Doctors Are Sharing What Happened When They Diagnosed Covid-19 Deniers With Covid-19 (30 Stories)
148 million confirmed novel coronavirus cases worldwide, more than 3 million deaths, and almost 86 million recoveries. Not to mention all the lost jobs and worsening mental health situation for many. That’s the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had globally. However, after more than a year of pain, grieving, endless lockdowns, and a medical crisis the likes of which most of us haven’t seen before, there are still people out there who believe that the coronavirus is a hoax.
When redditor IzziSparks asked the doctors of Reddit to share what happened when they diagnosed Covid-19 deniers with the coronavirus, their thread immediately went viral. With nearly 76k upvotes and more than 19k comments, the topic quickly started up a fiery discussion about how some people will never believe the truth. Even if it’s staring them right in the face. Have a read through some of the stories that doctors shared, dear Readers.
Dr. Andrew Carroll, from Arizona, told Bored Panda that there's no surefire way of convincing Covid deniers that they're wrong even when the evidence seems overwhelming. "People believe those charismatic people on television over people who have dedicated their lives to science and saving lives. We even see people who are on oxygen in a hospital, dying, and we’re unable to save them, and there they are telling us that they don’t have Covid because it’s a hoax. While they’re dying. It makes no sense. Yes, there are still many people who believe it’s a government hoax (and it’s not just the US government) and some sort of means at population control," Dr. Carroll explained.
Medical spouse here. Husband works as a hospitalist in a rural hospital one week a month. He went to help in the ER bc they had patient that needed to be tubed who was Covid positive but didn’t believe in Covid. The patient’s oxygen level got below 70% or 60% (or whatever severely hypoxic is) so they told him he needed to be intubated. The patient screamed at my husband that he was lying and that if he tubed him he’d sue. Husband asked if he could do it if the guy stopped breathing and the dude said “well that’s different”. So he waited 15 minutes for him to pass out from lack of oxygen and then intubated him and walked out.
Our daughter is a front-line nurse. She had one dying woman Foxbot screaming, between gasping for air, “Tell me what I really have!! Tell me!!! I should know!!!”
“You have COVID-19.”
“COVID does not exist. It’s fake and being used to control us. Tell me what I have!!!”
Couple in their mid sixty years. Very and very and very rich. They came with all symptoms. Screaming COVID19 don't exist. For them, it was a flu. Drink hot tea with lemon and honey at home. Some advil for fever. Everything will be alright. Refuse to be hospitalized. Try to sue the hospital with their army of lawyers. It was in June 2020. They signed their papers. Go home. Come two days later on the hospital. Dead. Their son was in Japan. Never come to reclaim body. He just called to confirm the death of his parents. End of the story.
Bored Panda wanted to get Dr. Carroll's take on the last few months and whether we can say that we're starting to win the fight against Covid-19. The doctor said that some people are getting a moment of respite, at least in the US, but pointed out that the situation has gone from bad to worse in India. Which might be a ticking time bomb for the rest of the world because of the potential coronavirus mutations there as the situation worsens.
"Here in the US, with the number of people who have contracted the disease, along with a high number of immunizations, the caseload has dropped significantly. We can breathe for now, but the absolute tragedy in India has me very concerned about an escape mutation that may make its way back to the US which infects us once again," he said.
"I believe it’ll infect the unvaccinated first, but may spread and could evade the vaccine immunity. We will need to watch carefully for any new mutations and make sure everyone around the world is vaccinated and boosted adequately to finally quell this once and for all. The death rate from this disease is much higher than the flu, and if it continues to perpetuate year over year, we will decimate our most needy, poor, and marginalized world citizens."
Didn’t diagnose, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the mental gymnastics..
I worked obs & gynae a few months back. For obstetrics we had an amber ward (confirmed non-covid ward), and a red ward (confirmed covid/no test done).
We’d require mum and partner to both get covid tests done in our clinic the day before the planned admission so we knew which ward to place them in.
One patient refused to have the swab taken because she thought covid was a hoax. So we were told her she’d have to stay in the red ward during her admission as we couldn’t confirm she didn’t have covid if she didn’t have a test. She went absolutely mental saying “you can’t do that!! What if I get covid??!”
