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Relative sending me crazy conspiracy theories about CV after my Dad died from it

(17 Posts)
Cherrycee Sun 07-Jun-20 12:02:37

This is a really strange one but I'd love to get some advice on how to handle it.

My dad died from covid in April, which was obviously a really traumatic experience. Most of my friends and family have been really supportive but I'm having trouble with one person.

There is a relative on my mum's side of the family who I was very close to and who has done a lot for me over the years. We don't live that near to each other these days, so I see her 3-4 times a year, but we would be in regular contact.

Over the last few weeks she has been sending me videos by a man called Vernon Coleman which are just rants about how the govt and medical profession are trying to control the population. She has sent me other theories about how covid was released deliberately, and she has no problem telling me that lockdown is ridiculous, covid is just a flu, we need to get back to normal asap and she wants to go to her holiday apartment in Spain.

Initially I just ignored her, or occasionally send a gentle reply saying I disagreed, but she keeps sending them. I'm getting really angry now, I just can't believe anyone can be so insentive to a person who has lost a loved one to this horrible virus.

This person has always been very supportive of me (almost like a second mother) and has gone to great lengths to help me when I found myself in some difficult situations in the past. We have always been very close. I don't want to fall out with her but the stuff she's sending me is so inappropriate and upsetting, and I'm having to try hard not to lose it with her. How do I approach this?

OP’s posts: |
CherryStoneTree Sun 07-Jun-20 12:05:42

Op I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. I just don’t know what to say about the insensitive relative, I just can’t comprehend people are that emotionally thick. Maybe just send a reply saying “My dad died from Covid, please stop”. And then ignore/block for a while. They are not supportive of you

MrsWooster Sun 07-Jun-20 12:06:15

be clear. "you're messages are upsetting and distressing. I accept that it is what you are choosing to believe but it is neither kind nor appropriate to share them with me. PLease stop, or we will have to end contact. I hope you don't choose that option. "
She IS being inappropriate and unkind to you.

MrsWooster Sun 07-Jun-20 12:07:18


Sparklfairy Sun 07-Jun-20 12:10:14

MrsWooster's message is a good one. Whilst you dont want to lose the relationship, you risk snapping if you let this carry on, blowing up at her and wrecking it forever. I'm sorry you're going through this flowers

Saucery Sun 07-Jun-20 12:10:36

I would just tell her straight that you don’t want to hear or read it and will have to ignore all her contact if she continues. Phrase it that you are never going to agree or be swayed by the theories and that she is making an upsetting situation worse. It will be difficult if she has been supportive in the past but there’s no excuse for continuing to do something a relative or friend finds distressing and this includes Covid 19 theories.

Amazed Vernon Coleman is still going. He used to write for mainstream newspapers years and years ago. Some of the stuff then about alternative medicine and standing up for your rights with medical professionals was quite interesting but it looks as though he has tipped over into full tinfoil hat territory. Perhaps she remembers that version of him so gives some credence to what he is saying now? But that’s not your concern or problem while you are dealing with your own bereavement flowers

ekidmxcl Sun 07-Jun-20 12:10:39

Dear XXX
I am grieving for dad but I want to try to remember him as he was and not him with coronavirus. We can’t change what happened so please can we not talk about the virus as it’s covering up my memories of his life?
Love op

kingkuta Sun 07-Jun-20 12:12:56

How awful for you, what on earth could she be thinking of?
I would sent a very short, direct message along the lines of X, I have lost my Dad to this. Please stop sending me these messages, they are insensitive and upsetting, they have to stop.
Have you spoken to her on the phone? Might be easier to tell her exactly how you feel . It's hard to believe someone that has been so supportive in the past could be so insensitive.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Jun-20 12:15:47

". I don't want to fall out with her but the stuff she's sending me is so inappropriate and upsetting, and I'm having to try hard not to lose it with her."
Tell her this. I'm so sorry.

Realitea Sun 07-Jun-20 12:31:28

Oh gosh OP, I am in the same situation. I wonder if it’s the same person! I was sent a Vernon Coleman video yesterday and for the past month I’ve had so many weird videos and ‘facts’ thrown at me. I have already said I disagree and it’s inappropriate to send me things as I know 6 people who have died now and my friend was in intensive care at the time when she phoned me to tell me that nurses are signing death certificates as covid when they weren’t. Nurses don’t even sign death certificates!
But the Vernon Coleman video really was the last straw as she was basically telling me I was being brainwashed.
I just don’t know what to say and it’s making me have that horrible knot in the stomach feeling.
I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. Some people are so fearful that they’d rather believe the conspiracies to make themselves feel better. It’s selfish and dangerous.
All I can recommend is saying you disagree and blocking the person. I think that’s all we can do

SparticusCaticus Sun 07-Jun-20 12:36:47

"Please do not send me anything more about your thoughts, articles or videos on coronavirus.
My Dad has just died from it
It's upsetting and insensitive, which I know won't be your intention.
We can say no more if you please stop it now.
love Cherrycee"

Nightbirdcackle Sun 07-Jun-20 12:40:15

How horrible for you. I echo other posters, a brief but firm message to stop, eg "Hi xxxx, as you know, I have lost my Dad to Covid. These videos are very upsetting for me and I don't want to receive them any more. Please stop."

Christ, is Vernon Coleman still going? I remember reading his articles in the Sunday papers from 30 odd years ago. Had a very 'interesting' style, only a tad batshit tho. And now he's gone full on conspiracy theorist??

FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue Sun 07-Jun-20 12:47:28

When you say she's 'sending me' the videos, by what method? Email, Whatsapp, other social media? If it's via something like whatsapp it may be that she's just unthinkingly clicking on share with all my contacts.
Regardless, I agree you need to go with one of the replies above - be very blunt, so that she gets the message. If she sends any more then block her (if it's via email you can divert her emails into a separate folder that you don't read).

I'm very sorry for your bereavement flowers

Cherrycee Sun 07-Jun-20 13:17:22

Thanks everyone, some good suggestions here on how to word it.

@Realitea sorry you've had to deal with this too, it really is mindboggling. Especially when they think they're so smart, when in reality they've applied no critical thinking to the situation and are just regurgitating nonsense they've heard on the internet.

@FiveFootTwo it's through WhatsApp so it's possible she's forwarding it to everyone. If so I'd have thought a few people would have set her straight by now though.

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FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue Sun 07-Jun-20 13:42:46

At least it's easy to block someone on Whatsapp. Although of course, especially as she was a close friend, it's very sad that she's being so incredibly insensitive that it has to come to this.

When I was grieving for my mother I unfollowed someone on facebook for a much more minor insensitive remark - although she wasn't a close friend.

bruffin Sun 07-Jun-20 14:05:19

Ive read some of Vernon Colmans light hearted books/ novels but even in thie he comes across as antivax/big pharma not sure how he ever qualified ss a gp

Cherrycee Sun 07-Jun-20 15:29:58

Yeah, the antivax stuff alone is enough to discredit him IMO. He just comes across as an angry man rambling incoherently.

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