Author Topic: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID  (Read 4669 times)

Goatee Joe

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Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« on: May 12, 2020, 07:19:58 AM »
Here's my situation:  my parents are semi-retired (dad works, mom no) and are going completely crazy about COVID.  Maybe it's the home confinement, but they are really off the deep end on this one.  They have always been VERY susceptible to believing all kinds of wild conspiracy theories on just about any topic, and this one really has them revved up.  Now they are telling me you can't believe ANY of the "government's" data (all the deaths are made up, the government/hospitals are wildly exaggerating the # deaths/cases), and this whole ordeal is just a vast conspiracy to trick us all into getting a vaccine (they are also vehement anti-vaxxers, don't get me started...), and that it's all part of a big, sinister plan to control all of us.  They claim they'll refuse any hospital treatment (those hospitals will just take all your money and kill you, you know) and they confidently assert that hospitals are the #2 cause of death in the United States.  I didn't even dare ask what they thought is #1.

This weekend they told me they'll never get on a plane again once the airlines start mandating stricter sanitary procedures/requirements (this is all part of the secret conspiracy to control us, you see).  This is quite unfortunate, and means they will probably be unwilling to come visit us and their grandchildren (they live in the U.S. and we live in Europe) for the foreseeable future, and possibly for many years to come.  They also no longer welcome guests at their home (including their own kids/grandkids, as has been made clear to us), so flying to see them is out of the question, on top of all the other hassles of travel COViD has generated.

Sigh.  Any advice from folks in a similar situation?  Is there any hope of talking any sense into my folks?  Any solid resources I can point them to on this topic?  It can't be anything from the "mainstream" media, as they immediately dismiss all of it (from ALL sides of the political spectrum) as part of the giant scam.  Or are they simply a lost cause?  I'm beginning to wonder if I, my wife and kids may need to start envisioning a future where we no longer see my parents in person anymore.

former player

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 08:13:43 AM »
I've found that trying to disabuse someone of a conspiracy theory is a waste of breath: if they are the sorts of people in the sort of situation where they believe a conspiracy theory in the first place.

I think what you need to concentrate on what they are actually doing, and try to redirect it if it is causing them harm.  In this case their beliefs are leading them not to fly and not have guests in their home: their reasons may be batty but in current circumstances the actions are entirely reasonable, and indeed required in many jurisdictions around the world.  So for the time being I think you should concentrate on maintaining the relationship. You don't need to enter into their delusions, just say "I think that's wrong but I don't want to argue about it" and turn the conversation to something sane.  As to whether you will ever see them again, that's not going to happen until things change from the current situation whatever they are thinking, but at least what they are doing suggests that they are less likely to catch COVID-19 and as long as they and you stay alive there is the possibility of future meetings.

expatartist

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2020, 08:27:10 AM »
Here's my situation:  my parents are semi-retired (dad works, mom no) and are going completely crazy about COVID.  Maybe it's the home confinement, but they are really off the deep end on this one.  They have always been VERY susceptible to believing all kinds of wild conspiracy theories on just about any topic, and this one really has them revved up.  Now they are telling me you can't believe ANY of the "government's" data (all the deaths are made up, the government/hospitals are wildly exaggerating the # deaths/cases), and this whole ordeal is just a vast conspiracy to trick us all into getting a vaccine (they are also vehement anti-vaxxers, don't get me started...), and that it's all part of a big, sinister plan to control all of us.  They claim they'll refuse any hospital treatment (those hospitals will just take all your money and kill you, you know) and they confidently assert that hospitals are the #2 cause of death in the United States.  I didn't even dare ask what they thought is #1.

This weekend they told me they'll never get on a plane again once the airlines start mandating stricter sanitary procedures/requirements (this is all part of the secret conspiracy to control us, you see).  This is quite unfortunate, and means they will probably be unwilling to come visit us and their grandchildren (they live in the U.S. and we live in Europe) for the foreseeable future, and possibly for many years to come.  They also no longer welcome guests at their home (including their own kids/grandkids, as has been made clear to us), so flying to see them is out of the question, on top of all the other hassles of travel COViD has generated.

Sigh.  Any advice from folks in a similar situation?  Is there any hope of talking any sense into my folks?  Any solid resources I can point them to on this topic?  It can't be anything from the "mainstream" media, as they immediately dismiss all of it (from ALL sides of the political spectrum) as part of the giant scam.  Or are they simply a lost cause?  I'm beginning to wonder if I, my wife and kids may need to start envisioning a future where we no longer see my parents in person anymore.

I'm sorry to hear this. But these are edgy times and most of us aren't ourselves - or the selves we thought we knew - at the moment. This is going to take years to recover from, and it's difficult to come to terms with. Hong Kong where I live has never forgotten the trauma of SARS, it changed everything from sanitary
 infrastructure to how most in our territory dealt with concepts of hygiene and clean/unclean. This seemed neurotic if understandable to me at first but has proven to be helpful now.

It's good they won't be traveling any time soon. They shouldn't. Travel industry experts predict the leisure travel industry will take years to recover and prices will be quite high for some time. It's good they're not letting anyone into their home, they form part of the vulnerable population. They have one another so are ok for now. If you visit their area, you can stay elsewhere and visit them somewhere neutral. Sorry I have no list of resources for you, but peer reviewed scientific papers from or mentioned in The Lancet, Nature etc can sometimes be neutral ground, because they're data-based.

Scientists haven't even confirmed if immunity to COVID-19 lasts. They're still gathering data. It's impossible to make life decisions or predict anything until we know more about how the virus works. So we are all struggling with how to manage this new world. Best of luck! Things will settle down in new places eventually.

LifeHappens

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 08:32:09 AM »
OP, I'm sorry you're going through this. Unfortunately, attempting to persuade your parents through rational means is unlikely to be effective. Lots of research points to people becoming even MORE entrenched in irrational beliefs when they are challenged.

The work of George Lakoff might be helpful to you in framing some talking points. https://georgelakoff.com/

I have also found the documentary The Brainwashing of my Dad helpful in understanding how right wing media affects the minds of those who listen to it. https://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com/ Your parents are likely being cognitively altered by the type of media they consume.

It's a tough situation. I hope you can at least find some peace with it.

Car Jack

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 08:40:57 AM »
Tell them to watch the History channel.  They'll learn that the aliens built the pyramids, that ant people saved us when the alien wars caused unhospitible earth surface, that there's gold hidden by Japanese generals, that the Arc of the Covenant is 150 feet below an island in Nova Scocia and that their best information is from ancient alien theorists.

