General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What would you do or say to persuade a covid-19 skeptic that the pandemic is real?

Asked by Jeruba (51894points) July 2nd, 2020

Suppose you have someone close by
•  who doubts all the published stories, saying they’re “just stories,” meaning false,
•  who thinks the pandemic hoax is being pushed for the financial gain of a few and political control of the populace,
•  who doesn’t know anyone personally who has or has had the virus (and neither do I),
•  and who claims that his routine proximity to people who, like him, are unmasked proves that there’s no real risk?

What kind of proof could you offer this person in order to insist that he take precautions?

As always, it’s not just the risk he takes on his own behalf but the risk he poses to others.

Saying that he should be denied the company of people who don’t share his belief and don’t want to be exposed may be true, but is not an answer to the question.

In other words, I’m asking not “What should I do about him?” but “What would constitute proof?” What would be evidence, not what would be your advice?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

79 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I also have a need for this.
A relative says: “you can’t trust mainstream media.” and I counter with “Ah but you can trust Russian trolls on FB.”
I need a better argument.

Or do I just figure “Only a fool argues with a fool.” ?

hmmmmmm's avatar

The problem here is that when someone is this far gone, all evidence is easily explained away as further evidence to support his conspiracy. In other words, is someone currently believes C19 is a hoax, there is literally nothing that could provided as proof.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They believe in conspiracy theory in the morning same when they go to bed.

To change and I mean paradigm shift change; requires critical thinking which is missing in most deniers of the pandemic.

Just wish them good health. Stay away from them.

Zaku's avatar

Tell them that over half a million people have died from it, over 130,000 of them American, and that the lies they believe are responsible for a growing number of those deaths.

“The ignorance you are a part of has caused many deaths and will continue to cause many more.”

Jeruba's avatar

Unfortunately, telling them what I believe isn’t proof of any kind, any more than telling me what they believe proves anything. This is why I said I’m asking what kind of evidence to cite (or show), not advice on how to treat this person.

Notably, the person I have in mind is not a Republican, not a Trumpist, and not an everything-denier, and he’s one of the smartest people I know. He just doesn’t see evidence that there’s a pandemic; all he sees is reactions to the reports and not proof of their accuracy. Countering this is made harder by the fact that reports and statistics are apparently all over the map. No one seems to know what is accurate. There’s no consistency in how stats are being collected, and even the experts are estimating.

He doesn’t deny that a lot of people are sick (there are always a lot of sick people) and that a lot of people are dying (people die every day). What he denies is that there’s something unusual moving through the population in such a way that extraordinary measures (such as wearing a mask) should be taken. He thinks normal precautions against normal flu and other viruses are all that’s needed. He gets his flu shot every year.

I don’t know of any direct evidence to refute this.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I tried to convince my daughter of the possible dangers. In the end, all I could really do is express my concern and urge her to be cautious. She isn’t.

ragingloli's avatar

You one-up them by trying to convince them of an even more insane conspiracy theory.
For example, that the virus was created by secret lizard aliens that want to turn humans into human-lizard hybrids. Then accuse the person of being a secret lizard alien infiltrator trying to get me infected with the alien virus.

seawulf575's avatar

I think that part of the problem is that not all of the examples given in the question are all part of the same thing. A person could believe the pandemic is real, but still believe that there are those pushing actions for financial or political gain. You could not know anyone personally that has or has had the disease, yet still believe it is real. That might be a point of contention as to how potent the disease really is, how valid the actions being taken are, and what actions should be taken going forward. And the arguments you might find would be different than “I don’t believe it is real”. There are those that believe that it isn’t real and nothing you can say will change their minds. But I believe there are very few that don’t believe it exists.

cookieman's avatar

You can’t convince someone that illogical, that far gone. You can just stay away from them.

gorillapaws's avatar

Ask him if he’d get in an elevator when there was a consensus of engineers warning it’s not safe (though differing on the exact degree of risk). Ask him if he’d eat a wild mushroom when a consensus of biologists agreed it was poisonous. Ask him if he would visit a website when a consensus of computer security experts warned that it contained malicious code. I’m sure there are plenty of other examples.

