Type 1 diabetic in my 50’s, my wife is a Type 1, and so is my 20 year old son. This morning I get a text out of the blue from a friend I haven’t seen in 10 years saying ‘Hey man, we are in town for the next few days and was planning on coming by to see you’. This particular person still thinks Covid is a hoax and obviously takes zero precautions. We on the other hand have been doing everything possible to minimize risk and have been hunkering down since March. Now that the pandemic is worst than ever the last thing I want is someone like this and his family in my house jeopardizing everyone here. I really don’t know how to respond to him without offending him but on the other hand I’m a little offended that he would put us at risk like that. How would you handle this?
I think just being honest works - say you’re at an increased risk and are being cautious because of that so can’t meet up this time. You might be able to avoid him feeling offended by putting it all on yourself and not referencing his choices at all.
Although his choices are putting tons of people at risk so maybe his feelings aren’t the most important thing in the equation this time. Tough balance.
Agreed w/ @RHOSF, honesty.
Even though your dear friend does not have to ‘believe’ the science…
Explain the T1 high susceptibility concern & if an outdoor space option is available ( a park), to gather, maintain the 6’ proximity, & at least you can meet & see & visit; & laugh about it in 3yrs when 2020 will be a ‘remember when…’ story.
Hopefully your friend does not become negatively impacted in their ignorance of this adventure.:(.
That’s a tough but all too common challenge these days. I think you should let kindness guide you and let the most jarring differences between you and your old friend remain unstated.
There’s nothing wrong with stating the perspective that you and your family take with regard to your sense of vulnerability. Your truth is your truth and your sense of it need not be portrayed as the truth; in other words your sense of the reality of this pandemic can leave room for other perspectives that your old friend has obviously adopted.
I would send a newsy text reply about your life in the last ten years with plenty of questions about what’s been going on in your friend’s world in that interim.
No need to express the offense that you feel. I place this tactic under the general heading of “social grease,” the art of sharing the common things we feel with all humans while leaving the contrast between you unsaid.
Making a sincere commitment to getting together once this health crisis has passed could help your friend to look past your obvious difference in worldview and focus on what you’ve shared in the past. If your polite and kind response is rebuffed or taken badly, that is beyond your power to control.
Good luck. Human relationships can be complex yet resilient.
I have had to have this discussion a lot lately.
Around Halloween, I was talking with coworkers and neighbors about how we love Halloween and love answering the door to the hundreds of kids that come through. But this year, lights were off and decorations downplayed because the three people in our house are compromised or work with people who are. Everyone was very supportive and understanding with our thought process.
Now Thanksgiving has reared its ugly head. My daughter and her boyfriend who is our one household we spend time with, has made the decision to go to Mexico last weekend. I of course was very upset because I had to tell her we couldn’t have them over for dinner. I thought maybe they would cancel their trip but no, they went. So unfortunately we will not be having dinner together and won’t be celebrating together. She understands where we are coming from but wow, really? I am hoping they can pull it together for Christmas because we have never not been together for Christmas. Thanksgiving was always the holiday she didn’t come home for due to costs of trying to come home for both holidays while in school and after getting a job in SF and NYC. Last year was the first time she had Thanksgiving dinner with us because they have moved back to San Diego! But here we are so closed but so far away.
If your friends don’t understand how important your health and well being is, you may need to say goodbye to a friendship. But all of my friends and family have been very understanding to our views. Please be safe and do what you feel is safe. I had planned on dinner being outside this year but now that it is just our household, we are back inside. Maybe if they want to come by, set the guidelines out clearly and firmly and if they can meet them, great and if not oh well, maybe next year. So sorry it has come to this. Maybe in 6 months we will be hoping everyone will get a vaccine and we can get back to our lives. Please have a great holiday or as great as we can all make it!
I would kindly explain why they can’t visit. If he doesn’t understand, or gives you grief, you might think about how important the friendship is to you. If he doesn’t understand your reasoning, then he doesn’t understand you, and I would wonder if this is indeed a valuable friendship.
Honestly, my partner has a childhood friend who has flouts the risks despite knowing better (and not thinking it’s a hoax or being someone politically disinclined to take it seriously). She also deletes even gentle questions or feedback asking her about her choices or if she’s taking precautions on social media, where she posts photo after photo of unmasked selfies with different people, constantly. It’s probably ruined their friendship permanently, because I don’t think either of us can ever unsee how selfish she’s being in putting others at risk so she can live her life like nothing is wrong. I’m glad we have other friends who take it more seriously. I feel for folks surrounded by people who do not—I don’t know how I’d react in that situation.
Terry4 - I love your answer. This is a hard time of year for everyone, and I think the OP might regret losing a friendship more at this time of year, when none of us can gather with our extended friends and families, making this holiday even more fraught with anxiety than it normally is. Putting the onus on himself and not mentioning his friends lack of concern is just the way to go. And I love the term “social grease!” We need a lot of it this year.
Just say no to friends who are idiots😹 it seems like a good idea anyway. I don’t do any socializing in person currently and I won’t until we have all been vaccinated.
Oprah make everyone who visits her quarantine for at least 14 days. Even Gail. And if her beau Stedman steps out he must quarantine for 14 days as well.
This has happened to me. Someone flew in recently. My brother played interception. He took him out and around town. My brother is scared of covid, but he’s got a lot of internet (and real life) friends (with college degrees) who think the vaccine is full of ‘nano-bots’ that will record everything we do and relay information to the government. So, he’s used to dealing with this.
OPTION #1.) Do you have a mutual friend who can play interception?
OPTION #2.) Its totally fine to say your in hardcore lockdown. You don’t have to be more specific than that. I say that all the time. People assume that I have covid and leave me alone.