Sooner or later, they're going to sit back and think "what a bunch of nonsense".  Or not.  Meh.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 09:13:02 AM »
Conspiracy theories are comforting to people because it provides a semblance of order in a complex world with no simple answers. Believing there is some group of people behind the scenes pulling the strings means that there's a way to fix it. Accepting that some things are beyond our control is much harder.

Laura33

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2020, 09:24:29 AM »
I'd let it go for now and hope that they've forgotten the worst of the crazy by the time the situation improves enough that visiting is even an option.  You can't reason them out of it, because they aren't driven by logic.  As @Michael in ABQ said, it is an emotional response, driven by the need to assert control over something that is big and scary and amorphous and completely out of their control and thus terrifying.  It is a fear response, but being angry and pointing fingers feels safer/more powerful than feeling afraid and helpless.

The flip side of this is that when the situation seems more under control, they will not have the same emotional need to replace fear with anger and find something that makes them feel in control.  So they may revert back closer to something resembling the parents you remember -- at least in the things that matter, like having relationships with kids/grandkids.  Or at least you can hope.

SunnyDays

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 09:52:09 AM »
I think it's hopeless.  Because you can't reason with illogical people.  This is all a hoax and the deaths are greatly exaggerated?  But then they won't let anyone into their home?  And they don't see the contradiction?

My ex-roommate is in that camp too.  Just got informed that Bill Gates is involved in the making of the vaccine and plans to use it to inject everyone with a micro-chip (or something) to enable mind control.  (Yup, she's an anti-vaxxer.) It took all of my will power to not burst out laughing in her face.  Oh, the paranoia!  Next time she comes up with something so asinine, I won't control myself.

I'm sure it's a lot more painful to hear this kind of stuff from relatives that you care about, but the more you try to argue with them, the more entrenched in their position they will become.  There are actually studies that show this.  So really, don't bother.

big_owl

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2020, 09:59:51 AM »
This sounds like my parents.  They're probably too far gone now, all you can do is avoid the topic.  Your best hope would be to figure out how to secretly install an inline filter on their cable connection that blocked foxnews, presumably they have this on the TV like 5hrs per day minimum.  Then there's the internet....

Kris

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2020, 10:16:24 AM »
I've found that trying to disabuse someone of a conspiracy theory is a waste of breath: if they are the sorts of people in the sort of situation where they believe a conspiracy theory in the first place.

I think what you need to concentrate on what they are actually doing, and try to redirect it if it is causing them harm.  In this case their beliefs are leading them not to fly and not have guests in their home: their reasons may be batty but in current circumstances the actions are entirely reasonable, and indeed required in many jurisdictions around the world.  So for the time being I think you should concentrate on maintaining the relationship. You don't need to enter into their delusions, just say "I think that's wrong but I don't want to argue about it" and turn the conversation to something sane.  As to whether you will ever see them again, that's not going to happen until things change from the current situation whatever they are thinking, but at least what they are doing suggests that they are less likely to catch COVID-19 and as long as they and you stay alive there is the possibility of future meetings.

I agree with this.

And I find that people who are drawn to conspiracy theories will always be drawn to the next exciting conspiracy. So if you're lucky, they'll eventually relax on this stuff when their new obsession takes hold to distract them. And as Former Player says, in the meantime, be happy that their nuttiness is leading them to act in a way that's coincidentally good for the time being.

mm1970

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2020, 10:20:04 AM »
Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that they don't believe the COVID hype but also won't let anyone visit?

terran

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2020, 10:25:54 AM »
Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that they don't believe the COVID hype but also won't let anyone visit?

I noted the same thing.

Kris

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2020, 10:38:54 AM »
Consistency does not seem to be a hallmark of the conspiracy theorist.

FINate

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2020, 10:43:56 AM »
It's never hopeless, just give it time.

Many (most?) people utter "never" statements during moments of stress or uncertainty. Does this really mean "never"? Probably not. But it does mean you probably won't see them in person for the next 1-2 years.

Count your blessings: Despite their fringe beliefs, they don't want visitors and refuse to fly. Being crammed in an airplane with hundreds of people for 8 hours seems like a pretty terrific way of catching an airborne virus. In other words, they intuitively understand the need to isolate. About the worst thing you can do right now is point out the inconsistency in their beliefs in an attempt to "win" the argument. Just ignore the crazy and let them process the chaos in their own way, especially if they are more-or-less doing the right thing by staying home.

For the sake of your own sanity and your relationship with your parents make it clear that you don't want to talk about anything COVID. Direct your phone/Zoom conversations to other topics. Reminisce about trips, holidays, etc. If you can Zoom (or whatever) with them then look at photos together.

Sibley

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2020, 11:08:34 AM »
Same problem, but not as bad for me. I'm mostly concerned that my mom will have been pushed over the edge into needing mental health treatment, but won't know for a while.

It's fear/anxiety. That makes people do crazy things. Ignore the lack of logic, address the emotion. In my case, the most effective thing right now is to repeatedly promise that once things ease up enough, they can come to my house for a week or so. It gives them something to hang on to.

MilesTeg

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 11:09:41 AM »
No point in arguing with them. That kind of behavior is a pathology. It often comes, as others have mentioned, from a desire to feel in control. It also often comes from a desire to feel "in the know". You will never convince them they are off their rocker. Arguing will only make them press harder.

You just have to find a way to live with it, and hope they soften their crazy a bit as the world starts to return to normal.

Villanelle

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 11:28:58 AM »
It sounds like this isn't entirely new; it's an expansion on beliefs they already had (based on the vaccination and hospital death things).  If that's the case, then I would spend most of my energy preparing myself for a relationship that exists only on a video screen or via letters and phone calls. 

That doesn't mean I would give up entirely, but for things like this, I don't think pushing does any good and in fact is often counter productive.  I would calmly just tell them how sad it is that the kids haven't seen them in X months, that the kids miss them, etc., as time passes.  I wouldn't lay it on thick, but as a matter of fact mention if it comes up. "Tuesday Sally asked again about you visiting.  She wishes she could show you her new bike and said she misses you.  Please let us know if you reconsider a visit.  They do miss you.  Oh, and speaking of her bike, we rode to the park the other day and...[change of subject]".

The only thing I'd be assertive about is that I am not willing to talk about Covid or anything related to it with them.  when it comes, up, firmly tell them that.  Repeat a few times if they don't listen, then say, "I have told you I don't want to talk about this, so I am going to end this call" if they persist.  They say goodbye and hang up. 

