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Tell me what I haven't thought of

(24 Posts)
Scarby9 Fri 26-Jun-20 08:59:00

Every year in August, my DB, DSIL and I have a week away in a holiday cottage with my parents, now 84 and 85. A friend of mine also often joins us for a few days if the cottage sleeps more than 5.

My parents pay for the cottage, we organise it, pay for everything else and do everything when we are there. It works really well, and my parents look forward to it all year and talk about past holidays regularly. It is the highlight of their year now.

I booked this year's stay at Christmas for the first week in August (actually starting 31 July) and paid the deposit. Balance due late June (I think). Then coronavirus hit and everything was up in the air. However, now the cottage will be open again from 4 July so we have to make a decision.

My DF is shielding, and cares for my DM who has dementia. My DB falls into the next category down (highly vulnerable?) and has been working from home throughout. My SIL has well- controlled asthma and is not working currently. I am the healthy one and am also WFH. I have visited DPs twice so far, for a socially distant time in their garden, as my DB and DSIL have with her mum. We Skype daily. My DPs are now going out daily for drives and little walks in the countryside.

We all assumed the holiday was off, but my DB, SIL and I are now wondering...

None of us have been to a shop or within 2m of anyone outside our household since early April, and we three could all isolate for the fortnight before the holiday. My DF could drive to my house on 30 July (2 1/2 hours) and stay the night, forming a bubble with me. They would have separate room with own toilet and shower. We could drive to the cottage the next day (3 1/2 hours from me), in convoy, so that I could smooth the way at breaks - guiding and protecting them.

The 'cottage' is airy and spacious with double height sitting room with two sets of patio doors. DPs room is ground floor with ensuite; our rooms are upstairs but with shared bathroom and toilet. Dining table sits 8, so room to spread out. We could designate seats for each person?

Shielding is officially paused from 1 Aug (tho DF has not yet had his letter from Matt) so we would be jumping the gun by 2 days in them staying with me. I think I'm okay with that.

While on holiday, we couldn't do the usual going out for coffee and meals, visiting attractions etc, but the cottage has a garden and is in attractive countryside. We could take flasks and picnics. I could take DPs in my car, with them sitting in the back, to minimise contact? DB and DSIL in separate car. I think the change - and seeing us together - would really give my DPs a huge boost.

Would you go? What else should we be thinking about? Especially if you are a super-cautious person?

We have all done our best to protect potentially vulnerable people and don't want to risk that now, but DPs, and DF in particular, can't carry on like this forever. Looking after my DM and doing everything in the house is hard for him, tho he does it willingly.

Any thoughts, concerns or suggestions gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
Helenj1977 Fri 26-Jun-20 09:01:46

Yes I'd go 😀

I would maybe arrive early and disinfectant everything and get the cupboards and fridges full. Take your own bedding, towels etc.

Go and enjoy some time together x

FizzFan Fri 26-Jun-20 09:03:48

I’d go, I wouldn’t isolate for a fortnight first though, just take sensible precautions.

SophieB100 Fri 26-Jun-20 09:08:57

I'd go, sounds like you've planned it really well.

Make the decision, go and enjoy it, without worrying before hand, and when you're there! As long as you wash hands, clean (not obsessively) surfaces regularly and ventilate the place, you'll be fine.

It'll do you all the world of good!

LatteLoverLovesLattes Fri 26-Jun-20 09:22:46

I'm vulnerable & very cautious.

I initially wrote that I'd go but do xyz. But xyz was getting SO long I'm not sure I could be bothered.

The property as it is would be fine (any Covid before lockdown will be inactive now) , but when you consider the owners/cleaners going in, it adds a risky element. I actually think if I really wanted to go I'd ask them not to go in & I'd just clean it myself. It's easier to clean it for 'closed up dust' than Covid

They might feel a bit uncomfortable not making it nice for you, but just explain your parents are shielding and you'd rather deal with dust than any slight chance of risk from other people having been inside

I'd also take everything with us (food etc).

Also I'd make sure they use hand gel if you stop on the way.

On a totally different note - there might come a point where taking your Mum away from her home makes her dementia worse & you might want to consider going to stay at their house instead of going away.

Scarby9 Fri 26-Jun-20 09:23:42

Thank you for your messages. I'm fairly confident the cottage will have been disinfected within an inch of its life, but we could definitely take towels. I'm thinking cushions as well, since I hear they may be removed, and my parents find them comfortable for sitting.

OP’s posts: |
Scarby9 Fri 26-Jun-20 09:25:53

Oh and yes, taking food with us.

OP’s posts: |
frozendaisy Fri 26-Jun-20 09:46:28

Sounds like you have thought of much more than we would. Sounds like it would do everyone the world of good.