OPTION #3.) Or, just say that the wife and kid have the flu, if you really want to sidestep the issue. In this particular case, I’d use this one. Sidestep, sidestep, sidestep. Put on your dutiful husband hat - you cannot possibly leave the 2 of them alone without any dinner or someone to bring them blankets and 7-up. They are miserable wretches that need your constant care. That is your story and you gotta stick to it.
OPTION #4.) I recommend not trying to bridge the “nano-bot” gulf in perspective that exists between you and your pal. The nano-bot gulf cannot be bridged. No one tries.
Here’s some sad sap trying to have the nanobots conversation. I don’t recommend anybody go down this route. This is a hard road to travel:
Just tell them they can visit and then come back for your funeral in January if they don’t think the virus is real
I tell people the truth: that Covid could kill me, plus I live with my 83 year old mother, and no one gets into the house right now but us two.
I have 6 siblings (6 separate households), and not one of us is willing to put the others in danger. Aside from my household, 3 of my siblings are asthmatic, so they don’t go out without ultra-good masks. My sister-in-law is a health care worker, so she and my brother only go out when really necessary. BUT, we have a weekly family Zoom meeting, and are connecting with some other relatives that way, too. Thanksgiving, and somehow Christmas, are going to be Zoom meetings, too. We don’t try tact very often. We love each other a lot, and we’re worried.
With other people, I often just say “Sorry, I’m being paranoid for the foreseeable future. I hope we can reconnect in a year, or when it’s likely to be safe.”
I love Terry4’s answer! Bravo to your diplomacy and kind thoughtfulness!
Best to everyone and stay safe…
The truth is the best approach.
DENIAL is a very single minded and selfish thing that many diabetics experience and grow out of. Lets hope that the same is true for other people and afflictions.
I can recall being in DENIAL for about 18 months. But it seems we may see a vaccine much sooner than that.
NANO BOTS? WHY? There’s a rabbit hole worth avoiding.
This has been a very hard issue for my husband and me, as we live a state away from most of our family. I have not shared my t2 diagnosis with any family, with the exception of our daughter. (There is a long explanation for this, but suffice to say that my mother, who is 83, was never very tolerant of my dad’s T2, and I don’t want to get that same reaction. I have enough guilt.) Our daughter and her family have taken social distancing as seriously as my husband and I, and so I still feel comfortable visiting with them. The only other person who is being vigilant is my mother in law, who just turned 90. The night before her birthday, we decided to make a “suprise” visit to her. We stayed in a hotel, which I cleaned with Lysol several times before feeling “ok”. My husband went and had a surprise socially distanced and mask-wearing visit with his mom. He didn’t even hug her. The next day was our granddaughter’s 7th birthday & since they have been on “lock down” since March, ordering groceries, home-schooling, son in law working from home, we made a surprise visit to her and then headed home. The issue is that we have another daughter, two of our sons, three more grandchildren, and my mother in that same area - none of whom have taken Covid very seriously. Our other children were ok, and understanding - even without me divulging my diabetes. My mother was very upset. We have explained that we are overweight, over 60, and both have high BP and so we are being extremely cautious. We also live in an area (Michigan) which has been very heavily affected.
She and I have struggled with this from the beginning. She is still working as a school bus aide for handicapped preschool children. A very noble job that she loves, and so she refuses to stop working, in spite of the risk. She insists that she cleans the bus, wears her mask, sanitizes her hands - but also acknowledges that the children don’t always keep their masks on, and, that there have been several cases among the bus drivers and the other aides. She still does her own shopping, even though I had been ordering food for her (until I found out she was still going out.) She visits friends and attends a church that does not believe that you need to wear a mask - rather, you should have “faith”.
I acknowledged that I had hurt her by not visiting, and then explained again that we have different mindsets on our approach to staying safe. I apologized for hurting her, and told her that we would just have to agree to disagree. Just as I cannot stop her from working, shopping, going to church and visiting friends, she has to accept my decision NOT to do the same. I didn’t tell her she was wrong (even though I believe she is), I just said we had different mindsets. I wish I could say that it made things better. I don’t believe that telling her about my diagnosis would have changed anything, but I cannot compromise my belief because others don’t agree with me. Just stay strong, be as kind as you can, don’t accuse or shame, and hold your ground.
Ignorance is fertile ground where fear can allow nonsensical ideas to quickly take root.
I have just explained to people we are hermitizing. Turned down a few people by saying we are hermitizing because I’m in the high risk group, especially the one person that had recently traveled and he knew we always have asked him about that. He said I’ll see you in 2 weeks…uh no, as he isn’t as careful obviously. We haven’t really had much of an issue because the people we mostly know in the area are mostly older too and are also being very careful. Plus we used to have no cases so it wasn’t a huge issue. Now it’s changed because of tourists.
There are a few groups we belong to that are still meeting outside but we have just abstained from going.
I would just tell him how it is – sorry, but you feel it’s too risky.
Maybe next time. His response is up to him, but he has to accept your decision regarding your health.
Hubbs and I (in our 70s) are doing the same thing, and have managed to stay healthy so far.
Sometimes we have to do things that we wish we didn’t have to do in order to protect our health and our loved ones.
This holiday season is going to be tough, but better safe than sorry.
I also know people lie that - and others who insist that it was deliberately exported from China (like who cares where it came from - it’s still here). Anyway I ask them how “they” managed to stage such a global hoax. First, HCP’s would have to be paid a lot of $ to follow the script (HCP’s don’t follow the script especially MD’s - unless of course they wrote the script). Then, tons of $$$ for the “extras” to portray patients, grieving family members etc. I am thinking they could stuff body bags with newspaper for the morgue footage. Then there is the cost of staging. Even if they use empty Amazon boxes to make fake ventilators etc, lots of $$ for the theater techs and prop masters to make them (they are mostly union, so lots of $$$ there.).