Catica

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2020, 12:11:27 PM »
Here's my situation:  my parents are semi-retired (dad works, mom no) and are going completely crazy about COVID.  Maybe it's the home confinement, but they are really off the deep end on this one.  They have always been VERY susceptible to believing all kinds of wild conspiracy theories on just about any topic, and this one really has them revved up.  Now they are telling me you can't believe ANY of the "government's" data (all the deaths are made up, the government/hospitals are wildly exaggerating the # deaths/cases), and this whole ordeal is just a vast conspiracy to trick us all into getting a vaccine (they are also vehement anti-vaxxers, don't get me started...), and that it's all part of a big, sinister plan to control all of us.  They claim they'll refuse any hospital treatment (those hospitals will just take all your money and kill you, you know) and they confidently assert that hospitals are the #2 cause of death in the United States.  I didn't even dare ask what they thought is #1.

This weekend they told me they'll never get on a plane again once the airlines start mandating stricter sanitary procedures/requirements (this is all part of the secret conspiracy to control us, you see).  This is quite unfortunate, and means they will probably be unwilling to come visit us and their grandchildren (they live in the U.S. and we live in Europe) for the foreseeable future, and possibly for many years to come.  They also no longer welcome guests at their home (including their own kids/grandkids, as has been made clear to us), so flying to see them is out of the question, on top of all the other hassles of travel COViD has generated.

Sigh.  Any advice from folks in a similar situation?  Is there any hope of talking any sense into my folks?  Any solid resources I can point them to on this topic?  It can't be anything from the "mainstream" media, as they immediately dismiss all of it (from ALL sides of the political spectrum) as part of the giant scam.  Or are they simply a lost cause?  I'm beginning to wonder if I, my wife and kids may need to start envisioning a future where we no longer see my parents in person anymore.
You can't point them to any solid resources as there aren't any.  No one knows anything.  They can't come to see you now anyway, so what's the rush in convincing them to come? You should leave them alone. 

markbike528CBX

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2020, 12:14:04 PM »
My mom (76) and stepdad (86) are excessively worried about this.  I wish I could calm them down and reduce the stress level.  As noted above, I can't.   
I wish there was something for their attention besides the boob toob.   mmmm there is a thought, maybe I could get them porn to watch :-)   They, however, think they are too old for that.

However, I recognize that they are in the most susceptible group, so they are doing the right thing and hunkering down. 
Mom has made quick visits for example, dropping off a Mother's day gift for my wife.

After a while everyone will get tired of getting so spun up, and _might_ relax, hopefully???

frugalfoothills

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2020, 12:30:21 PM »
I feel your pain. The tension in my family between myself, my parents, and my sister is.... reaching peaks, to say the least. Sister and brother-in-law do not believe in medicine, clean with essential oils only, etc. and have done zero prevention/social distancing. They believe COVID is a hoax, full stop.

My parents have fallen victim to the same line of thinking as yours... you can't trust the data because the government is padding all the numbers. It's not as deadly or serious as they're telling us. There's really no risk for them (they're 65 and 70 with underlying conditions.) This entire thing is a ploy to keep Trump from being reelected in November. Their only saving grace has been that they are both retired and their lives were already relatively distanced before this.

My sister has decided that since this is all fake, she will start seeing my parents. Not worried at all about compromising them. Her and my BIL came to stay with them 2 weeks ago in their home. Took them to the lake last weekend. Hugging, in the house together, zero distancing. My sis and BIL own a chiropractic office and have done nothing to limit their exposure during this entire time: no masks, no gloves, no limits to the number of people entering, still only cleaning with non-toxic products. And are now cozying up to my parents.

They all leave for a family beach trip on Saturday. I'm the only one not attending. The burden of constantly having to decline invitations weighs on me every day... I don't feel like myself. Their disregard for others' safety (and their own!) is tearing me up inside. They are angry with me, feel I'm allowing myself to be controlled and manipulated by fear, feel I am the crazy one.

Ultimately I know that this is all a way for them to feel in control of a situation that they have no way to control, and that scares them. A lot of people cannot handle the idea that there might not be a solution to every problem. I think this situation is extra hard because we are being asked to make really difficult decisions and turn down things we want to do, all for the chance that we will hopefully not make anyone else sick, but there's no way to know if you were effective in that or not because you can't prove a negative. If people are being asked to sacrifice, they want to see the fruits of their sacrifice to make them feel better. This situation is asking people to behave selflessly with no way to reinforce that it was "worth it" in their eyes, and it's asking them to come to terms with their total lack of control over their circumstances.

So... no real advice for you. Just here to say you're not alone and to commiserate. I think there are many of us out there going through this same experience right now.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 12:32:46 PM by frugalfoothills »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2020, 01:46:56 PM »
How remarkably tragic for all and I feel for the pain you’re experiencing for you, your children and your parents. There indeed is no benefit to be gained for arguing against them, the more you do, the more you become to them a lost cause as well. As much as it might pain you, I’d just get comfortable with whatever teleconferencing technology you’re using and let that be the way you and the kids communicate. Not quite the same but it’s better than never speaking to them. I’ve spend almost 30 years having a long distance relationship with my family and I feel I get more quality interactions than those at home. I wouldn’t use the time to discuss Covid or any of the conspiracies. Talk about hobbies, cooking or anything else. Let the kids be kids and share their wild kid tales and then give your family extra hugs and shift that energy to other family members who aren’t operating like your parents. There may come a time when your parents change or life changes things for them, for now though try and give your time and energy to those that want and need it and value it. All the best.

iris lily

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2020, 01:51:13 PM »
Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that they don't believe the COVID hype but also won't let anyone visit?
That’s why I wonder why the OP is getting his panties in a twist about his parents. Why does it matter what they think? They are keeping themselves  safe. Isn’t that what matters?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 01:58:58 PM by iris lily »

desk_jockey

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2020, 03:31:57 PM »
Can you ween them off fox news and facebook, and have them start reading long-form written material?

Rosy

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2020, 05:01:54 PM »
I am simply amazed that apparently there are people who believe this global pandemic is a hoax.

OP, since they are taking the right steps to protect themselves - I'd let it go for now.

FLBiker

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2020, 05:30:12 AM »
You can't point them to any solid resources as there aren't any.  No one knows anything.  They can't come to see you now anyway, so what's the rush in convincing them to come? You should leave them alone.

