usually planned months in advance. I get an email back when I arrive in Tel Aviv, I can come in for an interview because they have a spot (this is already ridiculously lucky).
Right after the interview and dropping of my belongings. I went back to the first hostel to see if they would give me information, they wouldn't give me anything.
Now I'm at a loss, Tel Aviv is a city of more than half a million people, I don't know anyone and have little more than the clothes on my back.
Kind of defeated I start wandering around/exploring the city. After a couple hours I get hungry and decide to treat myself to a restaurant. I'm well out of the tourist area and find a place that's almost empty and rather cheap. I sit down, order a drink and something to eat. As I get my food I see my now wife walking past the restaurant, she sees me I see her. I'm literally dumb struck and just kind of grin and wave (remember how I lost my phone? She didn't know that and just thought I ignored her) she waves and keeps walking. I throw like 200 shekels (way too much) in the table and sprint after her, explained and the rest is history.
Really poor timing.
I was in 2 separate car crashes in 2 separate cars in less than 45 minutes apart. I wasn't the driver for either crash. First car was hit from the side. Friend came and picked us up, car lost traction and we slid off the road and hit a pole. Neither was that bad, just poor timing.
I was too! If you count the ambulance. Someone pulled out in front of me and I hit them because I had no time to brake. Had some bad back pain so an ambulance took me to the hospital. On the way there, someone pulled out in front of them!
What kind of f*ckwit pulls out in front of an ambulance?
Autoimmune disorders suck.
I am a 19-year-old male. In August of last year, I was driving with my sister, when suddenly her face turned cold. "Gavin your eyes are yellow," I remember her saying. I quickly pulled down the passengers mirror, and to my horror, two yellow eyes radiated back at me.
Fast forward, I spent a month being sick, the initial diagnosis was Hepatitis A.
Went back to the doctor, nothing was better(things were worse in fact). Was sent to the ER, then to the liver transplant unit at UCSF. By this point my eyes had turned muddy orange, and my pee was the color of... a mahogany tree.
Anyways, the team of liver doctors at UCSF managed to save my liver. I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. Oh, and my eyes are white again :)
Hey! I have that too! I was in the hospital for a solid week and they tested me for everything under the sun until they finally realized that I had autoimmune hepatitis. I was in so much pain leading up to going to the hospital that when I walked, I could feel every bone in my feet and if someone bumped into me and hit my arms, it was excruciating. They originally thought I had cancer.
Hey it's actually really cool hearing your story.. my symptoms weren't as bad as yours, as far as the pain levels. They have online support groups for people with our condition (which I haven't tried yet), but it's really.. nice to hear of someone with the same condition. I wish you a swift recovery!
Gotta love universal health care...
Had two 11cm benign tumours growing in my spine, resulting in gradual paralysis from my chest down. They had no idea how the tumours formed. Surgery took 11 hours when they thought it would take 4 because the tumours were so complexly woven throughout my spine. I now have pretty much half a spine and chronic pain but I'd take that over losing my life from paralysis and being unable to breathe 🙏🏼
My dad has this, minus one of the tumors.
Experienced not so severe back pain his whole life. One day it just became unbearable but doctors said you're just getting old, go home and take some Advil. Lol, my dad said frick that, went to a private clinic and had an MRI done on his back. Wouldn't you know it, tumor in his spine. About 3 days later, he was on the operating table with one of the best neurosurgeons in the country. Surgery took about 9 hours. Poor sob felt so much better after the surgery that the next day, he walked and met my mom and I at the hospital doors when we arrived.
This unfortunate soul.
I'm allergic to potatoes. Never met someone else who is so I guess it's one in a million. Never eaten chips or fries.
Not me but my mom is allergic to potatoes, never met someone else with a potato allergy except my mom wow
Wow, this is amazing! Has she any other allergies? I'm also "blessed" with allergy towards carrots. :(
Well this is terrifying.
I slept wrong one night and pinched a nerve in my neck so severely I lost the use of the right side of my body, it just went silent like it wasn't there for months. I woke up in the worst pain I've ever experienced and couldn't talk, move or do anything. The ER doctor thought I was having a stroke.
My doctor had never seen a case as severe as mine and it was purely a freak accident. Recovery took months but I have use of my leg and hand again, with some numbness. Other than pain and spasms I'm mostly back to normal.
If it makes you feel better the chances of it happening are smaller than dying in a fire in your sleep.
What up Freaky Foot?
The first one I don't know about the exact odds, but I was born on 7/7/77 and weighed 7 pounds & 7 ounces. Sadly though I clocked in at 6:50 A.M.
The other is that around the age of 14 I started to notice the outsides of both of my feet starting to get much wider. After a couple of years of buying expensive custom made shoes they decided to perform surgery on my feet. Turned out I had extra muscle growth along with something else I don't recall at the moment. My podiatrist told me he submitted a scholarly article on it. May also have been genetic as when my Dad was 3, he developed an extra toe growing out of each one of his big toes.
Whaaat? At three?? I knew you could develop extra toes as a fetus, but at THREE? Criminy. Is no-one safe?
He looks so angry that he got caught loll
UNHAND ME HUMAN
GET YOUR FILTHY PALMS OFF OF ME, YOU BARBARIAN. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?
When I was a teenager I had just started working at the local Sears auto center Express lube shop and on day one did a quick orientation and my first oil change. The manager walked away when he felt I was good to go and the oil change went well. Fast forward a few days later my manager asked me to come into his office and he explained that the oil filter I had used had one huge flaw. I didn't know what that was and it turned out the filter was pressed on backwards into the filter can and it wouldn't allow oil to flow in and it damaged the motor. They had to purchase a new motor for the person and I still kept my job. He said it was a 1 in a million chance that would have happened and it did on my first oil change.
They have insurance for a reason. All sorts of weird stuff happened at our WalMart, defective tires, filters, oil, you name it. They don't hold the employees accountable for their weird stuff.
Maybe even the manufacturer of the oil filter covered that because it was a manufacturing defect.
Pics or it didn't happen.
I've got the middle toes on both feet webbed.
So did Stalin.
This feels like a fun fact but at the same time a threat.
Agree. That's a significantly menacing "quack."
What a legacy.
I have an unknown type of autosomal dominant centronuclear myopathy. My type of it is so rare that they haven't even seen it before. Getting diagnosed was a multi year struggle. They pretty much had to rule out everything else. It doesn't feel great to be in this club by myself. Countless blood draws, MRIs, cat scans and a biopsy and genetic test. So far, it looks like my father and I, are the only ones with it. Yay.
Edit: thank you guys for all the kind messages and support. I really do appreciate it. If anyone is going through the struggle of getting a diagnosis, message me. I can't help with the diagnosis, but I can help with the feelings.
Second edit: As a researcher has pointed out. This isn't really rare. Just a type that hasn't really been seen in the population yet. Meaning there is certainly more people out there. Just not tested or diagnosed yet. In the future, I'll probably be 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000. Sorry to make everyone think I was one in a million.
My brother & I have a new type of muscular dystrophy apparently. The biopsy sucked and I hate the permanent scar (keloid scarring so it's bumpy & weird). Years of tests and being sedated for things. The files were so large it was insane. Going to the special kids hospitals up until we were old to say no enough is enough.
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!
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.
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!