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15 Infuriating Stories About Doctors Who Had To Diagnose A COVID-19 Denier With The Coronavirus

What will it take for people to believe science?

Despite credible reports that the coronavirus has taken over 3 million lives, there are still people who refuse to believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is real.

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Recently, Reddit user u/IzziSparks asked doctors to share their stories about what it's been like to deal with COVID-19 deniers who had the coronavirus. Here are the top rated replies from doctors and the people close to them:

1. "I work on a COVID-19 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-19 two times, then you have COVID-19!"

Doctor wearing a face shield
Momo Productions / Getty Images

2. "Infectious disease doctor here. I've seen about 450–500 COVID-19 patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID-19 (along with a microchip). Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU."

u/Sister_Cercosis

3. "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."

u/IAmNotARobotAMA

4. "Our daughter is a frontline nurse. She had one dying woman screaming (between gasps for air), 'Tell me what I really have!! Tell me!!! I should know!!!' My daughter said, 'You have COVID-19,' and she replied, 'COVID-19 does not exist. It’s fake and being used to control us. Tell me what I have!!!'"

u/Mentalfloss1

5. "I am a PA. For some reason, some people who have had severe cases of COVID-19 refuse the vaccine — even when they were close to death the first time."

A man refusing a shot
Stockplanets / Getty Images

6. "Family members have come in with a sick family member and lied about exposure and/or symptoms (despite a member testing positive). This has led to inappropriate management, delay in treatment, and exposure of staff and other families. The family members then get angry when told to isolate."

u/rimplestimple

7. "I'm an anesthesiologist and in our institution, we're the ones tasked with intubating COVID-19 suspects and positive patients who would otherwise die without ventilatory support. And holy hell, there are a lot of patients who don't believe COVID-19 is real..."

"...Most of them believe that it's just an elaborate lie that doctors use to label random patients to mooch money off of them. Some of them scream at us (in whatever capacity their diseased lungs can allow them to), and 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."

u/geekglassesglaceon

8. "I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient. I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID-19 deniers, so I've been seeing COVID-19 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-19–denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID-19... Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are pretty obnoxious despite their COVID-19 diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it."

u/Ssutuanjoe

9. "My wife is a doctor and a few of our family friends are as well. One guy came in refusing to wear a mask and our friend refused to treat him until he masked up. When our friend told him he most likely had COVID-19, the guy said no, that's fake and he just needed some antibiotics..."

Two doctors helping someone with their ventilator
Tempura / Getty Images

"...He left without getting a prescription, called back that night, and demanded to be given oxygen. Our friend told him his only option was to go to the hospital. The guy had a severe case of COVID-19 and ended up being hospitalized for a few weeks. He still thinks it was fake and was only a severe flu."

u/Ezzy17

10. "I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I saw a lot of 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 minimum — left with a couple weeks of misery. Also those who spread it to their loved ones, who then got extremely ill."

u/5hade

11. "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 needs to be escorted from the room."

u/KindGoat

12. "RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID-19 land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. Some denier patients lived, many of whom 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-19 didn't care."

u/dat_joke

13. "Back in the summer, we had a guy come in for bad COVID-19 pneumonia. Both him and his wife denied it was COVID-19. He was feeling sick but still decided to go to the casino. He was found unresponsive a few hours later by his wife in the hotel. The guy was intubated and died a week later."

Cards and chips on a casino table
Clemente Jesus Martinez Diaz / Getty Images

14. "ER doc chiming in. They told me I was wrong. They said there’s no way they had COVID-19, despite coming into the ER for shortness of breath, cough, and fevers. When I mentioned that their wife, who was several rooms down, also had COVID-19, 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-19 with the same symptoms, I was told that it was because they were overall healthy and only took their masks off to eat and drink in the casino."

u/doctER18

15. And finally, "I was a volunteer on the COVID-19 ward. I had one patient who didn't believe it when I told him he was positive so he spat on me. I got it too (even though I was wearing all the protective clothing — the guy was determined) and I got very sick and never went back."

u/Super_Cheese_Me

Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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