This idea really rubs me the wrong way.  I feel like so many of our current problems (including much of what the OP is describing) stem from this misunderstanding.  The fact that we can't be 100% certain about things does not mean that there aren't more and less reliable sources of information out there, and being able to critically evaluate them on an ongoing basis is essential.  For whatever reason, over the last few decades, I feel like the fact that science isn't ever 100% certain (which is what makes it science) has somehow been understood to mean that any idea is as valid as any other idea, regardless of the evidence or data behind it.  I strongly disagree.

(And @Catica please don't take this as an attack at all -- I realize this is just a throw away comment on a message board.  I'm undoubtedly responding more to my own much broader frustration than to anything you actually said.)

Catica

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2020, 06:42:40 AM »
You can't point them to any solid resources as there aren't any.  No one knows anything.  They can't come to see you now anyway, so what's the rush in convincing them to come? You should leave them alone.

This idea really rubs me the wrong way.  I feel like so many of our current problems (including much of what the OP is describing) stem from this misunderstanding. 
The fact that we can't be 100% certain about things does not mean that there aren't more and less reliable sources of information out there, and being able to critically evaluate them on an ongoing basis is essential.  For whatever reason, over the last few decades, I feel like the fact that science isn't ever 100% certain (which is what makes it science) has somehow been understood to mean that any idea is as valid as any other idea, regardless of the evidence or data behind it.  I strongly disagree.

(And @Catica please don't take this as an attack at all -- I realize this is just a throw away comment on a message board.  I'm undoubtedly responding more to my own much broader frustration than to anything you actually said.)
Fair. My comment was not to discredit science.  I was simply trying to respond to this specific dilemma the OP is having.  By saying "we don't know anything" I meant that neither the parents nor the son are any more knowledgeable on the subject by the arguments that they presented.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2020, 07:22:46 AM »
I think the not believers might change their mind if someone in their viccinity dies from it. As we have been distancing a lot in our country and DH and I don't work anymore, we haven't heard of anyone personal who had it badly. But our neighbour said (from a distance) that two of his coworkers in their 40-ies or 50-ies had it badly and were hospitalized.

If the social distancing works well, very few people will be infected and it will all seem like we and the government overdid it. It is only if we let the epidemic run uncontrolled that we can see how bad it is. Non believers should perhaps have visited an overflowing hospital, like one we saw on TV in New York. We also saw shots of lots of dead bodies being loaded unceremonically into trucks. But of course, this was broadcasted on reliable media. I think they will need to see it with their own eyes before they will start to believe. And it is better for them that they don't go out and stay at home.

Goatee Joe

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2020, 07:32:09 AM »
I've found that trying to disabuse someone of a conspiracy theory is a waste of breath: if they are the sorts of people in the sort of situation where they believe a conspiracy theory in the first place.

I think what you need to concentrate on what they are actually doing, and try to redirect it if it is causing them harm.  In this case their beliefs are leading them not to fly and not have guests in their home: their reasons may be batty but in current circumstances the actions are entirely reasonable, and indeed required in many jurisdictions around the world.  So for the time being I think you should concentrate on maintaining the relationship. You don't need to enter into their delusions, just say "I think that's wrong but I don't want to argue about it" and turn the conversation to something sane.  As to whether you will ever see them again, that's not going to happen until things change from the current situation whatever they are thinking, but at least what they are doing suggests that they are less likely to catch COVID-19 and as long as they and you stay alive there is the possibility of future meetings.

I agree with this.

And I find that people who are drawn to conspiracy theories will always be drawn to the next exciting conspiracy. So if you're lucky, they'll eventually relax on this stuff when their new obsession takes hold to distract them. And as Former Player says, in the meantime, be happy that their nuttiness is leading them to act in a way that's coincidentally good for the time being.

Thanks to those of you who posted helpful comments.  Sounds like I'm not the only one with family members going bonkers over this pandemic.  For me, this sums it up well:  for once, their nuttiness has actually led them to stumble into the right course of action here (isolating themselves at home).  I think I'll just let it go, and avoid the COViD topic with them anymore.  They aren't watching FoxNews (they hate ALL TV news stations, and claim they are all part of the media conspiracy... that now even includes relatively "benign" sources like PBS and NPR) and don't have cable (thank God) so at least there's that.  Now if I could just get their internet cut off, so they'd quit doing deep dives on whatever obscure conspiracy-peddling sites have taken over their minds.... :-)

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2020, 07:41:31 AM »

If the social distancing works well, very few people will be infected and it will all seem like we and the government overdid it. It is only if we let the epidemic run uncontrolled that we can see how bad it is. Non believers should perhaps have visited an overflowing hospital, like one we saw on TV in New York. We also saw shots of lots of dead bodies being loaded unceremonically into trucks. But of course, this was broadcasted on reliable media. I think they will need to see it with their own eyes before they will start to believe. And it is better for them that they don't go out and stay at home.

This is the scary thing about the U.S.:  there appear to be quite significant swaths of the population who either a) don't believe any of this is real, b) claim the data are being hijacked/manipulated, or c) don't give a crap and are just going to do what they want, no matter what anyone says.  It seems inevitable this disease is going to run out of control in the U.S.  Huge portions of the populace are incapable of understanding plain facts, or grasping that scientific understanding of this disease is nuanced and evolving.  I truly fear for the worst, with this thing ripping around the U.S. for years to come.  Hope I'm wrong, but lots of cause for concern thus far.

frugalnacho

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2020, 08:01:12 AM »
My family is cuckoo too.  I just spoke with my mom last night.

mom: Oh this whole covid thing is being totally overblown.  Such a big deal about nothing.
me: What? It is a huge deal.  We have over 80k deaths in the usa.  And that's with this crazy amount of lockdowns and precautions being taken. 
mom: Oh that's not that bad, it's no worse than the flu.
me: WTF are you talking about? That's in addition to the flu, and regardless that would be an extremely bad flu year anyway.  I don't ever remember a flu season that high in my entire life.  I can't find all the statistics, but that exceeds the annual flu death toll for at least the last 10 years.  And that's not even an entire season, just since mid March.
mom: pfff, they are inflating the numbers! Everyone that tests positive and then dies is being counted as a covid case!
me: That MAY be true for some cases, but overall they are vastly under counting the deaths in total.  Every place that has had an outbreak has a large amount of unexplained total deaths not attributed to covid.  When this is all over we are going to look back at the statistics and you are going to see a huge spike of death that coincides with the covid outbreaks that is going to eventually be attributed to covid in retrospect as it's the only explanation. 

I'm sure she was back on facebook within minutes to reconfirm her beliefs. 

