Sunday, January 9, 2022

BTRTN: "Covid Did Not Kill My Mother... Misinformation Did"

Steve’s friend Laurie wrote this essay and posted it on Facebook. Tom and Steve found it to be so shocking – and so important – that we asked Laurie if we could repost it in its entirety on Born To Run The Numbers.

Neither the author – nor her parents – live thousands of miles away in a rural Red State. Her entire family lives in states that are among the bluest of Blue. The internet is everywhere. Read Laurie’s heart-breaking story of how misinformation and conspiracy theories do not simply cause illness and political polarization… they rip families and friends apart.


My father, sister and I decided to share my family’s story in the hope of helping someone else, especially given the rise of Covid hospitalizations. I was also motivated by a recent post that showed that some individuals were misinformed around the impact of Covid.

Technically my mother died from Covid complications, primarily not being able to breathe. But, I believe the real cause of death was misinformation and conspiracy theories. My father was in the hospital too for Covid, but he survived.

I still struggle to get my head around the events that led to her death but here I begin... My mother was an amazing astrologer and tarot card reader. The outpouring of love for her at the funeral was heart-warming, but I have to admit that over the last two years, misinformation and conspiracy theories took over her life and put enormous strain on our family.

Somehow after working in a hospital in her early years and fully believing in medicine and science, even taking the flu shot every year, she started getting fed a regular diet of conspiracy theories. This led her to completely reject everything she believed in for her entire life.

It came to the point where she believed vaccinated people and even taking a Covid test would give her Covid or even kill her. She stopped taking the flu shot, would not get the Covid vaccine and told my father she would leave him if he got vaccinated, so he didn’t vaccinate either. He’s a very analytical and science minded man and loved my mother but didn’t want to get blamed for getting her sick, so he conceded to her fears.

My mother and father had a great marriage just short of 55 years. She was a strong person. When my mother found out that all her children and grandchildren where vaccinated, she became deeply upset because she believed that we would “shed” on her and get her sick. She stopped seeing her family due to this belief about vaccinations.

I could go on and on about all the different types of misinformation she believed, but the worst part of this was her decision to wait to get medical care after becoming extremely ill after going out to dinner. Six people went out to dinner and only the four unvaccinated people got sick.

After that dinner, she delayed getting real medical care because someone was shipping her Ivermectin, Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine. She paid $400 in cash through an informal network and waited from November 23 until December 1 for it to come. She also was using very expensive vitamin supplements to give an extra boost to her immune system. During this time, my Dad’s friend dropped off an oxygen reader that showed her oxygen had dropped dangerously low -- to the point that she was admitted to the hospital on December 1. My dad followed her a few days later.

Once in the hospital, my Mom rejected all the therapies the doctors wanted her to take because her misinformation told her that the therapies killed people.

My Dad, however, took the therapies. You only have ten days from the onset of symptoms to get some of these therapies.

My mom had lots of ups and downs with oxygen over her four weeks in the hospital. A few weeks in, she developed a hematoma with internal bleeding and needed three blood transfusions. This caused her to have to go off the blood thinner treatment for a few days.

Unfortunately, during the time she was off blood thinners she developed small blood clots all over her lungs, quickly leaving her to struggle with each breath.  This is a common Covid complication, blood clots in the lungs make it hard to absorb oxygen. The blood clots in the lungs landed her in the ICU. The last week was full of anguish for both her and her family watching her struggle to breathe. She literally asked the doctors to let her die so the struggle would end. She died on December 28th.

Covid kicked my dad’s ass too, but he took the therapies and thankfully did not develop complications so his hospital stay was just six days. He came home weak and I stayed with him for the remainder of December ensuring regular oxygen monitoring and helping him with daily tasks while he got stronger. He could barely walk when he left the hospital and his oxygen dropped so low at night that I was scared that at some point I’d have to bring him back to the hospital.

Fortunately, he recovered and is looking forward to finding out when he can get vaccinated because he never wants to go through that again. He knows even if he gets Covid again, evidence suggests his symptoms will be significantly less. Thank goodness that my father’s 50+ years in engineering helped him process the medical information and make decisions based on science that saved his life.

I realize that we all make our own choices and have our own beliefs regarding vaccines. I won’t try to convince anyone one way or another. I can only tell my story and how my parents decision impacted our whole family permanently. We lost her, a mother, grandmother, and friend.

When you are loved, please remember that your decisions are not just impacting you.

For those feeling extreme divisive anger in these times, I strongly encourage you to live more in the moment versus spending your time on the underlying evil in the world. If you focus too much on evil, then you become infected by anger, even to the point of harming yourself or those who are your family and friends. You know this already. When you focus on kindness, compassion and love, that’s what you create more of. When you focus on negativity, you create more of it.

Whomever is responsible for all these conspiracy videos getting passed around is part of the evil because they are manipulating information to create extremism resulting in breaking apart families and friends across America. I’ve watched many of these videos trying to understand my mother. They are slick marketing pieces of addictive content that make you feel special by “sharing hidden secrets only they can expose.” Then they magically have products to sell you to solve or protect yourself from what they just made you believe. It’s a business model.

Don’t give in to fear and evil, give in to love and positive connection. Think twice and think hard if all of your “research” is online through underground networks. In my dad’s words: “Be very careful about the information you accept as valid because it could be a fatal mistake.”

If you are in a similar situation, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need help or just want someone to talk to who’s been there.

Please share this if you want to be part of spreading the truth about covid. I wish you all great and more positive new year!


Note from BTRTN: Laurie kindly notes that she wants to be available to anyone who needs help, or needs to talk to someone who has “been there.” If you would like to contact Laurie, please send us an email at, and we will forward it on to her.

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1 comment:

  1. There is so much research on the physical side of COVID, with vaccines developed in record time, treatment protocols that developed quickly, therapeutics that became available for hospital use, and now, therapeutics for home use that will help keep people out of the hospital.

    Increasingly, the harm of COVID will be to those who somehow remain ignorant, who want to "wait" to determine what happens, who accept misinformation, and who are actively deceived. We do not seem to have an equivalent set of studies for the social and psychological ills blocking the benefits of the physical sciences.

    Laurie's account resembles so many I've read in the past 6 months or so, the stories of those who have access to vaccines and treatment, and actively resist using that access. Too often, the story comes from a surviving relative. It sounds like Laurie, more than most, has already found ways to cope with the anger and frustration she felt.

    I wish her continued grace and peace in the hard months to come.


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