Gransnet forums


my support bubble burst!

(63 Posts)
keepingquiet Fri 13-Nov-20 20:20:19

I live alone and formed a support bubble when they first became a thing with my son, his partner and my now six month old grandchild. I don't want to go into too much detail but they are having serious problems. I haven't been for two weeks because things are complicated. In short I'm being messed about.
I don't know if I should form a bubble with someone else and risk not seeing my grandchild, or keep in this one even though I don't know when I will see them?

MamaCaz Sat 14-Nov-20 11:53:50

I took so long replying that I didn't see icanhandthemback's post.

Very sensible advice, imo.

chris8888 Sat 14-Nov-20 11:55:07

I think it depends on how much support you need, like is it shopping etc or social contact. Same for them, what support do they need and if they are having problems are you/coping.

Kim19 Sat 14-Nov-20 11:58:34

I'm in the bubble situation and my thinking is that these should be interchangeable as long as there is a definite 14 day gap between any alteration at any time. Don't know if that's right or wrong as per officialdom but it seems logical to me.

Tillybelle Sat 14-Nov-20 12:09:22

I'm so sorry to hear of these difficulties. It's such a worrying and difficult time and I feel sure this adds to the pressure with a small baby. I am so sorry you are affected and are missing your grandchild. I think you are very thoughtful and considerate to give them some space and not visit for a while.

I think a person like you who is considerate and keeps to the rules could hardly be accused of breaking them if you form a new bubble after a two week break from your last visit to the broken bubble. After all that is the time quarantine is required should you have been with a person found positive in the test, so you have proved that you are free of anything nasty and safe to go to another bubble. I hate saying "as a retired Psychologist" but if I may here add that weight to this situation, your having support from a bubble is very important in maintaining your own mental health. Apart from us all knowing it anyway, it has been proved in studies that isolation is bad for us and that having support is good not just for our mental health but our physical health too. I know you know this, but I just felt it doesn't hurt for more people to say it and give you support in your situation.

In fact should you later want to return to your original bubble, if we still have these restrictions, then you would just need to wait two weeks and then change back. I feel strongly that families must be given this support. I am so sad that we have to do it but probably it helps us feel safer.

I wish you and your family well and hope the difficulties may soon be resolved. It is so hard for people at this time especially with Christmas coming. God bless you. Take care of yourself, keepingquiet, with love, Elle 💐🌈🦋

Dowsabella Sat 14-Nov-20 12:20:32

I had a support bubble with my son and his family who live about 100 miles away. We formed this bubble so that in the summer, when we were allowed to, we could have our holiday together in the Lake District. I have been to stay with them twice since, the last time being some of half term so I could help with four very active grandchildren. Last night he told me, in the nicest possible way, that I was no longer in his bubble: he had formed one with an "elderly lady in his church who is completely alone with no family, and no-one else she can bubble with". I refrained from pointing out that I, too, am an elderly lady who is completely alone: the difference is, I have family, but they are all a long way away and visiting is difficult without a lot of planning and arranging for cat care! Bang goes Christmas!! Though he is hoping the rules on visiting might be more relaxed by then.

I actually do understand why he is doing this and the compassion behind it, but I could wish he had mentioned it before he did it. I don't think people who are not on their own have any concept of what it can be like having enforced solitude. I am fortunate in being content in my own company and have plenty to do.

Moan over!!

B9exchange Sat 14-Nov-20 12:55:59

According to if you are in a support bubble after 14th September, you cannot change it.

But I am with Tillybelle, leaving 14 days and forming a new one makes perfectly good sense, your wellbeing is so important. Common sense has to play a part.

I do wish we had some female members of SAGE making some of these decisions, I suspect the guidance would have been very different then!

humptydumpty Sat 14-Nov-20 13:05:22

FWIW, according to

"From 14 September, if you form or continue in a support bubble, you cannot then change your support bubble. It does not have to be the same support bubble you may have been in previously."

ReadyMeals Sat 14-Nov-20 13:06:38

I used to be the first person to point out the rules, but it seems everyone's doing either as they want or as their own individual brand of common sense tells them, so...

win Sat 14-Nov-20 13:06:59

It sounds to me like people are making up their own rules to suit, no wonder Covid is not going away. You form a bubble you stay with a bubble, all this swapping and changing after 14 days is a convenient interpretation of the rules. Sorry just stating

Schumee Sat 14-Nov-20 13:24:41

I have to agree with Hetty58, I live alone and at the moment I only see my son and his family outdoors, to take the dogs for a walk. (they are my bubble). My son is working and my grandson is at college locally so I would rather keep safe and stay in my own home at the moment.

