Teachers have a tough job that only gets tougher upon meeting a weirdo parent.
Redditor caddingtontv provided today's burning question. They asked the online community: "Teachers of reddit, what is the craziest thing you've seen a parent do?"
Yikes. That's what we have to say to some of these stories.
"Her daughter's voice..."Giphy
A mother threatened to yank her daughter out of the school if she didn't get chosen as vocal soloist to sing "O, Holy Night" during the holiday concert.
Her daughter's voice was not suited to the part. Moreover, she had told both faculty and her peers that she didn't want to do it - that her mother was forcing the issue.
As I described here quite some time ago, the mother made a big, embarrassing scene in front of students and faculty - eventually transferring her daughter to another school "where she could get the recognition she so richly deserved."
"She was screaming and yelling at me..."
One day I was reading to my class when a mom, who we all knew was a little bit of a problem, came in enraged. She was screaming and yelling at me while I just continued to act calm and smile at the kids, trying to keep them from freaking out.
She was yelling because when her son came home the day before, he had an ant bite and he's allergic. She was yelling about how there shouldn't be any ants on the playground (in our state, that's impossible). She was also yelling that I didn't go inspect the playground prior to recess for ant piles. She was also yelling that I didn't inspect every kids for any ant bites they may have gotten and called any parents of effected kids. She mentioned, in them middle of her rage, almost in passing, that the ant bite was on his penis. It ended with her threatening me with physical harm.
Basically, since I just ignored her, continuing to interact with the kids, she eventually stormed out. Shortly after, my principal arrived, out of breath after running. Apparently a teacher down the hall heard her and called him before I got a chance to. I told him what happened, he said that he'll never let her be alone with me again. He's a BIG guy and a Marine, and I'm a small woman, so that was great.
About 30 minutes later an announcement was made that the playground was shut down for the day, possibly week.
Come to find out that she took it upon herself to "take care of the problem." She went home, loaded her truck with her strongest pesticide, and came back to the playground and sprayed it down. Unfortunately, the stuff she used was not appropriate, so we had to pay a lab to test the dirt to make sure it was safe. The playground opened up the next week.
"I started locking my classrooms..."
I had a new class filled with 3-4 year olds. This one younger girl was quite quiet throughout the lessons but generally not bad for her first lesson with a new teacher. Half way through the class her parent came into class a smacked her around the back of the head because she wasn't speaking enough.
I started locking my classrooms from that point onward.
"I once had a bright..."
I once had a bright, junior student who I recommended for AP English. He was proficient and well spoken--he would have done great, but he declined because he wanted to focus on trades and sports. I understood and told him the offer still stands if he wants to reconsider.
A few days later, I get the signed consent form with his signature on it in my mailbox about him joining AP English. Great, I thought. I went to talk to him about it and he looked nothing but confused. I showed him the page and he just went
"Oh, yeah, no. Ignore it. My mom keeps trying to sign me up for stuff. She has a stamp of my signature."
"She was so nasty..."
I had a parent come in and scream at the childcare assistant because her son came home with mosquito bites. She was so nasty that she made her cry. She wanted us to solve the problem by making sure her son didn't sleep near the windows.
I teach inner city preschool. Many of my students have learned to fight through their parents and one student recently bit and hit me to the point of bleeding and bruising. I'm not technically allowed to restrain so I just hugged him, told him I care about him, he cried, and now he's my best bud.
"Honestly, our assistant principal..."
Countless verbal assaults at me, but those are not as interesting.
I saw a parent attack our assistant principal. I mean physically grabbing him and pushing him up against a fence(this was at a football game). Police arrived, parent taken away and permanently banned from our campus. Honestly, our assistant principal is a big and tall guy, but this was out of nowhere. I assume the parent was drunk/high.
"Wonder where they got it from?!"Giphy
A few weeks ago a mother was screaming "I'm going to slap you in the f---ing face", as someone dared to let her know her children were bullying others. Wonder where they got it from?! Luckily, she's banned from the building finally.
"The mother of my best student came."
Teacher in France here. Craziest thing a parent ever done to me was during a parent (& student most of the time)-teacher meeting. Idk how they're organized in other countries, but in France you have to meet like hundreds of parents on the same day, so you usually don't spend too much time with them, especially if their kid has really good grades.
The mother of my best student came. I had a huge smile when I saw her entering the classroom, because she was obviously very proud of her mom meeting me: she had a perfect GPA (20/20) in my subject. I honestly thought this was going to be a "well hello Miss X, I've got nothing to say, I'm just happy to have your daughter in my class, you can leave if you have somewhere else to be" conversation, but her mother obviously misinterpreted my smile and started flirting with me.
The first thing she said roughly was "ah, I understand why my daughter is so interested in your classes" and then she started talking about me, asking questions about me and my life, etc. Her daughter was mortified (and I was, too: it was my first year as a real teacher, meaning I had never dealt with parents before and didn't how to kindly ask her to leave). It lasted a long 20-25 minutes before her daughter convinced her to go and freed me from what was my cringiest moment with a parent.
I've been a real teacher for only two years (three if you count the first year where you're sort of an intern) so that's probably tame compared to other answers, but I can assure you that was an intense moment
"I had a parent demand..."
I had a parent demand I reprimand a teacher because she lied to the class. The lie? Their child wet herself and when the teacher sent for the janitor she told him that someone had spilled their juice. This was done so the other kids didn't find out about the soggy pupil.
So I asked: "You want me to discipline an educator for protecting your child's dignity?" "Yes," was the reply.
