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Covid denying friend had a meltdown over me getting vaccinated



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,364 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    OP, it’s quite worrying that she doesn’t want to tell her therapist about the meltdown because its embarrassing. This signals she is not willing to accept or take ownership of her issues and therefore will continue to be a drain of a ‘friend’. I know we need to support our friends through thick and thin, but this one is willingly being obtuse.

  • Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭Selenophile

    Hi OP,

    During this pandemic, I came to a firm conclusion, that too many people (if not all of us) can't be persuaded with rational arguments and logic - that people chose what and who they believe and accept as truth. It is a terrible conclusion for me, but it explains a lot, not only success of conspiracy theories, but so many other bad things in our history.

    In this particular case, it means that you can't help your friend with any rational approach, correct information or any true evidence. And it is not related to her education either. I have a family friend, in her 60s now, a judge in my home country who is also on that covid denying side. My former manager, a guy with a University degree from one of elite institutions, now with a very successful international carrier - also follows and shares "alternative" information. Some other of my former colleagues, my wife's friend, all of them with 3rd level education - same thing.

    Scientific and every other proper information about Covid 19 is already there: elaborate for scientists, simplified even for the most uneducated of us, all the policies explained, it is all there. Not you, nor your GP can give anything more. Your friend picked those others, and you can't do anything about it. With all the more contagious variants, she has a good chance to get infected. The best you can do, if you're a religious person, is to pray she doesn't suffer consequences. If she is a risk for the workplace you are responsible for, and if it is possible, I would advise to keep her working from home.

    As a glimpse of hope, I know of a person that was following some of these alternative info youtube channels, but it happened that these guys started talking things that that person doesn't agree with and doesn't like to hear, so he just dropped them as easily as he picked them. May happen to your friend. :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 471 ✭✭derb12

    Thanks for reporting back OP.

    It sounds like your friend is a lost cause for now. She can’t face the cognitive dissonance that would come from listening to reasoned argument from the opposing view about covid and vaccines and feels secure only in her bubble.

    You cannot fix her.

    It's that simple. All you can do is let her know that you are there for her when she comes back to dealing with reality and make sure she doesn’t put you or any other employees in harm’s way.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    Whatever you do, do not under any circumstances take on the responsibility of booking her a GP visit to discuss this. Unless of course you are doing it as her employer who is assessing her fitness to work.

    I honestly don't know what you can do other than ignore her. I have a friend who doesn't want the vaccine for her own personal reasons and that's fine. She has her very logical reasons for not wanting it at this stage in her life. And there's no more to discuss.

    Your friend has her beliefs and nobody will ever persuade her differently.

    I think the time has now come to draw boundaries in your friendship/working relationship. In work you are her employer. And in work conversations should be kept professional. Outside of work you can try to maintain a friendship if you want, but you are not her mother. You don't need to make (and pay for?) a GP appointment for her. You don't need to talk her round or try to get through to her. You just need her to be a friend and respect your position, and you respect hers. (ie, you agree to disagree and never again talk about it!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,203 ✭✭✭Tork

    OP, your biggest problem is that your work and personal lives are so intertwined. This is exactly why nobody should ever employ family or friends and I think you're now coming to learn that the hard way. I don't know how you'd broach the conversation but it would be better for all concerned if your friend moved on and found another job. I doubt very much that she will ever fully emerge from the conspiracy theory rabbit hole that she has burrowed herself into. Even if she gets herself out of the current predicament by catching and recovering from Covid (which could be unpleasant for her if she's asthmatic), something else is inevitably going to come along. You should assume that you're not going to be getting your old friend back.

    It's possible to ignore a friend's viewpoint when we don't agree with them (I daresay we all do this) but when it impinges on your work life, it's an entirely different matter. Already you've said that it's starting to make you question her professional abilities. I can see that continuing to niggle at you. You haven't said what the size and nature of your business are (and you don't have to) but your friend could do damage to it. You could lose other good staff members or customers over this. If she deals with other colleagues or the public, they won't be happy with her refusal to wear a mask. And if she's the sort of person who is vocal about her anti-vax views and makes her thoughts known to others, they're not going to appreciate that. They mightn't say anything to you but might quietly take their business elsewhere.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Take ten steps back and put hard boundaries in place. Both at work and in the friendship. And I mean hard.