Rationally, an appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. The truth of a proposition isn’t guaranteed simply because an authority says so. However when we lack the expertise to thoroughly evaluate the veracity of a proposition ourselves on the merits of the evidence (as just about everyone who isn’t a virologist does), then a consensus of experts should at the very minimum be worth taking seriously when those experts are advocating caution.

Jeruba's avatar

@cookieman, where is the illogic?

@seawulf575, of course it is possible for a person to hold contradictory views, as philosophers have pointed out. But I don’t see contradictions here.

> A person could believe the pandemic is real, but still believe that there are those pushing actions for financial or political gain.
Yes, and I do.

> You could not know anyone personally that has or has had the disease, yet still believe it is real.
Yes, and both are true for me.

> There are those that believe that it isn’t real and nothing you can say will change their minds.
I’m sure that’s so. But this happens to be a person who believes in research, likes to be well informed, and yields to proof even when it’s contrary to his hypothesis. I don’t think he’s beyond convincing. What I don’t know is how.

And of course I have to be prepared to yield if it turns out that he has proof of his view. If I don’t sustain that commitment to scientific evidence and reason, why should I ask it of him?

Caravanfan's avatar

I’ll take @gorillapaws a step further. Ask him if he would willfully walk into an elevator full of coughing, febrile patients.

Jeruba's avatar

@Caravanfan, I’m sure he wouldn’t. He’d say he wouldn’t walk into the elevator even if all they have is ordinary colds. He’s not questioning that people are sick, and he doesn’t want to catch anything. He’s saying that there’s nothing special about what’s going on now—that we don’t need masks now any more than we needed them a year ago.

We delegate our quest for evidence all the time. Aside from science lab, I believed what I was taught in science classes and what I read in authoritative sources (a) because I have a reasonable amount of confidence in the experts and (b) because I trust the scientific openness to further discovery and commitment to changing conclusions when new evidence appears. But I do not try to confirm most factual matter—the existence of black holes, say, or the behavior of subatomic particles—by independent verification.

longgone's avatar

What sources does he trust? Where does he get his information, and can you find an alternative perspective there?

My first thought was to have him talk to someone who’s seen (possibly treated) COVID-19 patients. I don’t know if that’s feasible, but I can imagine it working. Any doctors or nurses in your social circle?

Caravanfan's avatar

@Jeruba Well people with ordinary colds don’t get on the ventilator for 3 weeks.

Jeruba's avatar

@Caravanfan, I agree with you. I’m sure you’ve seen a ventilator in use, although I never have. But I can put a bandage on my knee and it does not prove I have a cut.

Jeruba's avatar

@longgone, on this one, he’s sticking to direct observation: social contact with people who are not taking any special preventive measures and also not getting sick. That’s hard to argue with. (Of course, I have not seen them not wearing masks and not getting sick.)

Again, this is Santa Clara County, and even now, more than 100 days after shelter-in-place, I myself don’t know personally anyone who has it.

My social circle is a little inactive right now. I have doctors and nurses not only among friends but among relatives. But this young man I’m speaking of would have been Thomas: “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Not that I believe that; it’s just a way of characterizing his skepticism.

Which in all likelihood he learned from me. You know the old saying: “When I taught them to question authority, I didn’t mean for them to question my authority.)

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I wouldn’t try. Even stupid people are needed for biodiversity .

Caravanfan's avatar

@Jeruba I see ventilators every day. I am managing a critically ill COVID patient on a ventilator right now.

Jeruba's avatar

@Caravanfan, I don’t doubt you for a second.

