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Visiting family but social distancing.

(48 Posts)
FreakStar Sat 09-May-20 08:28:43

Everyone round here has decided it's ok to visit family and friends, including elderly people, as long as they sit two metres apart in the garden while they drink their tea or glass of wine.

AIBU to think this is not really what we should be doing?

OP’s posts: |
Lumene Sat 09-May-20 08:32:57


beepbeeprichie Sat 09-May-20 08:33:18

Probably not. But maybe I am no better. I sat on my front lawn and my neighbours sat on theirs and we had a chat last week. I felt all the better for it. We were further apart than if we had been queuing at Tesco. We didn’t exchange coffee cups or anything like that. We could just see each other in person. And yet I feel incredibly guilty about it!
I went out for a walk in yesterday (on the pavement beside a quiet road) and I was passed by over 20 cyclists. They were at lot closer than 2m to me.

Lumene Sat 09-May-20 08:33:44

Also it’s never actually 2m the whole time, and passing mugs/glasses is an infection risk

Lumene Sat 09-May-20 08:34:38

Talking to someone for a while is v different exposure to passing someone on the street though.

Derbygerbil Sat 09-May-20 08:49:32

It’s not currently permitted, but i think we have to pragmatic and work out how best to manage the risk of Covid without making us live like a nation of hermits for the next year. The risk involved in socially distanced conversations outside is likely to be minimal based on everything I’ve picked up. They’ve managed this kind of thing in Sweden, and though their figures aren’t great, they’re better than ours, and they are keeping a lid on infections.

FreakStar Sat 09-May-20 08:53:17

I'd say two people chatting from their own gardens is fine and well within 'the rules' though @beepbeeprichie- nobody said you couldn't go in your own garden and if the neighbour is in her garden then chatting is not prohibited- I've chatted to my neighbours over the garden fence at a distance.

OP’s posts: |
foamrolling Sat 09-May-20 08:57:17

So what's the difference then? If you're allowed out for exercise, and in England you're lucky enough to be allowed to drive for exercise, what would be the risk in combining a family socially distanced visit with your exercise? I've not done it myself but I'm honestly struggling to see the risk.

It was announced in Wales that they're opening garden centres and libraries on Monday. I don't understand why it would be deemed more risky to sit at a distance and visit family than it would be to visit either of those unessential places?

stuckindoors77 Sat 09-May-20 10:48:13

I've discussed it with my parents (very healthy but in the 70-75 age bracket) it won't be for a few weeks yet, probably June, so may even be allowable by then. We'd sit in the garden and/or go for a local walk. Take our own refreshments so no food or drink being passed around, maintain social distancing and use disinfectant wipes to clean everywhere we touched if we needed to use the toilet.

The way I see it is that I suspect we may have another bad patch in late autumn/winter so if I don't try to squeeze in a few visits in June/July/August then we'll end up going a whole year without seeing them. sad

FreakStar Sun 10-May-20 09:20:53

My next door neighbours parents , in their 70s, came round for drinks yesterday afternoon, they all ordered a takeaway and never went home! They're still here now so must have had a sleepover!

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Sun 10-May-20 09:25:14

Yanbu. Being in open air is giving people a false sense of security. Once the line is slightly blurred, it is even more so next time. However I also think many struggle to estimate 2m.

PearPickingPorky Sun 10-May-20 09:26:11

What the risk, if you sit far apart, are outside, and don't share cups of coffee?

I don't see the problem. If I can stand 2 metres from strangers who have been god-knows-where in the queue for Sainsbury's, then I can sit 5 metres from family, who have all been self-isolating in my garden.

CookPassBabtridge Sun 10-May-20 09:28:18

When people gather, it's hard to always stay 2m apart, they'll use your toilet, cups etc, drink is usually involved so the 2m will get less and less, it's sometimes hard to not be affectionate with people we know.. and it's usually for an hour at least. It's very different to temporarily standing near someone in the garden centre.

Ciwirocks Sun 10-May-20 09:29:16

@stuckindoors77 that’s what I am planning to do from next week. My parents are elderly and have already been without contact for weeks. I will take my own cuppa in a flask and stay over 2m away. I also don’t plan on going into the house at all, luckily if I was desperate for the loo I am only 10 mins away so can just wait until I get home. We need to sort out how this can work long term and they can’t go without seeing anyone for months or even a year sad

usernotknown Sun 10-May-20 09:29:45

I don't see a problem with this?

SallyLovesCheese Sun 10-May-20 09:31:33

I don't see any problem with it. We've had drinks on the driveway with our next door neighbours - sitting away last 2m apart and bringing our drinks/glasses from our own houses. It's just nice to actually chat to someone that isn't on a screen and we both have toddlers so some time to chat when they've gone to bed is good for our mental health.

Inside, touching surfaces, being close together, no. But outside with a good distance and no touching? Fine.

BateKush2020 Sun 10-May-20 09:32:26

We did this once - a birthday - parents in their sixties (who are local) sat 4+ meters away on a garden table that had been disinfected, brought their own food/drinks/cups/plates, used hand gel, didn’t come in the house, touch door handles or use the loo. Probably stayed 45mins max.

I felt it was just about ok as a one-off (they were VERY keen to come over) but felt a bit funny about it and wouldn’t be in a hurry to repeat. A low risk, certainly, but not something I would make a habit of.

Cattermole Sun 10-May-20 09:32:27

I provide essential personal care for my mum (physically robust but only has the use of one arm, so she struggles with things like changing duvet covers and taking bin bags out - she also uses incontinence pads so has quite a lot of bags to go out.) I see her for a couple of hours every day in her flat: we chat, we drink tea, she has a bit of human interaction, I do her manual labour for her, we're all good.
Bit of a mystery to me why she shouldn't be able to walk up to my house - about 250 yards away, passing no one - and sit in my garden and get some sun, but we are where we are.

BateKush2020 Sun 10-May-20 09:34:00

I should add I was primarily worried for their health, rather than my own!

RiftGibbon Sun 10-May-20 09:35:27

I'm not sure I see the risk if not utensils/crockery/cutlery is shared and 2m distance is observed at all times.
This is why the guidance can be considered confusing.
If you're not in prolonged close proximity and don't share anything, how can you contract/pass on anything to or from each other?

AtTheWinchester Sun 10-May-20 09:39:16

I've done it.
I took my newborn over to visit my Nan on her birthday (who suffers from severe depression at the best of times) and it really lifted her spirits for a while.
I went through to the back garden and sat as far away as I could but so she could still see and hear me and baby.

I would do it again, peoples mental health is also important.

SellFridges Sun 10-May-20 09:39:35

The risk in the outdoors at a 2m distance is very low indeed. If all concerned are ok with that risk I think it’s fine.

This paper shows that a study in China found that most transmission takes place in the home, or on public transport. Only one outbreak was identified as being transmitted outdoors and that was very small.

Selfsettling3 Sun 10-May-20 09:45:11

We’ve done it. I go to my parents weekly to drop off shopping for them. If the weather is nice I take the kids and they play in the garden with the toys we bring and parents sit inside. No drinks are accepted and we don’t use the loo.

I imagine it’s less of a risk than shops or getting a take away.

LIZS Sun 10-May-20 09:48:14

Watching through glass is rather different though.

MRex Sun 10-May-20 10:03:53

PIL drive over to collect any shopping we've got them from our online deliveries and stand to chat at the end of the driveway for 20 min or so. Our risk assessment is that it's safe for them to do so, there aren't many people needing the footpath and it's easy to make space when there are. I'd like the restrictions to be eased because the risk to them or us from us going through each other's pre-opened garage to sit in the garden is zero and it would be more comfortable.

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