    And whatever you do, keep her well away from your own GP. She won't believe them anyway, and your GP will not appreciate you referring her brand of crazy onto them to defuse.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 OPJuly

    OP here again, thanks again everyone for all of your input. Back with another update and to once again get all of this off my chest.

    We met up yesterday to do some work together at my apartment. We chatted about what we did over the weekend and she said she didn't do much, but then later remembered that she was actually at the protests on the weekend, and met with people from a group of similarly minded people that she's in. Since she was in my apartment and because I have my next vaccine dose coming up I asked her was she hanging out with these people indoors or outdoors. She refused to answer so I told her she should leave. She got super upset and accused me of labelling her as a leper. She demanded an apology and said that if I don't apologise there would be "dire consequences".

    I actually regret giving in to her on this but after she said that she met them outdoors and there was only 2 of them I apologised for how I expressed my concerns to her, in order to calm things down, which they did, but of course the old topic continued from there. The initial and civil proposal was that at some stage we should have a calm/respectful debate around a single topic where she would present me with an argument and the challenge would be on me to disprove it - she agreed that if the numbers/data were worthy, they would stand up to scrutiny.

    This was to happen "at some stage", but on the day the conversation progressed such that various websites and articles were being brought up. Well, I have to say that it gave me a fairly depressing insight into all of this - I was shocked at the low standard of quality, skepticism or due diligence that she was giving towards her acceptance and endorsement of these "resources of truth". The criteria just seemed to be "I believe it because it contradicts the mainstream, and I know the mainstream is corrupt" and "I believe it because there's no commercial incentive behind presenting this information".

    One resource would argue that Covid isn't a threat, while another would argue that vaccines are ineffective against the threat of Covid. So, yeah.

    She would fire up a video and a quick Google would show plenty of articles debunking the claims, but her response was one of mockery that of course they're trying to cover up the truth, and of course they're going to seek to discredit anyone who disagrees with them.

    Another video of a scientist predicting widespread genocide from mass vaccination, who she totally respects as a scientist - when asked why she respects him over others, she has no answer.

    Throughout the day the amount of contradictions, cognitive dissonance and inability to back up any points was honestly saddening. I had assumed that after all of this time she was applying some kind of academic approach to all of this. It made me sad that this is what she had got herself caught up in over the past year and a half, and this was all she had to show for it - a contradictory hodgepodge of articles and videos with no consistency, no structure, no concrete argument.

    At one point I showed her a video of news reports of India's 2nd wave (for anyone who hasn't seen it it's fairly harrowing stuff) - my hope was that it might shock her into reality by seeing the devastation the virus can cause when there are no societal protections in place that we have the privilege of. She was completely unaware of what's been going on in India, but her response was to brush it off as mainstream media, that it could all be misleading (I don't know how you can immediately dismiss makeshift mass-crematoriums in car parks as misleading, but here we are), and then brought up a video of an anti-mainstream website interviewing a guy "from the ground" who gave no compelling counter argument whatsoever, but the message being that MSM is corrupt therefore wrong, therefore exaggerating the crisis, etc etc which of course she was happy to side with.

    The most frustrating thing however was when she showed me a paper published by WHO. I asked her why is she sending me this, when she had said before that WHO are corrupt and untrustworthy - and from this I learned that she actually doesn't believe in any of this science anyway, because she believes in a thing called "terrain theory" which argues that there is no such thing as a virus either way, and that even the scientists whose papers she sent me she doesn't agree with on the fundamentals. Her view was that she wanted to show me stuff that is in line with my reality, my response was simple - send me something you're willing to stand over. She couldn't. This crossed a serious line for me.

    She can have whatever views she wants but the thought of her having put us both through so much grief these past months, so much conflict and stress, driven through these random articles and videos she's been sending me which she doesn't even believe in in the first place.

    Later that evening I texted her to say we're never going to reach a middle ground, and to avoid any further hostility or arguments I don't wish to ever discuss it again. She agreed it was for the best, then texted me in the morning saying while she doesn't agree with me getting my 2nd dose, she respects my decision to and that she'll be there if I need her. I responded to remind her that I asked her not to discuss the topic again, that I don't want to hear about her respect, that it doesn't involve her and to please leave me alone about it.