Doctor here: I was working in the COVID ICU as a resident physician. We were getting crushed with new patients and the ICUs were overflowing. I admitted this elderly gentleman around 2am with respiratory failure due to COVID. He was maintaining his oxygen saturation with high flow nasal cannula oxygen, but notably short of breath and unable to speak full sentences without gasping for air. At this point in the night I had been working about 22 hours into my 28 hour call shift. All I want to do is take a quick history and physical and get out of the room to reduce my exposure. He proceeds to tell me all about how COVID is a hoax and starts rambling on about some bible passage. He even told me I needed to read the Bible more. I was beyond emotionally and physically drained by this point to respond to the audacity of his comments. He would later get intubated and spend a week on the ventilator. I think he survived, but it’s hard to remember. To say this pandemic made me cynical is an understatement.
Not a doctor. Each member of my family had Covid and still believe Covid is fake. The problem is they survived having Covid, so in their mind Covid isn't real. They also believe Kamala Harris is going to assassinate Biden, declare Sharia Law, and Obama will seize power with antifa. So there's that.
The development of multiple shots to help people fight off Covid-19 hasn’t put a stop to the pandemic, even though it’s dented its advance in some areas. While some Western countries are slowly breathing a very wary (and weary) sigh of relief after mass vaccination programs have gone underway, other nations are struggling with the massive spread of the virus. Countries like India.
The BBC reports that, at the time of writing, India has seen more Covid cases in the last week than any other country on Earth. “A ferocious second wave has seen the official death toll surpass 200,000,” the BBC writes. However, experts believe that the actual number of fatalities could, in fact, be much higher.
India is in the midst of a medical catastrophe: hospitals have run out of beds in many areas, oxygen supplies are dwindling, and healthcare staff are overworked. Some nations are reaching out to help India deal with this crisis, including the United States.
Our neighbour was a covid denier. So he wanted to prove that his healthy lifestyle of Crossfit would prove it is a bad cold.
He now uses a mobility scooter to reach the mailbox, speaks like Stevie from Malcolm in the middle, takes more pills than people twice his age, and can't taste or smell anything.
This is a conversation I have 3-4 times DAILY. Still.
Idiot: Hey doctor Scallion, I dont feel good, I have a fever, cough, cant taste anything and feel like I cant breathe. I think I have pneumonia but its not covid.
Scallion: Ok lets get a chest xray and check a covid test
Idiot: No I definitely dont gave covid, I couldnt have gotten infected... I dont do anything.
Scallion: Ok what did you do today?
Idiot: Well I went to work, then watched my son play soccer, then went to dinner at chipotle, then we visited my daughter and her husband. Other than that nOtHiNg.
Scallion: Ok you have COVID.
Idiot: that test cant be right!?!? i have NO symptoms of covid!
Scallion: you have literally every symptom of covid...and your covid test is positive.
Idiot: thats crazy, my wife also has covid. What a coincidence!!!
Scallion: please euthanize yourself
I was a volunteer on the covid ward.
Loads of people who called it the "China virus" but they still took it seriously. Then I had 1 patient who didn't believe it when he was told he was positive so he spit on me. So obviously I got it too (eventhough I was wearing all the protective clothing but the guy was determined) and I got very sick and never went back.
President Joe Biden plans to send vaccines to India where, currently, only just under 9 percent of the population has had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. In comparison, in the US, over 42 percent of all citizens have had at least one dose of the vaccine; the number stands at around 50 percent in the United Kingdom and a whopping 62 percent in Israel, according to Our World in Data.
Despite all the overwhelming evidence, we still have deniers who trust fishy online sources more than official ones. Earlier on, I interviewed Joseph M. Pierre, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA. We spoke about conspiracy theories and why they’re so popular nowadays.
According to Professor Pierre, conspiracy theories in the current era are political in nature and are rooted in people losing trust in authority figures. “It’s stereotypically liberals that trust science and support mask-wearing, social distancing, and vaccination (although historically there have been many liberal ‘anti-vaxxers’),” he told Bored Panda earlier.
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 newphes and 3 children), none of them with a face-mask. All had mild COVID symtoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted in 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 aggitated 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. Fastfoward 24 hours later on Saturday, we 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 appropiate 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".
I'm an anesthesiologist, and in our institution, we're the ones tasked with intubating covid suspects / positive patients who would otherwise die without ventilatory support. And holy hell, there are a lot of patients who don't believe Covid is real (most of them believe that it's just an elaborate lie that Doctors use to label random patients to mooch money off them). Some of them scream at us (in whatever capacity their diseased lungs can allow them to), some outright refuse intubation (in which case they die several hours later from respiratory failure). It's emotionally taxing having to face that every shift.