"The mom drunk texted..."
Teacher & I coached cheer for a few years. Parents pulled their daughter off the squad before we got uniforms, and the assistant principal told me not to give her the uniform because then she'd wear it and people would still think she was a cheerleader. The Mom drunk texted me all night sh!t talking me about what a loser I was and how I was a terrible cheer coach anyway. I quit at the end of that season.
"I don't know where that kid is now."
There is one kid that never passed his tests. Never worked for it. Didn't do homework, didn't do anything. Just sat back because his father was rich and he will get all the inheritance.
One time I was called into a meeting because I was responsible for this kid's homework that he told me that he did but he never did. I sat down one seat from the head of the table. It was a pretty big meeting.
The father and the son sat at the other end. The principal pulls up a slide on the SmartBoard, showing the poor performance that he has done. 50% were marked across and no homework was done. I was dumbfounded.
The father raised an eyebrow and nodded towards his son when asked to explain his poor performance.
I took a sip of water and he said "my homeroom teacher's butt is too big. I can't focus on the class."
I swear to God, and I'm going to hell for this, I spat out all my water and laughed. Nobody cared. Everyone was so surprised. I looked at the homeroom teacher and I felt the guilt wash over me.
After the meeting, the lady cried. She wanted to quit as a teacher, and I didn't blame her. She eventually began wearing longer jackets to cover up her butt. I told the teacher that I couldn't teach that kid anymore.
I don't know where that kid is now. Hopefully he got what he deserved.
One of my coworkers had a parent cast a spell on her. That parent was later banned from visiting campus.
"Having a normal conversation..."
Having a normal conversation with student's guardian who is her grandmother, when the woman reaches down to the floor, picks up a leaf, and eats it like it's a potato chip.
"We had to have a long talk with her."
I had a parent in an IEP meeting ask us when her child's autism would be cured. She said he had been at school for 10 years now and it's taking too long. We had to have a long talk with her.
I had a parent at a conference suddenly slap his child HARD on the leg because she wasn't cooperating with him. She was 13 and definitely has one hell of an attitude, but she had issues with her dad and didn't want him there at all. Her resentment was palpable every time he opened his mouth.
When he slapped her she got really upset, jumping up and trying to get away from him screaming he had hit her for no reason. He's grabbing her arm to pull her back and she's fighting harder to get away. He appeals to me like I'm going to jump on board and I calm her down a little and get her to sit down. She's calming down and getting back a conversation but he is not even noticing that this is already deescalating, and he takes off his belt. He took off his belt, in front of me, to whip her. I told him that absolutely would not be happening in my classroom and I could not allow that, and he basically told me I should ignore him and pretend not to see anything. When I shot that down he tried to convince me to LEAVE my classroom DURING THE MIDDLE OF PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES so he could use it to hit her and I would "look the other way". I said that absolutely would not be happening and if he kept trying I would have to call security. He settled down and put his belt back on.
I went to the principal immediately, and we went to the guidance counselor. He is the one we go through to make reports because he has all the information about what can be reported and who to contact. He told us we couldn't report it because it was discipline and it's his right to discipline her that way if he wants to as long as she isn't injured and there are no marks. He said it was not even illegal for him to do it on the premises.
The same night, another teacher had a mother punch her son in the face suddenly.
F*cking nuts. Poor kids.
"I saw a dad's ballsack..."
I saw a dad's ballsack during a parent-teacher interview.
He was wearing coveralls with a giant rip in the crotch and nothing underneath, and he was sitting with his foot up on the opposite knee (providing a very obvious viewing angle).
Considering how his child was, I am 95% sure he did it on purpose.
"Had a parent..."
Had a parent who really liked me because her daughter liked me. During the first parent conference, she asked a few personal questions (my age and dating status) and was shocked to hear I was a teacher at the age of 24 and yet I wasn't married (This is in SEA and culturally people marry quite early.) I told her I was in a LTR+LDR of about 3 years and she was even more shocked he hadn't proposed yet. Told me my boyfriend was no good and I should drop him.
Over the next parent teacher conferences, (I taught her daughter the following year too), the mother would bring a different man (family friend or whoever) and what was supposed to be a discussion of the student turned into an interview for dating. She would claim she doesn't speak enough English and that the person was there to help her out. It was quite awkward and I didn't know what to do about it so I just tried to shift the conversation back to her daughter (who was excelling my class anyways.)
I was later told that the mother comes from an extremely wealthy family and she is so so so so bored at home (husband didn't want her to work) and enjoys matchmaking.
"He has also offered..."
My first year I had a parent text me trying to convince me to buy drugs from her. That was a fun time.
This year, I have the daughter of a moderately well-known rapper who, instead of sending his kid to school with treats for school parties sends "exclusive demos" of his new music. He has also offered to hook me up with drugs.
"She had the projects..."
A member of my teaching team had her kids do a pretty cool project. As with most projects, some kids put in a lot more effort than others.
She had the projects on display in her room. At the end of a class period, she noticed a very nice one had been vandalized and ruined.
She asked the class who did it. One student calmly raised his hand and admitted it. She talked to him, and he wouldn't really say what possessed him to do it.
She wrote him up and emailed the parents. They were livid and demanded a meeting.
The entire team and our principal went to the meeting. The mom said her son didn't break the project.
"But he admitted to it."
"He's black, and knew you'd accuse him anyway because of his race, so he just wanted to get it over with."
(His teacher and our principal are also African-American.)
DQ: What's your best parent-teacher conference story?
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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