    That's it for me now. I don't know where things will go from here, but I know that she's so deep down the rabbit hole that there really doesn't seem to be any reaching her. It was an eyeopener. My view is that it's all just very sad, the work that she's been doing on all of this for months on end is sad, the grief and conflict and absolute waste of time, stress and energy is sad, the utterly pointless conflicts we've had are sad, her cutting herself away from society in pursuit of her beliefs is sad. I think she needs help, but I know she's not going to seek it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,979 ✭✭✭Caranica

    OP I really don't know why you insist on having her in your life. She clearly doesn't care about your safety. The delta variant is highly transmissible in crowds outdoors (research from sporting events in Australia). And yet you apologised to her? You've ignored 90% of the advice on here too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 OPJuly

    She's a good friend so I do want her in my life, but this issue has had a big impact and will remain the elephant in the room. We'll see if it's doable to maintain a friendship under such circumstances. I had thought it would be worth attempting a sit down discussion of the issue. It came about in not-ideal circumstances, but it's done now and I've now drawn the line on it all. And yes, I'm still reflecting on my decision there re apologising and questioning my response. I'm probably too caught up in it all myself. I do appreciate the advice and input.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,951 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    Congratulations, you are enabling her so you can give up hope that this will ever change

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  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    You gave her far too much air time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭MissShihTzu

    Time to separate work and personal life, OP. Why have you not given this woman the boot yet?

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,644 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    What is the point of being friends with this person? What are you getting from the relationship, it doesn't sound healthy at all, leave them to it

  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭ThreeGreens

    "She demanded an apology and said that if I don't apologise there would be "dire consequences"."

    And after that threat you still consider her a friend???!??!😯

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭MissShihTzu

    To make it easier, OP? Tell this woman she either has to get the vaccine or leave! 😈See how fast she'll behave herself then...

  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    Can I ask have you other employees? Do they disrespect you in the same way this employee does, or does she get "preferential" treatment because you think she's a friend.

    She has no respect for you. She's treating you like a fool and she is demanding concessions that you might not give to other employees. Why is she in your house going over work? Why does she get to tell you that she's going to work from home because you got vaccinated. She has crossed many many lines with regards friendship or as an employee. And you apologised to her! And it turns out she doesn't even believe any of what she's saying anyway.

    She's treating you like a fool. And has you believing "she's a good friend".

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Have to agree with all of this. At first she lied by omission about what she got up to at the weekend, then she said, it was only two people?

    She cares nothing for your safety and you should not have backed down when you asked her to leave.

    This person is not your friend, she has shown that over and over, and then had the cheek to threaten you with dire consequences?

    She'd have gotten my size six up her arse out the door, at that stage.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,209 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    I'm not sure really OP, (and I mean this kindly) what you want from the thread at this point. Most of us have tried to advise that this can't go on, but that's all we can do, and as always in PI, it's entirely up to you as the OP to take things on board, or not.

    I'm trying to picture myself telling my employer what they should do as regards vaccination...I get that she is someone you regard as a friend but this surely shows that's not a good setup. And possibly not tenable longterm.

    Also, on the one hand, she insisted on working from home, in case of 'shedding' after you received the vaccination. But she has no issue with possibly putting you at risk by her lies in relation to attending a demonstration. I think that should tell you a lot.

    I believe at this stage you need to talk to someone else about this. Not with a view to dragging someone else in to it, absolutely not. But to an outside, third party who may be able to help you with strategies for dealing with her, from now on. You have to look out for your own health, both physical and mental. She is badly affecting your well being, and that is something you need to call a halt to, for your own sake.

    All the best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,444 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    OP, she is not your friend when she can completely disregard your health. And why did you have her over in your apartment anyway. You knew you were waiting for your vaccine and you know her thoughts on it. It doesn't matter if she was at the protests herself, she is at risk of catching covid at the shops and can and will visit you unvaccinated. You allowed that.

    Time to put distance between you two. Not just no vaccine discussion. Get rid of her and her threats to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28 KellyKelly

    I am also in a Similar situation, I work in a office 5 days a week and i'm the only fully Vaxx in the office.