My wife’s a nurse, just had to deal with a patient who refused to get tested prior to her surgery so they had to treat her like a covid patient and needed to charge her for all the added PPE like gowns, goggles etc. the kicker is, recovery wouldn’t take her for observation while she was woken up so the anesthesiologist needed to stay and monitor her in the room for nearly 3 hours. They are billed at $400/15 minutes and there is no way her insurance is going to cover the extra cost because she signed a document saying she denied a covid test.
“Wearing masks, unfortunately, has become a kind of political debate, at least here in the US. That is, it’s stereotypically conservatives or Trump supporters that refute the science on masks and Covid-19 more generally, continuing an undermining of science as an institution of authority that’s been ongoing for some years now and was played out before Covid-19 with climate change,” Pierre explained that parts of the debate related to Covid-19 (and avoiding it) have become completely political.
What’s more, Professor Pierre from UCLA suggests not debating conspiracy theorists because they’ll keep “moving the goalposts” in order to protect their beliefs. “Often with conspiracy theories that involve scientific facts, there’s a tendency to focus on some obscure example of experimental minutia (e.g. the temperature of combusted jet fuel and the melting point of the WTC columns), and then moving onto another if that’s refuted, rather than addressing the big picture questions that make the conspiracy theory so ridiculous.”
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.
YOU’RE A LIAR! THIS VIRUS IS A HOAX! I’LL GET YOUR LICENCE PULLED FOR THIS! They later died refusing their dying breath that COVID was a hoax.
I'm a (student) funeral director and I see families go to the funeral of someone who died of covid-19 and still deny it. They started out shrieking at the doctors to change the cause of death on the death certificate. Now FEMA is helping with funeral expenses for covid deaths. Suddenly there's changes of heart.
Meanwhile, at the start of the pandemic, I also had a chat with Dr. Claudia Pastides, from Babylon Health, about why people believe conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. She said that, at the time, there was a lack of substantial and verified information to explain why the virus behaves as it does. “As a result, it is easy to fill this void with untruths about the virus’s effects and the prevention of its symptoms,” she said. Since then, there’s been more and more information about the coronavirus.
“As people are desperate for more knowledge and information about the virus, they are more prone to believe these misconceptions. It is instinctive in humans to seek solutions to problems, and when there is a crisis, such as this pandemic, they might be willing to believe anything they hear without verifying it first,” Dr. Pastides explained why some people turned to conspiracies at the start of the pandemic last year.
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 for the parents to get tested. Her defense was " The child never left the house. Its just I 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.
ER doctor here. I diagnose people with COVID on the daily. Some people are actually really great about it, others are... more difficult. I'll tell you a tale that occurred during my most recent shift. Back to back rooms and patients.
Patient A, in room #4, is a 23 yo male, no medical history, comes in with body aches, malaise, and fatigue. Also had some mild nausea without abdominal pain or vomiting.
Patient B, in room #5, is a 51 yo female, medical history of intermittent asthma - so she uses a puffer infrequently, comes in with shortness of breath, has some possible fevers at home. In triage it was noted that this patient's Oxygen sats were in the 88 range and her heart rate wasn't elevated. Interestingly, when asked if she thought she had covid she said "I can't have it, I tested negative two weeks ago when my son tested positive. He's been sick at home."
You guessed it. Both people covid +.
Patient A went home. He's doing great. Was extremely remorseful and before he'd even left the ED he called his work to let them know he was positive and to get everyone there tested because he figured he had gotten the illness at work (IIRC he worked in a small family-owned warehouse as a foreman). He also called his parents and they were getting him setup to sleep in the garage until his quarantine was up. I respected this guy.
Patient B got admitted to the hospital because her O2 sats weren't great. When I went back to tell her she was covid + she called me a liar and told me I must have made a mistake. She threatened to sign out AMA (against medical advice) but when she got up to leave she got so short of breath the nurse used that to convince her to stay.
People are strange sometimes. I try not to let stuff bother me, but covid deniers come very close to crossing that line
I still had to treat her despite her accusing me of hiding the real diagnosis from her and doing something to make her sicker. Love my job.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that we should do our best to verify if a source is trustworthy or not. Try to get your news from reliable sources, not niche websites, conspiracy theory groups, and your Facebook feed.