PickwickThePlockingDodo Fri 26-Jun-20 09:53:23

Hell yes, go and enjoy yourselves.
Life is too short and the way you've planned it, I'd say the risk is minimal.

Ponoka7 Fri 26-Jun-20 10:23:34

This is meant kindly, but you need to take every opportunity to see your Parents, given their age.

msbevvy Fri 26-Jun-20 10:39:47

It sounds like a reasonable plan to me but it is against the government rules that state that you cannot stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household).

If you decide to go ahead with it be careful that you don't let the owner know how many households you are.

MRex Fri 26-Jun-20 12:03:31

I'd have them take their own pillows since you're driving anyway. Take a 99.9% alcohol spray and kitchen roll, get the first arrivals to open all windows, then spray all handles and other surfaces, then give them a quick wipe down. Otherwise it sounds all covered and sensible, I hope you all have a great time.

Spam88 Fri 26-Jun-20 12:30:56

All sounds reasonable, assuming the cottage is in England?

Scarby9 Fri 26-Jun-20 14:38:35

Thank you everyone.
Yes, the cottage is in England, as are we all - just very spread out round the country!
@msbevvy with me forming a bubble with my parents, we would only count as two households. I forgot to mention that this year my friend would have to miss out on our annual few days together.
Now my DB and I need to talk it all through before we raise the possibility with my DF, who has been telling us just to go on our own, which we wouldn't.

OP’s posts: |
LilyPond2 Fri 26-Jun-20 21:39:49

You have asked for thoughts from a cautious perspective, so in that vein: (a) Would you be able to get to your destination on a single tank of petrol or would you need to stop at a petrol station en route?; and (b) Would everyone be able to manage the journey without a toilet stop?

Scarby9 Sat 27-Jun-20 08:09:49

@LilyPond2 Those are the biggest issues, I think, in my mind.

Petrol wise, we can fill both cars at my local garage via pay at the pump which I am happy with (disposable gloves on, pay, drop card onto antibac wipe, fill car, gloves off, clean card hand sanitizer etc). The one tank will get us to cottage, but we would then have to fill up again, and I don't yet know if there are pay at the pumps nearby. But I can find that out.
Both my parents and I have fairly cast iron bladder! I managed 8 hours during one recent visit, and they managed 4, but Having said the journey is 3 1/2 hours, that is driving time and we would have to take it slowly to allow for hourly breaks from the sitting position. My mum isn't mobile enough to cope with a wayside wee, so we would have to use a toilet if she needed one ( which I do think is likely) and that is a worry. Both of us would have to go into the building (service station, probably) which is something I and they have avoided this far. And that brings in the 'what if?' I know it is a tiny risk with pre-sanitising and lots of hsupervised hand washing, but it is a risk we haven't taken up to now. Hmmm.

OP’s posts: |
NeurotrashWarrior Sat 27-Jun-20 08:13:13

We are in the same situation without anybody shielding but elderly people and clinically vulnerable due to asthma. We are going to go and be very careful.

SD is going to be hard for the children but they've not been at school and we are being careful with meet ups.

We will not be having any outdoor meets for a week before and Dh who is the only one at work is going to be very careful.

Scarby9 Sat 27-Jun-20 08:15:05

@LatteLoverLovesLattes You sound like a similarly risk-averse person to me! Thank you for your thoughts.
Your final paragraph is key to our thinking, however. My mum will still really enjoy the holiday this year we think, despite her orientation difficulties, but we are aware this may be the last one which is why we are keen to do it if we can do so safely.

OP’s posts: |
NeurotrashWarrior Sat 27-Jun-20 08:15:48

Actually, two weeks we decided to be in a sort of very stringent SD quarantine before going.

HairyToity Sat 27-Jun-20 08:25:22

I'd go too.

Scarby9 Sat 27-Jun-20 08:29:55

@NeurotrashWarrior Is your journey long enough to require toilet stops? What are your plans for that?

OP’s posts: |
Jilljams Sat 27-Jun-20 08:32:12

I’d go. Take face coverings, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer for using if you can’t avoid contact at service stations. Was hands in warm water and soap at every opportunity. Keep a bottle of liquid soap in the car in case there isn’t any available in toilets.

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Jun-20 08:37:50

Self isolate for 2 weeks before the holiday, for each and every person going - that way you’ll know you’ve done as much as possible and by the sounds of it that should be easy for you.

Have a good trip

NeurotrashWarrior Sat 27-Jun-20 13:03:32

Not for us, it's about 2 hours, maybe 3 max for parents. I think they may not stop? I'll ask.

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