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2020, 08:01:38 AM »

If the social distancing works well, very few people will be infected and it will all seem like we and the government overdid it. It is only if we let the epidemic run uncontrolled that we can see how bad it is. Non believers should perhaps have visited an overflowing hospital, like one we saw on TV in New York. We also saw shots of lots of dead bodies being loaded unceremonically into trucks. But of course, this was broadcasted on reliable media. I think they will need to see it with their own eyes before they will start to believe. And it is better for them that they don't go out and stay at home.

This is the scary thing about the U.S.:  there appear to be quite significant swaths of the population who either a) don't believe any of this is real, b) claim the data are being hijacked/manipulated, or c) don't give a crap and are just going to do what they want, no matter what anyone says.  It seems inevitable this disease is going to run out of control in the U.S.  Huge portions of the populace are incapable of understanding plain facts, or grasping that scientific understanding of this disease is nuanced and evolving.  I truly fear for the worst, with this thing ripping around the U.S. for years to come.  Hope I'm wrong, but lots of cause for concern thus far.

It would be interesting to see in the US what the differences are between states and types of people who live there. For unfortunately for the non believers, many of them will get very sick or die.

There is also the experiment called Sweden.

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2020, 05:42:50 PM »
My family is cuckoo too.  I just spoke with my mom last night.

mom: Oh this whole covid thing is being totally overblown.  Such a big deal about nothing.
me: What? It is a huge deal.  We have over 80k deaths in the usa.  And that's with this crazy amount of lockdowns and precautions being taken. 
mom: Oh that's not that bad, it's no worse than the flu.
me: WTF are you talking about? That's in addition to the flu, and regardless that would be an extremely bad flu year anyway.  I don't ever remember a flu season that high in my entire life.  I can't find all the statistics, but that exceeds the annual flu death toll for at least the last 10 years.  And that's not even an entire season, just since mid March.
mom: pfff, they are inflating the numbers! Everyone that tests positive and then dies is being counted as a covid case!
me: That MAY be true for some cases, but overall they are vastly under counting the deaths in total.  Every place that has had an outbreak has a large amount of unexplained total deaths not attributed to covid.  When this is all over we are going to look back at the statistics and you are going to see a huge spike of death that coincides with the covid outbreaks that is going to eventually be attributed to covid in retrospect as it's the only explanation. 

I'm sure she was back on facebook within minutes to reconfirm her beliefs.

I am absolutely not saying " it is a big thing about nothing" but just to let you know
The CDD  estimates (! nobody cared enough for tests or protective measures?) 6100 death in the US during the flu season 2017/18.
And to clarify: flu season in the US is over for now, as flu season is from December through February. Unfortunately Covid19 night not be done yet.

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2020, 06:07:45 PM »
There's nothing you can do. Parents don't take kindly on their own children telling them what to do or think, and that's when things are going well.

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2020, 10:48:29 PM »
Opinions differ in families. We are 65 and being careful. My oldest son and his wife are paranoid beyond belief. My youngest flew home from Vietnam and is the most relaxed. We have had some conflicts. After 8 weeks we are seeing a few people outside and my oldest is mad.

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2020, 11:20:17 PM »
There's always Zoom, Face Time, and the like. You are NOT going to change their minds. You know what might? If people they actually know start dying. Hopefully if that happens, it won't be too late for them. Please, please do not try to reason with the unreasonable.

Both of my parents had health issues in their declining years. They both passed away in the last five years. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm happy they didn't live to see this pandemic. They would have scared shitless every damn day.

So maybe it's it's own weird kind of good that your parents aren't scared? You cna;t manage them, but you can manage their response to them. Your kids will grow up fine, whether they interact face-to-face with their grandparents or virtually. Don't feel sad for them, your kids will figure it out.

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2020, 04:46:29 AM »
I've found that trying to disabuse someone of a conspiracy theory is a waste of breath: if they are the sorts of people in the sort of situation where they believe a conspiracy theory in the first place.

I think what you need to concentrate on what they are actually doing, and try to redirect it if it is causing them harm.  In this case their beliefs are leading them not to fly and not have guests in their home: their reasons may be batty but in current circumstances the actions are entirely reasonable, and indeed required in many jurisdictions around the world.  So for the time being I think you should concentrate on maintaining the relationship. You don't need to enter into their delusions, just say "I think that's wrong but I don't want to argue about it" and turn the conversation to something sane.  As to whether you will ever see them again, that's not going to happen until things change from the current situation whatever they are thinking, but at least what they are doing suggests that they are less likely to catch COVID-19 and as long as they and you stay alive there is the possibility of future meetings.

I agree with this.

And I find that people who are drawn to conspiracy theories will always be drawn to the next exciting conspiracy. So if you're lucky, they'll eventually relax on this stuff when their new obsession takes hold to distract them. And as Former Player says, in the meantime, be happy that their nuttiness is leading them to act in a way that's coincidentally good for the time being.

Thanks to those of you who posted helpful comments.  Sounds like I'm not the only one with family members going bonkers over this pandemic.  For me, this sums it up well:  for once, their nuttiness has actually led them to stumble into the right course of action here (isolating themselves at home).  I think I'll just let it go, and avoid the COViD topic with them anymore.  They aren't watching FoxNews (they hate ALL TV news stations, and claim they are all part of the media conspiracy... that now even includes relatively "benign" sources like PBS and NPR) and don't have cable (thank God) so at least there's that.  Now if I could just get their internet cut off, so they'd quit doing deep dives on whatever obscure conspiracy-peddling sites have taken over their minds.... :-)


My professional 2 cents on this: don't avoid the subject completely when speaking to them. If you're not willing to listen to them they might break off contact completely and, unless that's what you want, it's no good thing for further interaction. But, also don't let any conversation be dominated by the subject. Let them speek about the subject for a 5 to 10 minutes (if you can stand it) and than change the subject. IF they want your opinion on it, say something like this: 'I understand this is how you look at it and that's fine, but I think different about the subject' and leave it at that. This way it keeps you informed about their thoughts and actions (which are for now fine) and gives you change to intervene when necessary. It also values their opinion and you respecting them, but also being clear your not on the same page. That way they can respect you as well for not being on the same page as they are and keeps them from seeing you as an thread.