    The other girls who are Anti-Vaxx seem very confused and scared with their Theories day in and day out.

    Its frustrating listening to it , everybody has different opinions. I often try change subject and talk about something else, but I understand how hard it is.

    Maybe she's suffering with Anxiety, and confusion and obviously not dealing with it in the best way.

    Maybe helping her friend a new GP will be good for you both.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,203 ✭✭✭Tork

    OP, are you both single? Your friendship with this woman has a messed up, bad relationship feel to it. I second Hilda's advice for you to talk to somebody. You seem to have assertiveness issues and are not equipped to deal with this woman. She is running rings around you, while you bend over backwards to appease her. All in the name of trying to stay friends with her. It's made even messier because she works for you. Though given the way you seem to be behaving, it makes me wonder is she running the business rather than you? It's inevitable that this is going to blow up again in some form or other. And unless you take steps to take control of your own life and your own business, you'll meekly hand the reins over to this one. Again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,662 ✭✭✭whippet

    its like an alcoholic ... you are almost powerless to help until they reach rock bottom and then if you are willing you can be there to help pick up the pieces.

    What will probably happen is that your friend will get sucked in to attending some wacko conferences - obviously which will need donations to be paid to the organisers and soon enough they will have become someone who puts every effort in to following this nonsense, give up work (or get fired) and end up without a pot to piss in while the experts they are following walk away with the cash.

    It is up to you if you want to be there to pick up the pieces - but don't be under any illusion that you will be able to help them in the mean time

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭JimmyVik

    A couple of friends of mine. Husband and wife, are the same as the OPs friend.

    They are total anti vaxxers and go to protests and try to convince the rest of us not to get the vaccine. Really militant about it.

    Talking to him the other day he let it slip that he had his first vaccine appointment this week. I couldnt believe it. He told me not to tell his wife.

    I asked him why is he getting it, because i never thought he would. And you knopw what he said - "Sure i wont be able to go anywhere if i dont get it. I still dont want to get it though".

    I said to him that I hope his wife understands when she finds out :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭FlubberJones

    She sounds like an idiot, simply forget her... her friendship or whatever can't be worth the hassle

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭lisasimpson

    Defo need to leave the friendship just to a professional one for now. Its hard to see them go this way. But think about your other friendships...she is having an nengative impact on to you. Your other friends will start to notice this too and could have a negative impact on your other friendsship. Do you want to end up with loosing other friends as an indirect consequence of 1 person

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,371 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout

    OP, why are you entertaining any of this? The minute she said there would be dire consequences she should have been booted out the door, not appeased. She won't change and she will continue to bring up the issue, like she did on the phone the very next morning. She doesn't actually respect you,your views or your boundaries. My experience with anti-vaxxers is that they all display the same types of behaviours and no matter what evidence you provide it will swing back to 'can't trust mainstream media, etc etc etc'.

    Why are you so desperate for this woman's friendship? Surely there are plenty of other rational people you can spend time with?

  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭mary 2021

    I think you are a very decent friend and to be admired there are a lot of anti vaxers and they receive very hostile treatment kudos to you for at least being there for this person. Time will tell all to everyone & friendships do thrive on different ideas etc dont dump yet as advised in the posts just avoid the conversations that trigger and also avoid trying to force her to comply with the standard. Those who want to to retain body auto my are entitled to do so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35 BettyBlue22

    OP, while what she does with her body is her business, she works for your business.

    Her opinions seem to matter more to you than your own, perhaps that's a misinterpretation, but is this friendship really doing what it should for both of you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,659 ✭✭✭volchitsa

    How does he think he's going to be able to go to places that non vaccinated people can't, without his wife noticing??

    She's going to find out at that point, and that's a double betrayal of her, that he wouldn't even tell her what he'd decided to do.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,726 ✭✭✭sporina

    OMG OP why oh why are you entertaining this? She is not well - and manipulative - its like you can't even think straight now.. you seem to be v occupied by her - whats that about? Is there some sort of control issue going on from both sides? I don't mean to offend you - I just can't understand why you would let someone take so much of your energy... ???