seawulf575's avatar

@Jeruba In your original question, you posited several beliefs that the hypothetical someone you are trying to convince might have. But you seemed to list them as examples of someone that didn’t believe the Covid-19 virus was real. That is why I pointed out you could believe some of those things, but still believe the virus was real.
For example, I don’t believe that wearing masks is the end all be all. Why? Because of what is considered a mask, how they are worn, and because of the relative porosity of the materials. I saw someone the other day that had a baby bib draped in front of their mouth. Their nose was uncovered. But technically they were wearing a mask. It wasn’t really stopping any of their exhalations from being released, though. People wear bandanas and cloth masks. The porosity is pretty big…let’s say to the tune of 37 microns for a pretty fine mesh cotton fiber. The size of the virus is about 0.125 micron. So wearing the mask does very little. To put it in perspective, you are trying to catch a guppy with a net designed for tuna. You might get lucky and capture a few, but most will slip right through without even coming close to being captured. Also, these aren’t air tight masks. As you exhale the air goes out the top, bottom, and around the sides. There are some masks that are designed to block these viruses. But most of those are not the ones we are being told to wear. This article shows that even the medical community is contradictory in their studies of the efficiencies of masks. So if it is believed that surgical masks do relatively nothing in surgeries and do nothing for respiratory infections, what good is it for John Q. Public to wear a piece of cloth over his/her face?
But that doesn’t mean I don’t think the pandemic is real. I just believe we are being sold a bill of goods on what is helpful and what is not.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I agree with @cookieman. Particularly at this stage, there is no point in flat earth discussions concerning the virus. As for the FOX contention that the disease was but a liberal hoax—the flu exaggerated out of all proportion—that rang true with most of the advice one expects from FOX, and turned out just as valid as the idea that opening back up was prudent in the face of the mathematics associated with every epidemic in common memory.

cookieman's avatar

“ who thinks the pandemic hoax is being pushed for the financial gain of a few and political control of the populace,,,”

@Jeruba: We could start here.

filmfann's avatar

I’d point to the ice rink in Italy that was turned into a makeshift morgue.

mazingerz88's avatar

If I have the resources and time and if this unbeliever is willing, travel together to wherever it’s accessible to see actual proof.

Visit people who lost loved ones, talk to funeral home owners, get access to hospital records, go see scientists working on a vaccine…even go deeper by doing an actual investigation following the steps a real reporter / journalist would take. Go look at the actual virus under a microscope. Attend an autopsy.

The thing is though, absolutely NOTHING would convince a person who already made the decision to not believe. Early on I would ask this person what would it take for him to believe anyway? What if he says this and that but when you give it to him or make it happen he still refuses to believe?

My friend who is tragically a flat-earth believer, if I take him to a space flight would probably say those things he is seeing out the window is fake and I drugged him or something. Lol

stanleybmanly's avatar

@cookieman Trump straight up made the claim and was loudly backed up by his mouthpieces on the disease being exaggerated for Democratic political advantage. The rosy scenarios of the “the disease will vanish” and “over by April” were blatantly stupid and unforgivably irresponsible, but then what’s new about that?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Nothing. There is nothing you could ever say or do to convince him.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Jeruba The thought that one must personally experience something first hand in order to believe it to be true is stupid. It is flat stupid.

Mt Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. I know this because cartographers have studied the maps and calculated its height. I have not personally done the studies or calculations, but I know these scientists have and their work has been verified by other scientists.

I do not work in a laboratory studying elemental atoms, but I know that there are scientists who do. They tell me that an atom of hydrogen has a certain weight and other characteristics that are observably true. Their colleagues and competitors have verified the claims. I can reasonably trust what they say, even though I have not personally done the work to know these facts.

The CDC and the WHO say that a disease called COVID19 exists and that it is killing many people. These are not politicians with an agenda. They are scientists. It is stupid not to believe them.

It’s quite possible the unbeliever you are faced with is someone you don’t want to call stupid. They would likely be insulted. It’s also possible this is not someone you can simply ignore. This sounds like a truly difficult situation. Perhaps you can help them realize they accept all sorts of things as facts that they have not personally verified.

Has he personally seen the Statue of Liberty? If no, how then can he know it exists? All the photos could be fake. All the people who say they’ve seen it could be lying. I think you get the idea.

I wish you the best of luck.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

He might think that Covid-19 is made up, but I doubt that he would refuse the stimulus check from the government. Ask him to prove his point and refuse the check.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Or better yet. Let him work volunteer in the front lines since Covid19 doesn’t exist. He will believe when he catches it.

chelle21689's avatar

People believe what they want to, do no matter how much reasoning you give they will never see. Not unless it hits home where they become sick or a loved one does. I’ve known a few who have died, a couple of them my age (31).