Another professional 2 cents: I don't know your kids ages but speek to them in an age appropriate way about what's happening with their grandparents. When they do speek to them virtually they can put things in perspective if the subject comes up and make sure your kids know they can ask you any question any time they want about it.

frugalnacho

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2020, 07:26:38 AM »
My family is cuckoo too.  I just spoke with my mom last night.

mom: Oh this whole covid thing is being totally overblown.  Such a big deal about nothing.
me: What? It is a huge deal.  We have over 80k deaths in the usa.  And that's with this crazy amount of lockdowns and precautions being taken. 
mom: Oh that's not that bad, it's no worse than the flu.
me: WTF are you talking about? That's in addition to the flu, and regardless that would be an extremely bad flu year anyway.  I don't ever remember a flu season that high in my entire life.  I can't find all the statistics, but that exceeds the annual flu death toll for at least the last 10 years.  And that's not even an entire season, just since mid March.
mom: pfff, they are inflating the numbers! Everyone that tests positive and then dies is being counted as a covid case!
me: That MAY be true for some cases, but overall they are vastly under counting the deaths in total.  Every place that has had an outbreak has a large amount of unexplained total deaths not attributed to covid.  When this is all over we are going to look back at the statistics and you are going to see a huge spike of death that coincides with the covid outbreaks that is going to eventually be attributed to covid in retrospect as it's the only explanation. 

I'm sure she was back on facebook within minutes to reconfirm her beliefs.

I am absolutely not saying " it is a big thing about nothing" but just to let you know
The CDD  estimates (! nobody cared enough for tests or protective measures?) 6100 death in the US during the flu season 2017/18.
And to clarify: flu season in the US is over for now, as flu season is from December through February. Unfortunately Covid19 night not be done yet.

I think you meant 61,000 deaths, and I believe that was the highest in my life time.  Which is a lot less than the 85,000 current covid deaths, especially since this is almost certainly an undercount, has occurred in a shorter time span than the flu season, occurred despite unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions, and isn't even close to being over with yet (even if it is seasonal like influenza, which we don't know that).  This thing isn't the black death or anything, but it's far from just the flu and I think my tone with my mother was appropriate.  She should be taking it a lot more seriously than she is, especially since she is in her upper 60's, has diabetes, is overweight, and has a host of other medical issues.  My dad is in the same boat but slightly older and with even more medical issues. 

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2020, 02:30:17 PM »
I feel your pain. The tension in my family between myself, my parents, and my sister is.... reaching peaks, to say the least. Sister and brother-in-law do not believe in medicine, clean with essential oils only, etc. and have done zero prevention/social distancing. They believe COVID is a hoax, full stop.

My parents have fallen victim to the same line of thinking as yours... you can't trust the data because the government is padding all the numbers. It's not as deadly or serious as they're telling us. There's really no risk for them (they're 65 and 70 with underlying conditions.) This entire thing is a ploy to keep Trump from being reelected in November. Their only saving grace has been that they are both retired and their lives were already relatively distanced before this.

My sister has decided that since this is all fake, she will start seeing my parents. Not worried at all about compromising them. Her and my BIL came to stay with them 2 weeks ago in their home. Took them to the lake last weekend. Hugging, in the house together, zero distancing. My sis and BIL own a chiropractic office and have done nothing to limit their exposure during this entire time: no masks, no gloves, no limits to the number of people entering, still only cleaning with non-toxic products. And are now cozying up to my parents.

They all leave for a family beach trip on Saturday. I'm the only one not attending. The burden of constantly having to decline invitations weighs on me every day... I don't feel like myself. Their disregard for others' safety (and their own!) is tearing me up inside. They are angry with me, feel I'm allowing myself to be controlled and manipulated by fear, feel I am the crazy one.

Ultimately I know that this is all a way for them to feel in control of a situation that they have no way to control, and that scares them. A lot of people cannot handle the idea that there might not be a solution to every problem. I think this situation is extra hard because we are being asked to make really difficult decisions and turn down things we want to do, all for the chance that we will hopefully not make anyone else sick, but there's no way to know if you were effective in that or not because you can't prove a negative. If people are being asked to sacrifice, they want to see the fruits of their sacrifice to make them feel better. This situation is asking people to behave selflessly with no way to reinforce that it was "worth it" in their eyes, and it's asking them to come to terms with their total lack of control over their circumstances.

So... no real advice for you. Just here to say you're not alone and to commiserate. I think there are many of us out there going through this same experience right now.
@frugalfoothills

Sorry to hear about your family.  I wondered how they were all doing.

Luckily, my family members (who live very far from me) are all taking it very seriously.

Of course, I have friends from long ago who are not, and who are out and about visiting places near my family members.   Gotta love libertarians...FREEDOM

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2020, 03:21:37 AM »
My family is cuckoo too.  I just spoke with my mom last night.

mom: Oh this whole covid thing is being totally overblown.  Such a big deal about nothing.
me: What? It is a huge deal.  We have over 80k deaths in the usa.  And that's with this crazy amount of lockdowns and precautions being taken. 
mom: Oh that's not that bad, it's no worse than the flu.
me: WTF are you talking about? That's in addition to the flu, and regardless that would be an extremely bad flu year anyway.  I don't ever remember a flu season that high in my entire life.  I can't find all the statistics, but that exceeds the annual flu death toll for at least the last 10 years.  And that's not even an entire season, just since mid March.
mom: pfff, they are inflating the numbers! Everyone that tests positive and then dies is being counted as a covid case!
me: That MAY be true for some cases, but overall they are vastly under counting the deaths in total.  Every place that has had an outbreak has a large amount of unexplained total deaths not attributed to covid.  When this is all over we are going to look back at the statistics and you are going to see a huge spike of death that coincides with the covid outbreaks that is going to eventually be attributed to covid in retrospect as it's the only explanation. 

I'm sure she was back on facebook within minutes to reconfirm her beliefs.

I am absolutely not saying " it is a big thing about nothing" but just to let you know
The CDD  estimates (! nobody cared enough for tests or protective measures?) 6100 death in the US during the flu season 2017/18.
And to clarify: flu season in the US is over for now, as flu season is from December through February. Unfortunately Covid19 night not be done yet.

I think you meant 61,000 deaths, and I believe that was the highest in my life time.  Which is a lot less than the 85,000 current covid deaths, especially since this is almost certainly an undercount, has occurred in a shorter time span than the flu season, occurred despite unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions, and isn't even close to being over with yet (even if it is seasonal like influenza, which we don't know that).  This thing isn't the black death or anything, but it's far from just the flu and I think my tone with my mother was appropriate.  She should be taking it a lot more seriously than she is, especially since she is in her upper 60's, has diabetes, is overweight, and has a host of other medical issues.  My dad is in the same boat but slightly older and with even more medical issues.

