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Is volunteering selfish?

(41 Posts)
Oprah2020 Tue 21-Apr-20 12:14:09

I've been invited by my workplace to volunteer with packing and delivery for vulnerable. This is around 12 miles from home. I'd love to help but have to decide whether this is being selfish by putting DH at risk. He is 73 with mild asthma. I'm over 65 and have type 2 diabetes. Generally speaking, we feel reasonably fit.

polnan Wed 22-Apr-20 10:21:46

I don`t understand why you question if volunteering is selfish.

if you want to volunteer , as requested, sounds a bit like the old army joke,, I want volunteers, you , you and you!

I digress

you want to volunteer as requested?? not selfish, bit unrealistic,,

I am finding, well I found out a long time ago, where my responsibitilies (sp?) should be..

I can understand if you feel that you would like to do more in this surreal life we are now flung

but we have to do what we have to do, and sometimes that means we can`t do everything we would like to do

if you get my drift

Elijah Wed 22-Apr-20 10:36:14

There are times when you need to think of yourself first, yes it would be good volunteering but if you get ill there is the risk to your husband as well as yourself. Take care stay safe

EthelJ Wed 22-Apr-20 10:41:51

I think you you should turn it down. I think we all think we are fitter and less at risk than we are. I have been trying to persuade my 65 year old husband that he is not invincible. We have been following the social distance rules etc but I just don't think he really appreciates how at risk we are and he gets annoyed every time I remind him to wash his hands after he's been out etc

H1954 Wed 22-Apr-20 10:52:41

No, you must not put yourself or your OH at risk. You say you only have type 2 diabetes! There's more to type 2 than many people realise. Do you not realise the complication and effect this condition can have on our bodies?
I also have asthma, last year a chesty cold put me in hospital for several days with extreme breathing difficulties; I should add that my asthma is very well managed. Why would you put you DH at risk?

Aepgirl Wed 22-Apr-20 11:47:23

I think you should gracefully decline, giving the reasons you gave us.

Vintagegirl Wed 22-Apr-20 12:54:33

Here in Ireland it is 'essential travel' only so I think that rules out 12 mile trip. You will be free to find some other opportunity to be of help. Even just being at home ...

Authoress Wed 22-Apr-20 12:54:52

The reason diabetics are at extra risk is because the virus can attack the heart. Unless your HgA1c is less than 6 (old money...), you are at direct risk; and then of course there's the danger to your husband.

Tangerine Wed 22-Apr-20 12:56:47

In your position, I would not do it for health reasons.

Even without the health reasons, I think I'd look for a volunteering opportunity nearer than 12 miles away.

Romola Wed 22-Apr-20 13:22:26

This post isn't about this Covid19 crisis, but an attempt to answer the question "Is volunteering selfish?"
I do two bits of volunteering, one is joining the local litter-picking group (definitely selfish as I loathe litter and also enjoy the company of the other litter-pickers). The other is volunteering for a local charity which befriends children who could do with a bit more opportunity than their families are able to provide. It is sort of selfish because I can use the skills from my profession (secondary-school teacher) which is satisfying, but really I enjoy doing stuff with a kid, often on their own, sometimes with other family members. What's not to like?

Romola Wed 22-Apr-20 13:24:35

PS I am really missing my befriended child and his mum during this crisis.

vickymeldrew Wed 22-Apr-20 13:28:39

I may be wrong of course, but I suspect your work have issued a blanket request to their staff and wouldn’t single you out or assume medical circumstances. If they were doing their own ‘screening’ and only asking some of their staff to volunteer, there would be uproar !

GrauntyHelen Wed 22-Apr-20 21:59:28

You BOTH make the vulnerable list so in those circumstances I wouldn't volunteer

Grammaretto Wed 22-Apr-20 23:20:56

You should definitely not be volunteering in that capacity. There may be something else you can do.
You could speak to isolated people on the phone and put them in touch with help.

Or maybe shop for a neighbour along with your own.
We are shielding and I find it hard being suddenly thrust into the "vulnerable" category when a few weeks ago I was the one in charge!

Eloethan Thu 23-Apr-20 01:21:44

I think there are so many volunteers now that it should be possible to find people who are younger and who have no known health conditions.

LiTom Thu 23-Apr-20 08:27:20

We need to be aware of the risks, the best we can do is not to disturb the young who help us. We may not survive it if we get sick, in which case no one will feel better.