Why the #DiedSuddenly movement must die

Earlier this year, Victoria, an 18-year-old female athlete named Lee, suddenly died, causing speculation and confusion as there was no apparent reason for her passing.

Rumors circulated that Lee had passed away suddenly due to heart problems as concerns shifted to COVID and its vaccinations.

Vaccine skeptics flooded the comments section of news stories about her death, while those skeptical of vaccines inundated tweets about her passing.

Angela, Lee’s sister, issued a statement urging people to “stop contacting us, avoid involving private investigators, and halt the speculations and conjectures.”

During a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Damar Hamlin, a player for the Buffalo Bills, suffered a cardiac arrest in early January after receiving a blow to the chest. Subsequently, a comparable incident occurred.

Although medical professionals immediately pinned the cause of Cordis Commotio, a rare case, on those voices who were drowned out by the quick blame of the COVID vaccine, it is likely that they were correct.

Hamlin survived, but the vortex of social-media doubt entangled him in the “#DiedSuddenly” trend.

Victoria Lee (r) with her sister Angela.
The death of the apparently healthy athlete, Victoria (right), cause many on social media to believe she #DiedSuddenly from a reaction to the COVID vaccine.

Additionally included was actor Lance Reddick when he died on March 17, at the age of 60.

Just after his passing, the hashtag #DiedSuddenly once again became popular on Twitter; similar to Hamlin and Lee, Reddick’s untimely death was also attributed to COVID vaccinations.

Medical examiners ultimately concluded Reddick died of heart disease; his family disputed the findings, which only further fueled the conspiracy theory fire.

Vinay Prasad and John Mandrola discussed the emergence of the #DiedSuddenly movement in their January article for the Free Press. This movement comprises individuals who strongly believe in a correlation between the COVID vaccines and the occurrence of myocarditis and other heart conditions leading to the sudden deaths of young and/or healthy individuals.

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Actor Lance Reddick.
Actor Lance Reddick passed away unexpectedly in March. His death was ultimately attributed to heart disease, but his family refuses to believe it.
Murray Close/Lionsgate

Why, asked Prasad and Mandrola, are many Americans willing to believe in an (as yet unproven) surge of vaccine-related injuries and deaths?

In large part, they explain, because our public health apparatus hasn’t been forthcoming with information about the side effects of the jab.

The duo observes that people perceive their medical leaders as causing them harm, or even worse, ignoring new information, rejecting reality, and withholding fundamental information. They note that it is difficult to regain trust once it has been lost.

To clarify, Prasad and Madrola even acknowledge that determining this would necessitate meticulous statistical research, and we still lack certainty regarding whether the vaccines are genuinely contributing to an increase in heart conditions.

Much of #DiedSuddenly
Much of #DiedSuddenly’s premise is that the COVID vaccine has caused serious heart conditions which are resulting in sudden deaths in young people.

Anyone who suspects a link between the vaccine and cardiac deaths has the right to be skeptical, but diehard #DiedSuddenly believers.

In light of recent revelations regarding the beginnings of COVID, it is possible that early hypotheses, previously condemned as “racist” or “unconventional,” could hold some truth.

Last month, data from Britain suggests that some young women who have received certain COVID vaccines are likely to experience cardiac arrest three to five times more often than others.

Accurate (or at least somewhat accurate), has subsequently been shown to be what we’ve been consistently informed is a COVID conspiracy theory, it appears, of great significance.

But what about the households of those who unintentionally find themselves at the heart of these controversies of speculation?

How equipped are families to handle what happens when their loved one is near death or experiences a sudden death, while dealing with them at this very critical moment?

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Despite facing the most challenging circumstances, instead of being given the chance to grieve, their mobile devices and online platforms remain consistently active.

suspicious secretary in white shirt did found something on her laptop with a magnifying glass.
While social media followers have every right to look for deeper truths and answers, the intrusions caused by #DiedSuddenly fanatics can often impact families who are mourning.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

I was consistently compelled to, and yet, it was not a subject I felt at ease talking about with friends, not to mention acquaintances. My father took his own life when I was in university nearly twenty years ago.

I have a limited glimpse into this experience.

I would say my father “unexpectedly passed away” and in response, I often found myself immediately confronted with a barrage of inquiries.

I comprehended the inquisitiveness.

Maybe individuals desired to ensure that their father wouldn’t also pass away suddenly.

Or perhaps they presumed I required their assistance.

While attempting to elucidate the details surrounding his demise, compelled to constantly revisit my father’s demise, their care genuinely caused me to feel apprehensive and uneasy.

It is not common for a young person’s death to be caused by homicide, overdose, or suicide, which is usually indicated as “suddenly died,” as is the case with my father’s demise.

This is why it is better to use euphemisms when someone suddenly dies – to simply make their families curious and protect them from having to feel the tragedies in detail.

Widespread speculation from online investigators and commentators is far from meaningless conversation – and has its consequences.

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin.
Although he ultimately recovered, the near-fatal collapse of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin also drew attention from #DiedSuddenly skeptics who were convinced his condition was COVID-related.
Getty Images

Frequently, unfamiliar individuals, who are external to the family, compel them to confront their sorrow in the midst of a challenging situation.

Some will even bother families in real life, as demonstrated by what occurred to the Lees.

Americans are owed the truth about possible side effects of COVID vaccines, especially if more people inexplicably die after receiving the shots.

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However, this ethical advantage is forfeited if mourning families are inadvertently harmed in the course of events.

As a country, we must insist on genuine explanations regarding the well-being of ourselves and our dear ones.

However, we must do so without targeting mourning families in the spotlight of the #DiedSuddenly campaign.

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