Caravanfan's avatar

Well, you can tell your friend I just had to rush back into the hospital because the patient was acutely dropping their oxygen levels to critically low levels. I was dictating instructions on what to do as I was driving in. By the time I had gotten there the patient had stabilized somewhat, but I had to don full PPE and go in the room to make ventilator adjustments along with the respiratory therapist. As I type this I don’t know if she’ll make it through the night.

Tell your friend to wear a motherfucking mask. This is not the fucking common cold or even the flu. I’ve never, ever seen flu this bad and I’ve been doing this shit for 30 years.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

See this is what I don’t understand a DOCTOR^^ plus other health professionals say it’s real people are dying people are getting very ill, and yet some still think it’s a hoax or hype to make a Republican president look bad, I don’t think those dead people were in on the hoax.
I wonder did people in 1918 doubt that pandemic was a hoax as well?

LostInParadise's avatar

How does he account for the news stories talking about the spread of the virus and the deaths caused by it? Does he think that all mainstream journalists made up the story? If not, was it the CDC and other medical experts who fabricated it? Can he point to a previous example of a story that was reported in the news over a long period of time that proved to be completely false?

janbb's avatar

I would think @Caravanfan ‘s testimony would carry some weight. If they are willfully disbelieving there is not much you can do. All you can hope to do is control how they behave when in your presence/house and hope that they don’t get it or carry it to you.

JLeslie's avatar

What I have tried is to use their arguments, they usually have some. I also agree with them that mainstream media is being biased, extreme, and alarmists, but there is some truth in their reporting.

Here’s some examples:

When they say I see a lot of people now saying the virus has a 98% survival rate, stop worrying. They want us to look at it as glass half full. It’s obvious this is a talking point out there spreading around. Here is my reply:

So, is that 2% death rate? I was actually going with .6%. Hmmmm. Ok, so 2%. Let’s say 25% of people in the US catch it this year. That would be 83million. 2% of 83 million is 1,660,000 dead. That’s ok with you?

Let’s say we actually slow the spread a little, you know half of us are wearing masks and reducing risk while half the people who think it’s nothing do nothing. Maybe 43 million people infected in one year. 2% die. That’s 860,000 people dead.

Let’s say I’m right and it’s only .6% and 43 million people catch it. That’s 253,000 dead.

Just want to make sure you actually are doing the math.

Almost all statistics they give are done with bad math or there are completely false statistics. One or the other. Just do the real math for them. They have decimals in wrong places, they have world statistics mixed with US statistics. There is always a problem with the numbers that they will have to agree with. It is their numbers you are using against them.

When they say Democrats want everything to be closed down and ruin the economy because they hate Trump, I say: WRONG! Democrats want people to wear masks so businesses will stay open and the economy will keep going. Look around! Even Republican governors who want to open everything up, they have had to backtrack and reclose businesses because they virus is spreading too fast. Even they will not risk hospitals being overwhelmed. People going against the advisories, not wearing masks, not distancing, and crowding in large groups are CAUSING businesses to have to be closed and hurting the economy. In my state, Florida, I can tell my fellow residents here that even DeSantis has said over and over again for months to wear a mask when you can’t distance, to not be in large groups, he has worn a mask himself, and his people, for months.

I keep telling them to open there eyes and see what is happening and stop listening to others or the TV.

When they use religion as their reason, like saying, “if you are right with God you don’t have to worry about the virus.” I say Jesus would want us to have concern for others.

If they say I’m healthy, I eat right, I don’t have to worry about the virus, I tell them, “Don’t you know people who have been diagnosed with cancer in sate 3 and 4? Don’t you know people who have sudden heart attacks and didn’t know they had a time bomb building inside of them? You could have cancer right now, God forbid.

When they say beaches shouldn’t close, I agree.

