Disbelieving Something Doesn’t Make It Not Real

It’s bizarre to see a Covid patient deny Covid exists while gasping for breath | ICU nurse | The Guardian
We’ve cared for people in their 20s and 30s, and that has been confronting – most of my colleagues are the same age

An article that corresponds with what I said earlier about cognitive dissonance as being why most anti-vaxxers and Covid deniers are thinking and acting the way they are. In effect, completely denying reality, not wanting to believe it or accept it, because they can’t cope with the death and grief of their old way of life and old sense of self-identity.

It’s strange seeing a team that is competent and confident come into a shift with an air of uncertainty, but it’s not as strange as caring for a Covid patient who does not believe Covid exists.

It’s bizarre to watch an individual chastise the nurses and doctors about Covid being fake as they sit on the floor gasping for air while a cytokine storm roars in their lungs. The time between each word is drawn out while they are trying to draw in as many breaths as they can. “Would you like the oxygen back on, sir?” a nurse will inquire after another failed escape. They accept our help back to their room. Regain their breath with help from the oxygen. And then the escape plotting starts all over again. Another patient who was on a ventilator kept telling us Covid wasn’t real after they regained consciousness.

As frustrating as it is, this is not as uncommon as you would hope. A few people are too far down the false information rabbit hole that there isn’t any point trying to convince them otherwise. Heads and brick walls and all that. There’s a name for this condition they share: cognitive dissonance. This is how conflicting information is perceived. A lot of people who are on the cusp of being antivaxxers or Covid deniers are simply undecided because they don’t know what to believe.

It’s really, really sad to read this. I know in my own family, I’ve had some consistently say in the past “Oh, I don’t believe in that” when I talked about something that conflicted with their beliefs. It got so bad that in 2019, a year before the pandemic, I actually said “Mother Nature doesn’t care what you believe.” How prophetic those words seem today.

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for the roleplaying game called Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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