Though we spent a whole year inside, incorporating medical masks into our outfits, saw hospital ICU’s all over the country at max capacity and millions of people dead all over the world, there are still humans out there who choose to simply deny the fact that COVID-19 (and its many variants) is real. What the f—k?!?
If you think COVID-deniers are frustrating as hell, imagine being a doctor in the midst of the pandemic having to treat these dummies with the very infection they choose to believe is nothing but an overblown conspiracy theory.
On Wednesday Redditor u/IzziSparks wanted to hear Doctor’s stories of treating people who contracted the very virus the choose to deny when they asked:
“Doctors of Reddit: What happened when you diagnosed a COVID-19 denier with COVID-19?”
Enjoy with great frustration the top-rated stories from the doctors, nurses and others who treated COVID-deniers who had COVID.
“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.” –Madelyn_Andr
“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.” –IAmNotARobotAMA
“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.” –hemoglobetrotter
“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.” –dat_joke
“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.” –geekglassesglaceon
“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.” –axmurderer14
“Lady was intubated, sedated, proned, (therapy that involves lying the patient on their stomach in order to oxygenate the lung more effectively. Reserved for VERY sick COVID patients), the whole shebang. Miraculously she recovers and is weaned down to Hi Flow nasal cannula (still a fairly high oxygen requirement, but better than needing the breathing tube). This spiteful she-devil would purposely cough on us nurses as we went into her room to give meds/care, simultaneously yelling that “COVID isn’t real,” and that we gave her COVID. God, this winter sucked.” –whor3moans
“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.” –Sister_Cercosis
“I’m an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple weeks in the country. During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a shit 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 shit 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 weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.” –5hade
“ICU/COVID ICU charge nurse here. Had a woman try leaving the ER against medical advice with COVID and was needing tons of O2. Our docs convinced her to get admitted. My wife was her ER nurse and brought her up to me, patient was yelling and screaming, ripping off her mask, spitting and telling us we’re all sheep between gasping for breath. Our docs told her she was close to needing to be intubated (breathing tube) and she just scoffed… The kicker was calling her husband and getting absolutely excoriated because “we injected her with COVID as an experiment and killed her.” He then had to be escorted out of the hospital when he came in to try getting up to the unit (without a mask, of course). This sh*t’s getting exhausting.” –amill3r
“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. 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.” [She] 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. –carly_rae_jetson
“As an anesthesiologist, by the time someone’s calling for us it’s for intubation and the patient is in no condition to deny anything. Honestly, it’s usually the family that’s the issue and that needs to be escorted from the room.” –KindGoat
“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.” –EducatedOwlAthena
“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.” –jonnyWang33
“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.” –MyGhostIsHaunted
“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.” –FunctionBuilt
“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 before hand (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.” –Shariffats
“I was testing a guy yesterday who asked me if he still needed to be tested in order to be on a college campus even though he had received both doses of pfizer already. I said yes, it’s a CDC mandate, and there isn’t enough longitudinal study on the current vaccines effectiveness on the variants to make a call on that yet. So we keep testing everyone once a week. Then he hits me with “you know all this covid crap is bullshit right? Fuckin government and illuminati spooks trying to suppress us”. I told him that 92 people have died of covid under my care in the last 14 months, to keep his QAnon garbage to himself and to have a nice day. I got reprimanded this morning. Most worth it slap on the wrist of my life.” –KeenbeansSandwich
“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 in 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. And yes, each of those things were actual things patients said to me after getting their diagnosis. I could probably think of more, but those were the most memorable ones.” –Ssutuanjoe
“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.” –implestimple
“Not a doctor but my wife is and a few of our family friends are as well. One of them is sports medicine/family. The guy came in refused to use a mask, our friend refused to treat him until he masked up (he had a newborn at the time too) when our friend told him he most likely has COVID he needs to go to Tampa General immediately for testing and treatment. The guy said no, it’s fake he just needed some antibiotics. He left without getting a prescription called back that night demanded to be given oxygen. Our friend told him his only option was to go to the hospital. Guy had a severe case of COVID and ended up being hospitalized for a few weeks he still thinks it was fake and was only a severe flu.” –Ezzy17
“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 “corona-bullshit”. 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 realized 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.” –libateperto
“I lost count of the number of patients I had who were COVID deniers, even right up until their last breath. During the peak in January an average shift had me spend an hour or two being cussed out by patient family members that COVID was fake/we can’t keep them from seeing their family member. Then I’d spend the shift sweating like I was in Kuwait running around trying to keep everyone as comfortable as possible and maintaining their O2 and often repeatedly having to put someone’s oxygen back on after they insisted they didn’t need it. Multiple times I got told we had it all wrong, that it was just a cold, or that they weren’t that sick and didn’t need oxygen even as they ran out of breath trying to get out a single word. Being in a super red rural area, it was to be expected. We even had COVID denying nurses for the longest time. Eventually they got the picture though and got with the program.” –jack2of4spades
“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.” –eghat11
“Not a doctor but a Respiratory Therapist. We had a patient (mother of 3) on FaceTime with her boyfriend denying it was real right up to the moment we intubated her. Guess who ended up with a trach/peg and never came off a ventilator until she died?” –3_stacks
“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.” –doctER18
“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.” –1_789