When they say forbidding paint and garden sales is overreach, I agree.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie – Good post. Unfortunately you contradict yourself by making your own judgements on which rules are appropriate and which aren’t. If you can make those judgements so can I. We are reaching the point of unintended consequences. ICU beds are being consumed by people that do not have covid but have put off their surgery or other treatment and now are critical. People have put off their cancer treatment or other issues and we’re filling those beds with the backlog. The most important number (to me) is deaths. That number is still going down but the problems from the lockdown are still going up. I think it is fair that we all make our own judgement as to which is worse.

seawulf575's avatar

As I said, I don’t believe the virus is not real. I believe fully that people are getting sick and dying of it. I don’t believe the media is reporting it fairly. I believe that politicians are politicizing it. I think that there are a lot of knee-jerk reactions that are causing a lot of unintended consequences. And I really have to question how many lives we are really saving by restricting so much of the economy and people’s lives. Eventually, as things open up, there will still be spikes in cases. Eventually, we will expose most people to this virus, whether it takes us 2 weeks or 2 years.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Jaxk There is no elective surgery in my area and a high percentage of the beds in ICU’s are for COVID-19 patients ! I know one of the medical staff at the closest hospital. They are currently at about 60 % full in the ICU. I don’t know where you are getting the Idea patients in ICU’s are not COVID-19 related.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk That’s good feedback.

I have been fairly consistent with where I draw lines since March, and I think the lines are consistent with health professionals. Moreover, it is consistent with many of the basics we have known about respiratory disease for over 50 years.

Distancing has always been the advice all along. Masks can help a sick person from spreading the virus, that has been told to us all along. People are contagious before onset of symptoms, all along. Some people have asymptotic infection, all along. Outside is safer than indoor activities, all along. Both Republicans and Democrats and ALL sides of the media say we have learned more, but really no we haven’t.

A ton of the information has been completely consistent. The Republicans say it’s changed to explain away not doing anything at first and to argue we should not listen to scientists. The Left biased media say the information changed to try to convince Republicans we know more now. I think most of that is all garbage and manipulation.

ALL of these things have been true all along. Things we are learning is how much virus are asymptotic and low symptomatic people shedding (especially interested in children). Do we become immune once infected? Plus, we are trying to develop better treatments.

When Republicans say, “I think it’s nothing and just Democrats being hysterical” it’s hard to fight that. Most people do present their logic and arguments for their behavior, and that’s what I present above.

I just want people to understand the ACTUAL math and to wear a mask indoors and to distance inside and outside in public places. If they just do it we won’t have to argue about closing businesses and beaches, because they won’t have to close. This really doesn’t need to be such a I use in the country. Pretty much every leader in the country agrees, even the president, that this virus is very contagious and is killing more than the typical flus we see come through.

From what we can tell in Florida, beaches aren’t causing much transmission, it’s that the beachgoers are crowding into bars and restaurants. The holiday creates more concern that the beach will be jam packed and people won’t be able to space out in the beach like usual.

I’m not arbitrarily drawing lines.

Just curious, where are your lines? Will you wear a mask indoors? Distance from others while indoors in public places?

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie From what I can surmise, some hospitals are at 80% capacity because elective surgeries were finally allowed to be done again, and now that covid is surging the elective surgeries will have to stop in those hospitals.

When the media reports ICU’s are full or almost full, it can be misleading, because many hospitals can create another ICU unit. A shit ton of the reporting is incomplete on all sides of the media and it pisses me off.

Some hospitals are at true capacity for ICU patients and also very importantly personnel. Other hospitals not really but the news makes it sound that way. How are we to know what’s the real truth with this type of incomplete information.

It definitely is true that there were trailers/containers being brought in in NYC and Detroit metro area for the large overflow of dead bodies. It’s true healthcare professionals not usually on the ICU units were trained under a baptism by fire situation to help the extreme load of patients. This does not happen during a typical flu season. Anyone who thinks this is like a typical flu season is completely wrong.

Edit: that’s another thing I tell people who complain Democrats want to close the economy. They don’t wear masks and now hospitals have to close elective surgeries again, which means a lot of hospital workers have reduced hours (less pay) and people who need surgery have to wait longer. Wear a mask! They are causing the economic hurt.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie the limit to ICU expansion is ventilators and you can’t go to the local pharmacy and buy a couple. Some ICU level ventilators are $25,000 to $50,000.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie – First, thankyou for responding to @Tropical_Willie for me.

