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Social distancing - who's wishes do you honour?

(22 Posts)
YellowEllis Tue 23-Jun-20 08:43:33

I've started to see my mum and dad again, with my 1 year old. Neither of them had seen him since March. Last time, I broke social distancing, I didn't intend to, but they had been inside for 12 weeks, they had only had shopping left on doorstep, they had been on walks but they live extremely rural, no neighbours, they weren't a risk to us and they insisted that they aren't seeing their grandson and not playing with him, giving him a cuddle. I caved. I felt so guilty after, and I know I'd never forgive myself if anything happened. I didn't go and see them again after as I couldn't stomach it and I know they won't want to social distance. They've sent a long message about how it's their risk to take, we also live rural, in an extremely low case area, and they're saying shit could hit the fan here when tourism reopens, let them play with him now before it becomes really unsafe.

It's much more their risk than ours, but whose wishes should be listened to? Me worrying I'm putting them at risk or them feeling like they're being deprived of their only grandson?

OP’s posts: |
my2bundles Tue 23-Jun-20 08:49:15

How old are your parents? If late 60s upwards I get your concern. If they ate late 40 50s early 60s I understand much less.

YellowEllis Tue 23-Jun-20 08:50:04

Early 60s, one of them diabetic.

OP’s posts: |
PaulinePetrovaPosey Tue 23-Jun-20 09:03:21

If you're worried about them not the baby, then treat them like grown ups and let them make their own choices.

The risk is very, very low, and mental health is important too.

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 23-Jun-20 09:09:48

If you're only doing it to prevent the risk to them, then it's their choice I'd say, they know the cost to themselves and those costs are not without their own risks - particularly if this is the thing that keeps them "living" and limiting other risks.

Popc0rn Tue 23-Jun-20 09:20:29

Depends on your situation really - if you're working from home and having limited contact with other people, then your risk of giving them covid is low.

But if you're working in a job that involves a lot of contact with the general public, say in healthcare, retail, teacher etc, I'd be a bit more cautious for now.

JustC Tue 23-Jun-20 09:21:03

Same as other posters, if the worry is for them, it is their risk to take. And I get them bless them, if you love your grandkids, it's hard not being able to give them a hug.

KonTikki Tue 23-Jun-20 09:21:12

After the Domminic Cummings debacle, and the entire Cabinet saying it was OK because he was only acting on his instincts, then I too would let your parents act on their instincts.
After all, Boris has said that's fine, and it's exactly what I am now doing.

SnuggyBuggy Tue 23-Jun-20 09:24:37

I'd let them take the risk, they are competent adults and there should be more to life than eliminating all possible risk

nether Tue 23-Jun-20 09:27:00

You get final say over your risks (and those of your DC) and they get the final day over theirs.

They are happy to meet, and it does look as if there is going to be a period over the summer where families can see each other in relatively normal fashion.

But if you are concerned about the risks they pose to your family, it is fine to say that you do not want to meet in that way.

Only if you think an adult in another household is incapable of making a good decision do you make it for them.

I have to think about pretty specific exceptional vulnerabilities when making plans, and shielding won't be lifted until after the end of the summer season. But as even we can meet in up to sixes outdoors, I'm going to make the most of the time before term starts to see a bit of the family, even if it is hug-free in the back garden only.

Sally872 Tue 23-Jun-20 09:39:42

If they understand they understand the risk which it seems they do then it is their risk to take.

Also as both households are minimising every other risk then I do think the risk is low.

LellyMcKelly Tue 23-Jun-20 09:46:45

Can you form a bubble with them? I know it’s only supposed to be for one person but if the risks are low and neither you nor they are going out much then I’d apply common sense. It’s not perfect. It’s about managing risk.

YellowEllis Tue 23-Jun-20 09:47:35

They haven't left the house besides their rural lanes. We are also doing all shopping online, I'm only leaving for dog walks and haven't been within two metres of anyone. DH is at work, but not with general public, with 5 of the same staff every day all from same area, so there's some risk from him.

OP’s posts: |
2Rebecca Tue 23-Jun-20 09:52:14

I think travelling to see them sounds OK but it's a shame they aren't happy to see your child without touching them. They have each other to hug after all and most adults are keener to hug small children than small children are to be hugged. Mine hated being hugged as toddlers unless tired or ill. I think some people have become obsessed with hugging just because you can't do it. Watching a child play or going for a socially distanced walk together makes more sense.