justwokeup Sat 14-Nov-20 13:31:33

They have a new baby and it's one of the known effects of lockdown that relationships in families are strained. You say yourself that they are having problems so it may be nothing to do with you. They may be so involved in their own worries that they haven't known they are messing you about. She may also be missing the support of her own mother. I'd cut them a bit of slack, see them for a few minutes whenever you can and go bearing useful gifts, pie, cake, ready meals ...
If you genuinely feel you are being 'messed about', think that there's no resolving it, and have the chance of another support bubble then talk to them about it first.

esgt1967 Sat 14-Nov-20 13:56:45

There seems to be far too many rules, exemptions and exclusions around support bubbles and whilst I understand why there were introduced, the reality sometimes seems far too difficult to understand. I am also rather frustrated that because I live with my husband, I am unable to form a "bubble" with my daughter and her family who live over 100 miles away whilst her dad (my ex, who lives alone) formed a bubble and so sees her quite a lot - or could do before the most recent lockdown - whilst I have been unable to see her since February as she was in local lockdown before the national one! Even though I don't live alone, my mental health is suffering from not being able to see her and my grandson for so long.

Hetty58 Sat 14-Nov-20 14:04:13

Lucca, yes I do live alone (if the dog and cat don't count) quite happily. I always feel so sorry for those cooped up with others they don't get along with.

We're not babies are we? Why would we need support (unless we're frail, disabled or ill, when we'd need help anyway) just because of lockdown? I'm truly puzzled.

Hetty58 Sat 14-Nov-20 14:06:04

Erindoors, I find it easy enough!

Lucca Sat 14-Nov-20 14:41:17


Lucca- that's not the point,is it?Hetty58 is right in a way- the only way to stop the spread is to well, stop spreading,mingling.If we can actually manage to stop all the house-hopping some folk have done it may well get under control.

What do you mean that’s not the point ! I asked a simple question. No hidden agenda.
Some who live alone cope well, I do for example, but there are those who don’t.

M0nica Sat 14-Nov-20 15:54:16

The purpose of bubbles is to give support to someone living alone who may be struggling mentally or physically, especially if they are disabled.

We re in a support bubble with DD, who lives 100 miles away. She became critically ill during the first lockdown and is only now back in full health. She still needs some mental support. We usually see her once a month for a day or weekend.

Currently with DH critically ill in hospital both DC are visiting him and me, at separate times, they do not come together and I do not give a d**n what the rules are.

Hetty58 Sat 14-Nov-20 16:14:33

Very few people do give a d**n what the rules are M0nica - and that's why there are so many new infections.

At least you have a very good, understandable reason to ignore them atm. Others simply don't care about anyone else!

B9exchange Sat 14-Nov-20 16:35:09

M0nica I am so sorry to hear about your DH, I must have missed that somewhere, will keep you all in our prayers.

GrauntyHelen Sat 14-Nov-20 16:45:45

Once you have formed a support bubble you can't just form another one !

Hetty58 Sat 14-Nov-20 16:59:20

Oh but GrauntyHelen, people just do whatever they want - then make up flimsy excuses and exceptions - expecting us all to agree!

I can't stand the 'need to see grandchildren' one. Being community minded, rather than selfish (but, obviously, living in the wrong country for that) I've not seen mine (including a new baby) since February.

V3ra Sat 14-Nov-20 17:02:47

All along we've been including my Dad (89) in our family as a support bubble as he lives nearby.
This week he was happily telling me that my brother, who lives a few hours away, is planning to come down mid-December, stay overnight at Dad's, then take him back with him for two or three weeks over Christmas.
Dad says he's joining their bubble for this.

I pointed out that as things stand this is all against the rules but Dad thinks it's all ok. I'm surprised my brother has even discussed it with him yet.

The best I could suggest was to wait and see what the rules are once the current lockdown ends, and if he still goes we wouldn't see him for two weeks after he gets back.
I'm sure he thinks I'm just being awkward!

Hetty58 Sat 14-Nov-20 17:16:56

V3ra, I suspect that the rules will be relaxed over the Christmas period (as so few would stick to them anyway) and the infection and death rate will shoot up in January, inevitably.

V3ra Sat 14-Nov-20 17:21:43

Hetty58 that's exactly what I've been thinking will be the case, and am rather concerned about!

moggie57 Sat 14-Nov-20 18:01:28

Frankly I don't believe in these bubbles. Children can go to school with children from other households then they go home and mix with other family members who have been out and about to God knows where.and then they come home and mix again .

moggie57 Sat 14-Nov-20 18:06:34

My grandchildren haven't been in my home since February. I sometimes see then coming out of school.I am masked up.then i see parents who are not masked up.I would love my grandchildren to come and be in my home.but they are playing safe and not coming here to me who is vulnerable. But sure about mixing at Christmas either though would love to spend Christmas day with my daughter and children.