I do think the whole corona virus thing is over blown. That’s not to say its not real but our response has been out of line with the danger. About half of the deaths have been from Nursing Homes. We’ve let that happen and in some places actually contributed to the deaths with our policies. I was willing to go along with the stay-at-home orders for a while but not forever. People are losing their jobs, businesses, education, etc. Some will never recover. The rules imposed by some states are reasonable others are ridiculous. People are forced to decide whether to comply or put food on the table. The estimates of the number of deaths has been off by an order of magnitude so why should we believe them now. Masks were not helpful but now they are. The politicians that impose these rules quite often don’t comply themselves. I believe that the recent riots are, in a large part, the result of the lock down. To make maters worse, the government has never been my go-to organization for what’s right or wrong.

I’m fairly secure financially. That is I have enough to last me, assuming I don’t live too long. I over 70 with limited lung capacity so I’m in the sweet spot for this virus. Still, I’m not scared, hiding in my basement and resent the relentless push from the media to make me so. I wear a mask when entering a business that has posted ‘Mask Required’. I don’t wear one otherwise (of course here in Ca all the businesses have that sign). I socially distance when possible but I’m a little hard of hearing so I tend to lean a little closer to hear. Life is risky. This is just one more risk. If I succumb to the fear, I’d rather be dead anyway.

If @cookieman doesn’t like my actions, let him move to a tent in the desert.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I’m pretty sure people can be in ICU and not on a ventilator, but even if I’m wrong, my point is I think there are inconsistencies with how it’s being reported. It seems vague at times and incomplete. This gives room for Republicans to throw out into the argument all sorts of accusations that reporting is slanted.

I know in Florida we can see ICU beds and isolation beds. I don’t know if that means all isolation beds can be converted to ICU? Or, if they are keeping all covid patients in isolation beds so when that is full no more room for them?

janbb's avatar

This seems to have taken a turn away from the OP.!

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Has it?

@Jaxk You do see that governors are closing bars that were open and closing some other businesses and beaches right? Would you agree the governors have the full information about the hospitals and not some sort of media slant? Don’t you think governors need the tax dollars from July 4th’s usual activities, and yet governors are back stepping phased openings. Why do you think that is? Their Republican supporters mostly believe the virus is overblown. It’s not for votes.

The main message from the media is to care about others, including healthcare workers, and wear a mask or distance. If you need to be closer to hear, then I guess you need to wear a mask for sure. Do that and the rest falls into place.

Have you seen the video I have linked previously about Taiwan? 7 deaths last I checked. Businesses open.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The conversion to ICU IS the ventilator which is the limiting factor. Not all COVID-19 cases require a ventilator but when they go to ICU it is because they can’t breath on their own and need the ventilator. I have a family friend that is an RN in an ICU in New England. He has seen several COVID-19 patients die while on a ventilator and they didn’t come from a long term care facility.

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie Is correct. People can and often are in the ICU and not on a ventilator.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan Thanks for clarifying. I was pretty sure I’ve visited more than one person in ICU who was not on a ventilator. In my father’s case it might have been CCU if that matters.

Caravanfan's avatar

At the moment my ICU is almost full and I only have one ventilator going.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
canidmajor's avatar

Wow, this really has drifted off the original Q!

I don’t think there is anything I could do or say to someone who has decided, in the way that you describe, @Jeruba, that they don’t believe it is serious. For something to be accepted as evidence by someone, that person has to believe that it is evidence.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
janbb's avatar

@LuckyGuy That was good and on point. The question had wandered away from the original issue. To the OP’s question, you can’t control what other people do or believe, you can only control how they behave around you. The hard thing about contagion is that what everyone does elsewhere can make you sick. And if you have a young or older person who lives in your household and doesn’t believe, it is doubly scary.