Valkadin Tue 23-Jun-20 10:00:19

I’m a stickler for rules even if I don’t like them so I wouldn’t. It is their risk ultimately but as you say you would be complicit. I’m blunt and would say if we break it and you catch you could die as your in the high risk category.

I live hundreds of miles from family as does DH and many live overseas. So maybe we have just had to get used to the fact that we don’t see some loved ones for many months and occasionally years. But surely a few more weeks isn’t too much to stand.

Shoxfordian Tue 23-Jun-20 10:08:14

It's their choice and it seems very low risk

BigChocFrenzy Tue 23-Jun-20 10:08:23

The choice to take the risk should be the choice of the adult whose risk it is

Even if they are 70s, 80s, 90s
then so long as they still have sufficient mental faculties to choose,
let them decide

My pov as someone nearly 64 is that I have far fewer remaining years available to waste on depriving myself of enjoyable experiences
and also no responsibilities such as dependants that mean I am obliged to be risk-averse

I'd think this even more if I were older

InspectorCludo Tue 23-Jun-20 10:15:40

Personally I wouldn’t as I believe the rules will be relaxed soon to allow this to happen and I’d rather wait and have a clear conscience.
I also wouldn’t put the blame at their door for not social distancing last time. You have a voice and are a parent yourself. If you honestly felt uncomfortable you should have stopped the interaction.
I have a 2 year old who sees grandparents at 2 meters. He understands very clearly he isn’t allowed to go near them and although they would love to give him a cuddle I won’t let them. Yes I’ve heard “I’d rather be dead”, “at least I’d die happy” etc but I’m the one who would have to live with the consequences after should anything happen to them.

EmeraldShamrock Tue 23-Jun-20 10:24:06

If they've been isolated too I'd go. Definitely if they are in a tourist town which will be packed soon.
I'm not trying to guilt you, my DM had bad health I said I'll be ragging if I stay away from her if anything happened.
She caught it 4 weeks into lockdown other than the ambulance taking her away and a goodbye by ipad I didn't see her ever again, I regret not visiting while maintaining social distance in the weeks prior.

Meredithgrey1 Tue 23-Jun-20 10:42:50

Personally I wouldn’t as I believe the rules will be relaxed soon to allow this to happen and I’d rather wait and have a clear conscience.

But just because the rules are relaxed, doesn't mean it's safe, and just because its against the rules, doesn't mean it isn't. According to the rules, if OP was a single parent (even one who worked with the public all day every day and her child was at nursery with other children), she'd be allowed to form a bubble with her parents and they would be able to hug her child. Equally, if we were talking about just one of OP's parents, rather than both, OP would be able to form a bubble with them and they'd be able to hug each other.
Neither of those situations would definitely be safer than the situation OP is in (and the first situation would arguably be far less safe) so while I think the rules are useful and should generally be followed (and I am following them), I do think an element of sensible individual risk assessment is fine.
But equally, I think you all have to be comfortable. And if you're not, then you're not.

minisoksmakehardwork Tue 23-Jun-20 11:12:43

I actually think your parents are being a little selfish, expecting to have it all their own way and expecting you to be OK with the thought of putting them at risk.

But: In a similar situation, my sister has bubbled herself and her girls with our father. Despite her husband going out to work every single day on public transport and she is going shopping at times (otherwise WFH). My BIL does not attend Father's house at all which reduces their risk factors I guess.

Personally, DH and I visit with his parents and the children socially distanced in the garden, but they are older and PIL are well aware of the risks to themselves, particularly FIL. We have maintained the no physical contact rule because DH goes to work, I go to work at times and the children have to attend school at times. None of us could forgive ourselves if anything happened to them. I don't have a good relationship with my parents but we have already lost mother to Covid. When a vulnerable person is involved, I would not want to take the risk and have it on my conscience forever more.

If you felt like a compromise, maybe visit with your parents on a day when you don't go anywhere else and make sure you are scrupulously clean beforehand, ie freshly showered, clean clothes that day and the same for your son. I don't think the risk from your DH passing the virus to you and then you to them is any different to you walking past someone in the street while you are walking your dog, if you are practicing good hygiene normally.

Sally872 Tue 23-Jun-20 11:18:22

@2Rebecca Maybe toddlers don't always want hugged but mine often took grans hand to lead them somewhere to play or asked to sit on knee or be carried around. Socially distancing with toddlers is difficult.

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