“The World Health Organization has a dedicated coronavirus myth-busting page on their website, where they sum up the majority of the misconceptions flourishing on the internet at the minute. This is a great place to start to verify whether what you’ve heard is correct,” Dr. Pastides said. “[Another option] is to contact a medical professional, who will be able to tell you quickly if the theories you’ve heard are false or not.” And from what we’ve read about the enduring patience of doctors, we’re sure that they’ll be more than happy to help you out with your query, exhausted as they are.
I had a patient struggling to breathe and admitted on oxygen and her husband still maintained it was a liberal hoax. She was pissed (at him).
Helped tube her.
I explained she had covid and that her sats with High Flow Nasal Oxygen at an FiO2 of 90% and 60L per minute with a 15LNRB over the top for good measure was still only 82-85%. She maintained it was a lie the entire time, even when her sats were in the 90s earlier in the admission to ITU.
I explained we had to tube her to keep her alive. In the end I had to bargain with her that I was tubing her because she had a bad pneumonia but that COVID wasn’t the cause. I just agreed and so off we went.
She actually survived and on her way out of ITU to a covid ward she just looked at myself and the consultant and said “told you it wasn’t covid”
I am an emergency doctor and diagnosed a older white gentleman (60, probably) with covid. He came in with obvious symptoms but was obviously a Trump type guy with an attitude. When the swab came back positive he got visibly angry and asked me what I was going to do about it. He wasn't sick enough to need any treatment so I told him to just go home and stay hydrated and gave him my usual spiel about following up and yada yada. He then proceeded to scream at me that CNN told him this was the most horrible thing in the world and how could I possibly not do anything about it!!!! I politely told him I was not intending to have a political conversation with him and then walked out of the room. The nurse handed him his discharge paperwork and he walked out.
I think he came in just to show off his minimal symptoms to prove that the virus wasn't that bad. There was a patient in the next room with an oxygen saturation of 55 but I didn't bother telling him. That's not a hill I'm going to die on to convince some jerk of facts he'll never believe.
My mom works for an OBGYN who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and births, and he was called into the hospital to check out a woman whose due date was about 2 weeks away and who was very sick.. He confirmed she had COVID and admitted her to the hospital until she gave birth, but she insisted it was a hoax and ended up checking herself out AMA, but not before she spat in the face of the nurse, who coincidentally had just completed chemo. That was near the beginning of the pandemic, and I'm so curious what happened to that lady. The nurse is okay, thank goodness.
My wife and I travel for work and she happens to work in medical labs, usually large hospitals. I’ve been shocked by the sheer amount of lab techs and the like who refuse to wear masks and nonchalantly go about life as if COVID weren’t real.
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (next step is breathing tube) who still refused she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
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 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."
They just kept denying they had it, stated they had something else, and tried to leave against medical advice while on high flow nasal canula which we didn't let him do because he would have died within minutes. Before he was admitted to the hospital, he was symptomatic but refused to isolate at home. He gave it to his wife who ended up in the ICU.
ER doc chiming in. They told me I was wrong. Obviously, there’s no way they had COVID despite coming in to the ER for shortness of breath, cough, and fevers.
When I mentioned that their wife who was several rooms down also had COVID, their response was: oh, that makes sense because she always gets sick.
When I asked how it made sense that they wouldn’t have COVID with the same symptoms I was told that it was because they were overall healthy and only took their mask off to eat and drink in the casino
I have treated a young male in our ICU with critical COVID19 with severe diabetic ketoacidosis. He did not believe in insulin (yes, you are reading this right) or other antidiabetics, even though insulin is inexpensive in our country. He tried to treat his type 2 diabetes with herbs, his HbA1C (the lab value showing the state of his diabetes on the longer run) was off the roof. He did not vaccinate (he was offered), did not wear a mask, did not distance, and did not believe in any of this coronabullshit. Most of this information was obtained from his 20 year old daughter, as he was quite disoriented at presentation and was intubated urgently. She was sobbing through the phone every day for 1.5 months until he died. I held the phone with his daughter on call to his ears multiple times when he was still intubated but his mind cleared up and his sedation was optimal. I was quite convinced that he realised his mistake on the ventilator, with lines and tubes inserted into his body everywhere and in his last clear moments, when his mind allowed, but I cannot be absolutely sure. I often think about the last conversation and last mental images people have before their death.
Family members have come in with a sick family member and lied about exposure and/or symptoms (despite a member(s) testing positive). This can/has lead to inappropriate management, delay in treatment, and exposure of staff and other families. The family members then get angry when told to isolate.
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 (EDIT) 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.
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