Daily Mirror agony aunt Coleen Nolan helps a husband whose wife has an unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories
Trying to make wife believe Covid is real but she thinks it’s a big hoax (stock photo) (Image: Getty)
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Since the beginning of the Covid crisis, my wife has constantly been scrolling the internet for what she calls the “real truth”. This being conspiracy theorists who believe the virus is a hoax and wearing a mask does nothing.
When I try to convince her in a rational way that coronavirus is very real, she simply accuses me of being naive and brainwashed by the mainstream media.
When I point out that hospitals are overflowing with Covid patients, she claims they’re always busy and even believes people who appear in the media talking about losing a friend or relative to Covid are either being paid or are actors playing a part. I think she’s lost the plot!
Naturally, she doesn’t want to get the vaccine, but I will. She claims it’ll be used to monitor and control us, although I’m not sure how when you consider swathes of the country can’t get decent mobile phone coverage!
When I try to reason with her, all I get back is recycled gobbledygook. It’s like she’s joined a cult and I just don’t seem able to get through to her. Can you help?
I’ve come up against people who think as your wife does and some of them are very convincing. I think if you’re vulnerable to that kind of rhetoric or feeling scared yourself, it might feel real to you. Or at least preferable to the crisis we’re facing.
And maybe she doesn’t know anyone personally who’s tested positive or become ill with the virus.
What will it take for this to be real for her – for one of you to end up in hospital? I know people who’ve tested positive for the virus and have friends who know people who’ve sadly died as a result of it.
Every day, we’re bombarded by quite scary news and it can take its toll on your mental health. I think there’s a lot to be said for rationing what you watch and listen to at the moment, while still staying informed.
The problem is, how do you get on at home with this huge gulf in opinion? If you can’t reason with her, maybe agree not to discuss it.
But make sure she’s in no doubt of your feelings. If she flouts the rules and doesn’t keep herself safe, she’s putting you and possibly other family members at risk.
Maybe if you suggested retreating to your own bubble, she might be more willing to consider the facts.
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