My mother's in a similar situation:  mid-60s, increasing health issues.  Luckily my dad, though slightly older, is in better health.  However, both of them are in total denial at this point.  An update:

They have decided this is a complete and utter scam and that everyone should return to life as normal.  As such, they've decided to re-start renting part of their house out on AirBnB (face palm).  They have already had several clients, including at least two groups from NYC (double face palm).  They aren't the least bit concerned since, ya know, this is all a trick by the government to get us to take a vaccine.  They have newfound "clarity" on:

- The count:  ALL hospitals are massively and intentionally inflating COVID case and death numbers.  They know this because (I'm not making this up) a friend of their met some guy whose wife recently died in a hospital, the hospital allegedly listed her cause of death as COVID, but wouldn't give this guy a copy of the death certificate.  Therefore, based on this loose third-hand story, all hospitals in the entire country are inflating the count.  Because that's how these things work.

- Masks:  wearing these is completely unnecessary, under any circumstances.  Anyone foolish enough to wear one, even into a crowded grocery store, is to be a target of derision.  Only people dumb enough to have been tricked by the government would bother to wear a mask.

- Schools:  can't figure out why any school would still be closed.  Any school with a careful re-opening plan or taking any measures of precaution is clearly run by idiots who've bought into this COVID scare hook line and sinker.

- Testing:  there's no reason to test anyone, ever.  The tests are run by the government, and you can't trust them.  This includes ALL government:  federal, state or local (run by Democrats OR Republicans).  They're all out to get you.

- Lockdown:  people in this country are tired of this, therefore it is over.  "You just can't keep people at home."  We should just go back to normal, with crowds of people in restaurants/bars/sporting events, etc.  The "economy" needs this.

- Overseas:  you can't trust anything any other country reports about Coronavirus.  They saw a video of some random Italian politician ranting about how there are NO cases of COVID in Italy, therefore the Italians made the entire thing up.  There are no cases in the Italian hospitals at all; the entire thing was a hoax designed for some unknown dark purpose.  Because, ya know, we saw a video of one loudmouth raving about it.  Ergo, it is true.

Sigh.  And wow.  This is Holocaust-denier level shit.  I don't even know where to begin.  It's clear now they are completely, utterly, and irretrievably off the deep end, with no hope of saving them.  I'm concerned for their health, but they can't even see the slightest reason to be concerned.  At least now I can stop wasting mental energy hoping they might see the truth.  Only thing I can do now is pray and hope for them.

former player

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2020, 03:29:57 AM »
The USA has had 50 years (since Reagan) of "government is too big, big government is bad", which over time has morphed into all the current "government is coming for you" conspiracy theories.  There has not even been any effective counter-messaging, or even an attempt at simple counter-messaging along the lines of "government can be good, government needs to be the right size which may be smaller for some situations and bigger in others".

Goatee Joe, this is not your parents' fault, it's just that they have been absorbing those messages about the US government over decades and this is where it ends up.

2sk22

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2020, 06:18:05 AM »
This goes back even further - read the classic essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstader (November 1964!)

Kris

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2020, 06:48:14 AM »
Heather Cox Richardson touched on this American paranoia and its sources in her “Letters from an American” post this morning.

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-17-2020

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2020, 07:17:05 AM »
My family is cuckoo too.  I just spoke with my mom last night.

mom: Oh this whole covid thing is being totally overblown.  Such a big deal about nothing.
me: What? It is a huge deal.  We have over 80k deaths in the usa.  And that's with this crazy amount of lockdowns and precautions being taken. 
mom: Oh that's not that bad, it's no worse than the flu.
me: WTF are you talking about? That's in addition to the flu, and regardless that would be an extremely bad flu year anyway.  I don't ever remember a flu season that high in my entire life.  I can't find all the statistics, but that exceeds the annual flu death toll for at least the last 10 years.  And that's not even an entire season, just since mid March.
mom: pfff, they are inflating the numbers! Everyone that tests positive and then dies is being counted as a covid case!
me: That MAY be true for some cases, but overall they are vastly under counting the deaths in total.  Every place that has had an outbreak has a large amount of unexplained total deaths not attributed to covid.  When this is all over we are going to look back at the statistics and you are going to see a huge spike of death that coincides with the covid outbreaks that is going to eventually be attributed to covid in retrospect as it's the only explanation. 

Recently, I've noticed that reputable sources have begun estimating deaths from Covid-19 by comparing the overall number of deaths in a given area to an average of the usual number of deaths during a given time period, e.g., if, on average, 100K people die in NY during March, say, and this year 200K people died, then we can assume that ~100K of those deaths were because of Covid-19. Seems like a good way to me to get more accurate estimates, rather than relying on humans to report what people died from.

Shane

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2020, 07:24:46 AM »
My family is cuckoo too.  I just spoke with my mom last night.

mom: Oh this whole covid thing is being totally overblown.  Such a big deal about nothing.
me: What? It is a huge deal.  We have over 80k deaths in the usa.  And that's with this crazy amount of lockdowns and precautions being taken. 
mom: Oh that's not that bad, it's no worse than the flu.
me: WTF are you talking about? That's in addition to the flu, and regardless that would be an extremely bad flu year anyway.  I don't ever remember a flu season that high in my entire life.  I can't find all the statistics, but that exceeds the annual flu death toll for at least the last 10 years.  And that's not even an entire season, just since mid March.
mom: pfff, they are inflating the numbers! Everyone that tests positive and then dies is being counted as a covid case!
me: That MAY be true for some cases, but overall they are vastly under counting the deaths in total.  Every place that has had an outbreak has a large amount of unexplained total deaths not attributed to covid.  When this is all over we are going to look back at the statistics and you are going to see a huge spike of death that coincides with the covid outbreaks that is going to eventually be attributed to covid in retrospect as it's the only explanation. 

I'm sure she was back on facebook within minutes to reconfirm her beliefs.

I am absolutely not saying " it is a big thing about nothing" but just to let you know
The CDD  estimates (! nobody cared enough for tests or protective measures?) 6100 death in the US during the flu season 2017/18.
And to clarify: flu season in the US is over for now, as flu season is from December through February. Unfortunately Covid19 night not be done yet.

I think you meant 61,000 deaths, and I believe that was the highest in my life time.  Which is a lot less than the 85,000 current covid deaths, especially since this is almost certainly an undercount, has occurred in a shorter time span than the flu season, occurred despite unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions, and isn't even close to being over with yet (even if it is seasonal like influenza, which we don't know that).  This thing isn't the black death or anything, but it's far from just the flu and I think my tone with my mother was appropriate.  She should be taking it a lot more seriously than she is, especially since she is in her upper 60's, has diabetes, is overweight, and has a host of other medical issues.  My dad is in the same boat but slightly older and with even more medical issues.