If you have someone who lives in your household who is not being careful, maybe the thing to do is not to try to convince them to believe, but just make their compliance with your strictures a condition of them staying in your house. But that’s hard to do with an adult child or other family member.

canidmajor's avatar

Excellent points, @janbb and @LuckyGuy. Most of us are not considered “sources” that non-believers (in most things, really, not just this) would trust, but a certain control of our personal environment is important. I do find it somewhat amusing that some of the people who are adamant about not wearing masks are the same ones that totally freak out at the wearing of shoes indoors.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
janbb's avatar

Another thought, because I don’t really think we’ve helped you much. Is there any media source he does trust such as Mother Jones or Rolling Stone? Could you find articles in them about the pandemic that would help you convince him? Other than that, and trying to control his behavior around you which is not that helpful is he is exposed elsewhere, I’m not sure what you can do.

Maybe buy a pulse oximeter and have him check his oxygenation level every day to show you that he is not sick. It takes two seconds and is completely non-invasive.

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb Does the oxygenation level hold true if someone has Covid-19 but is assymptomatic? I would think that wouldn’t be a good indicator at all. They could also be pre-symptomatic and not be showing any symptoms including impact on oxygenation levels. Is this wrong? Do you have a citation that it is wrong?

janbb's avatar

One of the articles I read said that doctors were finding that they were doing chest X-Pays on patients in hospitals for other illnesses and finding that their lungs wer damaged from Covid although they had presented no other symptoms.

Here’s one article from the NY Times about using one. There are several others. It is a simple non-invasive and cheap tool that is one I find reassuring:

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb Thanks. I’m not sure that really answers my question fully, though. I noticed they gave several examples of doctors that used the oximeters. The two that stuck out in my mind were the ones that said “they weren’t feeling well” or “were feeling fatigued”. In the first, the doctor had Covid-19 but had normal oxygen levels. She even started feeling better and had normal oxygen levels. Then one day she felt very fatigued and checked again and her oxygen was a bit low. But she had already made the decision to go to the hospital before that happened. The other example was a doctor that kinda went the other way saying people could have lowered oxygen saturation numbers but were feeling fine. The concern seemed to be that Covid-19 could cause a sudden, rapid drop in oxygen that could be suddenly life threatening. But I didn’t get a real good feeling that if the patient is completely asymptomatic the oxygen levels would be lower. It seems that there is always some indication…some symptom…that seems to be the trigger.

janbb's avatar

We’re off topic now but if I can find the other article that convinced me, I’ll post it. In any case,
you do you.

Here you go. This explains it:

seawulf575's avatar

Yeah, we drifted off topic, but it is an interesting concept. I can’t find really anything that says if you are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic your oxygen saturation drops. I hear about hypoxia, silent hypoxia, and covid pneumonia. But with all of those there seem to be other symptoms, though your last link showed one where that wasn’t true. I’ll continue to look into it though. Thanks!

Poseidon's avatar

I would do absolutely nothing and would definitely not try to convince the sceptic that the virus IS real

I would simply consider that he/her was an immature fool and no matter how hard I tried to convince them it is a real virus it would fall on deaf ears so I would not waste my breath.

I would also pray that this idiot did not find out the hard way by catching the virus and therefore learning that it is a genuine virus.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: Not everyone in the ICU is on a ventilator because not everyone in the ICU is there because they can’t breathe.

Conversely, everyone on a ventilator must be in the ICU because everyone who is on a vent needs to be monitored closely 24/7.

chyna's avatar

My brother’s best friend was diagnosed with Covid Friday and was put in ICU on a bi-pap machine. He was better by Monday and sent to a private room without the bi-pap.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Tell him he will lose the election if he doesn’t change his ways.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Scary. Thank goodness he’s doing ok.

Jeruba's avatar

I was reading last night about people in extreme distress with covid-19 who confessed that they didn’t believe in it until they got it.

I hope that’s not what it takes with this person. If it is, it could cost at least four people and not just him.

Thanks for all the thoughtful answers and discussion. (And by the way, this one is not even a Republican. He’s just willful and hard-headed, and folks like that come in all flavors.)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Those clips of the crowds on the beaches on Memorial Day and the 4th of July were all that it took to convince me of just what we are in for. So what will it take before the conclusion that we’ve fkd up and irreparably so. Would half a million deaths do the trick? How about a million people? What effect might we expect on the “open” economy then?

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther