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FIL visiting, am I over the top about risk?

(15 Posts)
Bloatstoat Thu 04-Jun-20 14:30:21

My FIL is in his 80s, but very fit and well. Despite his age putting him at high risk, he has been getting out and about throughout lockdown - we offered to get shopping and/or organise deliveries but he likes going to the shops. He is convinced he had Covid-19 in December (!) so takes no precautions and goes to the shops most days. My husband went to meet up with him in the park a couple of times once this was ok, but FIL doesn't really like walking, so was really pleased once he could come over and sit in our garden. Monday he came round, no issues. Today he came round again, after visiting 3 different garden centres looking for something he wanted and needed to use our toilet. Husband let him in, no comment - but I'm really cross. 1) he shouldn't be doing this, it's not allowed yet and 2) he's been to lots of places before us, could have picked up anything and has now been in our house. I've been disinfecting the bathroom and husband says I'm over reacting and over the top, no one else is sticking to the rules at this point and it's all rubbish as coming inside to the toilet is no risk. Is he right? What should we do next time - accept FIL will be coming in when he visits or ask him not to next time?

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Thu 04-Jun-20 14:34:06

No he's not right. If he's using the toilet then everything he's touched or used needs cleaned.

Thighmageddon Thu 04-Jun-20 14:34:07

But you are allowed to go in and use the toilet now as long as it's thoroughly cleaned, like you did.

I can't see the issue.

Sirzy Thu 04-Jun-20 14:35:56

I thought the guidance said that with sensible precautions arojnd cleaning using the toilets when visiting was ok?

Bloatstoat Thu 04-Jun-20 14:36:22

Are people allowed to come in and use the toilet now? I feel better if so, I can't keep up with the advice changing! I'll keep cleaning then and hopefully that will be enough!

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Thu 04-Jun-20 14:42:16

Not in scotland I dont think

Thighmageddon Thu 04-Jun-20 14:44:51

The guidance changed to being allowed in to use the loo on Monday. Obviously with sensible distancing and cleaning after use.

dementedpixie Thu 04-Jun-20 14:48:05

the prime minister said people could go through houses to access back gardens. Whitty also confirmed it was acceptable for people to use their host’s toilet, as long as they washed their hands thoroughly and wiped down surfaces afterwards.

The Welsh government has also said it is OK for people to walk through someone’s home to get to their garden but they would be publishing guidance on how to do this safely.

In Scotland, Sturgeon said: “If the distance [from your own home] is so far that you would have to use someone else’s bathroom, then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Inkpaperstars Thu 04-Jun-20 15:02:02

I'm not sure whether or not Whitty was off message when he advised on what to do if you had to use the loo rather than saying that you cannot use the loo. I expect it might be another grey area but if there is any specific mention of loos in the rules that would be good to know. It certainly is to be avoided if possible, and not going to several places on the way to visit someone in their garden obviously makes it less likely you will need the loo.

People are still following the rules, although what your DH thinks that has to with your own risk in this situation I am not sure. It is definitely not over the top to clean the loo, it is a bare minimum response to do so. Does you FIL have a garden? I'd encourage your DH to visit him there.

TheDailyCarbuncle Thu 04-Jun-20 15:43:25

Are we seriously discussing if your husband's father can use your toilet or not and expecting the government to spoon feed you an answer? Surely you can make your own judgement?

TheDailyCarbuncle Thu 04-Jun-20 15:44:45

This is serious question - what difference would it make if toilets were mentioned in the guidance or not? No one is going to be checking if you let someone use the toilet or not, so it's totally up to you, as a normal, thinking human being to make your own decision about your toilet.

Honestly what has happened to people? How have we got to this point of madness???

Bloatstoat Thu 04-Jun-20 16:20:48

I know, I must sound crazy blush
It would make a difference, for me, if it was specifically mentioned in the guidance as then I'd know what to do! I suppose I feel that someone (or lots of someones) who know more about it than I do have assessed the risk of people doing different things and that I ought to follow guidance if I can. Someone checking up doesn't make any difference, I want to do the best thing. But I do realise no one can really tell me for sure or give guarantees, because no one knows. I just feel safer pretending they do i suppose.

OP’s posts: |
SpacePug Thu 04-Jun-20 18:20:42

Visitors are allowed inside to use toilet (and to walk through house to get to garden) just need to clean afterwards all surfaces that they touched

Inkpaperstars Thu 04-Jun-20 18:52:43

i am interested to know what govt guidance says so that I can keep track of where they are heading with managing this, but the govt guidance is only a very rough guide to actual individual risk. The govt accept that infection will continue, they just need to advise measures that will keep case numbers down to a more manageable level.

The facts are that it is better if your FIL doesn't use the loo because cleaning is not fail safe. If he does enter the home there are various possible risks. Droplets from breathing, speaking etc which could settle on surfaces. Aerosolised virus from the toilet being flushed. Virus particles that were on his hands transferred to surfaces. I am not sure of the extent to which these things represent an actual infection risk. I know that an early study in Wuhan did not find virus particles in the air in patients' bedrooms, but did find it aerosolised in the air in the rooms with toilets, from flushing. I don't know though, whether or for how long this would pose an infection risk.

Hopefully and at this point probably, your FIL doesn't have the virus. But the best precautions in my opinion are, encourage him to go to the loo befroe visiting, if he does need the loo ask him to put the lid down before flushing, and perhaps to wash or sanitise hands before going into the house. Obviously wash hands after as normal. Then avoid the room for a while if you can, but either way wipe down taps, sink, handles, light switch etc. Apparently it is less crucial to clean the actual loo but I would. If there is a window, open it to ventilate. But don't panic, it is just a precaution that is sensible but hopefully not needed.

Teawaster Thu 04-Jun-20 19:20:25

It's common sense isn't it? We visited my 94 year old MIL's garden last weekend . I warned my teenage boys to go to the loo beforehand and not to have anything to eat or drink to minimise risk . However if one of us was desperate then we wouldn't really have an option and we would have wiped and washed as necessary . I think Chris Whitty wasn't saying 'yes it's all fine to use the loo' . He was saying ' if you have to use the loo, clean and wipe' .

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