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Careless about covid precautions

(13 Posts)
Sloegin Sat 28-Nov-20 23:34:11

My husband has a serious respiratory condition and is very vulnerable and I, as a retired nurse, am very aware of the risks so have been extremely careful, even starting isolating ten days before we were advised to back in March. My husband had just been discharged from hospital at that point. During first lockdown we didn't go out at all, apart from my daily dog walk. We then eased up a bit during the summer and did have children and grandchildren to stay but limited shopping to my making quick trips for essentials at quiet times.More recently,
with rise in numbers in our area, I made the decision to avoid shops as much as possible. My husband's only outings are for short walks when he feels able and a quick trip once a week tobuy his Saturday newspaper, with me constantly reminding him to distance, hand sanitise etc. He assures me he is careful but he seems to be incapable of keeping his distance from people who come to the door like couriers or anyone doing work for us in the garden. If I remind him when he's too close he gets really cross. Today was the last straw, first I went into the hall to find him talking to the woman who takes our dog for a ramble once a week, and although she was on the other side of the wall he was only a couple of feet away from her. I reminded him of course and his response was as usual 'oh,I forget at home but I'm careful if I'm out'. Not half an hour later I was upstairs, heard a noise and looked out to see a courier just leaning over the wall to drop the largish box on the ground for husband to pick up, but, at that moment, dh had bent down to take it from him and their faces were no more than 12 inches apart! Needless to say I was upset, frustrated and cross so reacted by having a bit of a rant. I pointed out that I'd tried so hard for months to keep him safe,restricting my lifestyle more than I might have if he weren't so vulnerable ( he did get a shielding letter). I also said that if he didn't care about himself maybe he should think about protecting me. My policy is to behave as if everyone I meet is potentially covid positive and that I might be too so we need to protect each other. Needless to say my husband just got very grumpy and said that he'd remember if I didn't nag him about it all the time. I'm so fed up about this,and quite upset, but just don't know how to get through to him. Any advice welcome. BTW, this is my first ever post.

Pantglas2 Sun 29-Nov-20 06:44:25

Good morning and welcome Sloegin - funnily enough your post reminded me of DHs behaviour after his hip op in February!

As soon as he was allowed out of the garden for his recuperative walks we went into lockdown so I took over all shopping and out of home duties, to keep him safe. He also has heart problems so I didn’t want him catching the dreaded lurgy and went to extraordinary lengths to keep him safe all spring.

When things eased at beginning of summer we decided to test the waters by going shopping together and it was like taking a toddler to Tesco! He couldn’t seem to follow the queuing and distancing rules and I was forever nagging him to come back to the trolley and not get close to others!

I think all you can do is make sure he has a mask and sanitiser and keep reminding him to use them - I know they call it nagging but it’ll be worth it to keep him safe!

vampirequeen Sun 29-Nov-20 07:33:14

Perhaps the restrictions are getting to him and he's flipping into 'what the hell' mode like a lot of other people.

BlueBelle Sun 29-Nov-20 07:36:54

First and foremost welcome to Gransnet sloegin
I think the clue is in your past career you are a retired nurse and you are continue your duties but lost the fact you are his partner and his equal

I m not actually surprised your husband is grumpy with you I do totally understand that it is done only through your care and worry for him but you have become his constant nag and you are probably doing his head in He is an adult and you are treating him like a naughty child, I am not meaning to sound harsh, but just trying to show it from his eyes, I really do understand why you have the fear and insight into his illness which means you are on sentry duty all the time but you must see how it feels to him too

It sounds as if you are in very little daily danger as you have limited your ‘life’ to such a great degree so can’t you ease up on him and lead by example more than ‘telling offs’ he sounds as if he’s a follower
Nagging is never really the way forward and as this could go on for many months more I d ease off for the sake of both your mental health
Just try and ‘lead’ him without saying anything I m sure he must feel inferior enough though his illness without you telling him he’s wrong all the time even though it’s coming from your love and care

NfkDumpling Sun 29-Nov-20 07:38:24

Can you suggest to him that he's making it very difficult for people like delivery men as they have orders to keep distanced? And that neighbours may well have problems he doesn't know about and may be embarrassed at having to try to stay away from him? It may help if he sees things from other people's viewpoint.

lemongrove Sun 29-Nov-20 09:19:37

I fear it may be a man thing ( ducks behind sofa)
Even men who are generally being super careful about Covid
Seem to not be able to keep their distance from callers to the house or neighbours.

BlueSky Sun 29-Nov-20 09:38:45

I agree with Bluebelle I know you are doing it because you care deeply about him but try not to treat him like a toddler. I think a lot of women have taken on this extra careful regime with their partners and with you being a retired nurse, it must be second nature.

V3ra Sun 29-Nov-20 09:55:17

So frustrating isn't it? We were out for a walk last Sunday and bumped into a former work colleague of my husband. Straightaway the two men shook hands!
I told my husband afterwards that they shouldn't have but to no avail. I despair...

I think the "novelty" of the situation has worn off for a lot of people now. It is hard to keep remembering, especially if your husband feels generally well and dare I say it is a bit lonely?
I'm meeting a friend for a walk on Tuesday and she says she's just desperate to talk to someone else in person other than her husband!

maddyone Sun 29-Nov-20 10:54:13

I think we have to remember that this is a virus that is transmitted in the air. By breathing it in. All the hand gel, hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing doesn’t seem to have made much difference. Nonetheless I continue with all of these rigorously in the hope it will protect me. Also it is now said that it’s almost impossible to transmit the virus in the open air, but not actually impossible. So please Sloegin carry on what you’re doing, but don’t beat yourself up because your husband got too close to the delivery man because they were outside. What’s done is done and cannot be undone. And V3ra just try to not worry, a handshake in the open air is unlikely to transmit the virus. It’s much more important to be careful indoors. Out of all the precautions I’m of the opinion that wearing a mask in public buildings offers the greatest protection.

Sloegin Mon 30-Nov-20 14:08:36

Thank you all for your kind responses, those of you who empathise and BlueBelle and BlueSky ( I wonder why both variations of blue?) for your constructive criticisms. You know normally, if it weren't such a serious situation, I'd agree with you both both unfortunately, because he's so vulnerable as very immuno suppressed, I don't feel that I have the luxury of standing by and letting him put himself at risk. It's interesting that others also seem to have noticed this carelessness in their partners behaviour. I showed him my post and your replies and I have a funny feeling that maybe it's finally got through to him just knowing that I was so worried that I had to share it with others. A really useful exercise.

Daisymae Mon 30-Nov-20 15:49:47

Your story is very similar to ours, but my husband is less able. I have noticed that delivery drivers are not as bothered about distancing. However transmission is much less likely outside. You still have to live your life and you are certainly doing your best. I would be inclined to stop telling him off bearing in mind all the sensible precautions you are taking. You can only do so much and perhaps that's enough.

ElaineI Mon 30-Nov-20 16:00:14

I think it is a male thing as my DH does the same. Currently he has gone to a friend's house (with his mask) to sort his computer. Couldn't believe it when I got home and saw the note. He does the same with couriers where I open the door and stand well back while they photograph.

AGAA4 Mon 30-Nov-20 16:08:02

Have you thought of putting a memory aid on the front door so that he can't forget to be careful when he opens the door.

Silly idea maybe but it works for me if there is something I need to take with me when I am going out. Always forgetting my shopping list, phone etc.