Apparently, the thinking now is that many of the 61K "deaths from the flu" in 2019-2020 were actually people who died from Covid-19 and were misdiagnosed.

SunnyDays

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2020, 09:48:23 AM »
Yes, American paranoia is quite something.  Likely results from the founding of the country being tied to rebellion against the crown and now has become rebellion against any authority.  Their determination to not be controlled means that they can be controlled just by someone trying to tell them what to do, where they will then fight to do the opposite.  The old reverse psychology trick works every time.

fixie

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2020, 10:20:15 AM »
Whenever people react emotionally to facts, you know you have come up against a belief system and not a well-thought-out plan of action.  These people will dig in rather than accept new information or open their minds to new information.  We are all in the same basic process of acceptance of the new reality.  Some of us were early adopters in January and February.  Some of us flip back and forth between acceptance, denial, and depression etc.  Give your folks the empathy and space they need.  Perhaps you can identify a trusted source of information, since you are likely not that source.  No amount of data or evidence will change an entrenched mind.

Your parent's home is their green zone.  Everyone needs to feel safe at home.  Do not push them or make them uncomfortable.  Flying in a plane is absolutely crazy and reckless until there is a vaccine.

Remember that COVID IS a big deal.  The only reason it is not worse is because of the non-pharmaceutical interventions we have taken to slow the spread and get us below R1. 
-fixie

desk_jockey

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2020, 10:28:00 AM »
I think the government paranoia comes from our national identity & mythology.  The settlers arrived here and moved West seeking independence and freedom from oppression.  When there is nowhere new left to move, people look to alternative ways to escape something or gain independence/control.   We’ve seen a growth of people hiding behind walls of belief (e.g. anti-government paranoia, conspiracy theories) in part because technology now makes easier to do so, and makes it easier to exploit the people who do so.

These posts make me grateful for my family.   My aging parents have taken this seriously since mid-March.   They’re doing what they should be doing in this pandemic and have the positive mentality to see through this just as they have for every previous crisis before. 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2020, 11:35:20 AM »
Conspiracy theories are by no means a uniquely American phenomena. There are plenty of other countries where people choose to see conspiracy theories rather than dealing with the complexity that is life.

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/brexit-and-trump-voters-more-likely-to-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-survey-study-shows

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The largest cross-national study ever conducted on conspiracy theories suggests that around a third of people in countries such as the UK and France think their governments are “hiding the truth” about immigration, and that voting for Brexit and Trump is associated with a wide range of conspiratorial beliefs – from science denial to takeover plots by Muslim migrants.

The view that “the truth about the harmful effects of vaccines is being deliberately hidden from the public” ranged from lows of 10% in Britain to a startling quarter of the population – some 26% – in France.
     
The conspiracy belief that a secret cabal “control events and rule the world together” varies significantly between European countries such as Portugal (42%) and Sweden (12%). Dr Hugo Drochon, also a researcher on the Leverhulme Trust-funded Conspiracy & Democracy project, suggests this has "public policy implications, because there are structural issues at play here too”.
“More unequal countries with a lower quality of democracy tend to display higher levels of belief in the world cabal, which suggests that conspiracy beliefs can also be addressed at a more ‘macro’ level,” said Drochon.

The research team assessed the levels of “conspiracy scepticism” by looking at those who refuted every conspiratorial view in the study. Sweden had the healthiest levels of overall conspiracy scepticism, with 48% rejecting every conspiracy put to them. The UK also had a relatively strong 40% rejection of all conspiracies. Hungary had the lowest, with just 15% of people not taken in by any conspiracy theories.   



Also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theories_in_Turkey
Quote
Conspiracy theories are a prevalent feature of culture and politics in Turkey. Conspiracism is an important phenomenon in understanding Turkish politics.[1] This is explained by a desire to "make up for our lost Ottoman grandeur",[1] the humiliation of perceiving Turkey as part of "the malfunctioning half" of the world,[2] and a low level of media literacy among the Turkish population.[3]

former player

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2020, 01:05:06 PM »
Conspiracy theories are by no means a uniquely American phenomena. There are plenty of other countries where people choose to see conspiracy theories rather than dealing with the complexity that is life.

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/brexit-and-trump-voters-more-likely-to-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-survey-study-shows

Quote
The largest cross-national study ever conducted on conspiracy theories suggests that around a third of people in countries such as the UK and France think their governments are “hiding the truth” about immigration, and that voting for Brexit and Trump is associated with a wide range of conspiratorial beliefs – from science denial to takeover plots by Muslim migrants.

The view that “the truth about the harmful effects of vaccines is being deliberately hidden from the public” ranged from lows of 10% in Britain to a startling quarter of the population – some 26% – in France.
     
The conspiracy belief that a secret cabal “control events and rule the world together” varies significantly between European countries such as Portugal (42%) and Sweden (12%). Dr Hugo Drochon, also a researcher on the Leverhulme Trust-funded Conspiracy & Democracy project, suggests this has "public policy implications, because there are structural issues at play here too”.
“More unequal countries with a lower quality of democracy tend to display higher levels of belief in the world cabal, which suggests that conspiracy beliefs can also be addressed at a more ‘macro’ level,” said Drochon.

The research team assessed the levels of “conspiracy scepticism” by looking at those who refuted every conspiratorial view in the study. Sweden had the healthiest levels of overall conspiracy scepticism, with 48% rejecting every conspiracy put to them. The UK also had a relatively strong 40% rejection of all conspiracies. Hungary had the lowest, with just 15% of people not taken in by any conspiracy theories.   



Also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theories_in_Turkey
Quote
Conspiracy theories are a prevalent feature of culture and politics in Turkey. Conspiracism is an important phenomenon in understanding Turkish politics.[1] This is explained by a desire to "make up for our lost Ottoman grandeur",[1] the humiliation of perceiving Turkey as part of "the malfunctioning half" of the world,[2] and a low level of media literacy among the Turkish population.[3]
Sadly the bad bits of American culture seem to be just as pervasive as the good bits.

researcher1

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Re: Advice needed: family going cuckoo over COVID
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2020, 01:30:04 PM »
They also no longer welcome guests at their home (including their own kids/grandkids, as has been made clear to us), so flying to see them is out of the question.
Why do your parents no longer allow you into their home?

I assume it is completely unrelated to COVID, since they believe it is a made up conspiracy theory.