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I’d be interested on views on this

(115 Posts)
Grannynannywanny Wed 22-Apr-20 11:34:08

Yesterday bumped into an acquaintance on country walk. She’s 63 and very good health. Lives 1 mile from her daughter and family and was very tearful about not being allowed to walk by their house and chat in garden at a safe distance. We chatted for 15 mins at safe distance while tears continued to flow. At the end she said what’s difference between us chatting here together and someone chatting with family safely distanced in garden or open parkland? I’m doing best to observe guidelines but I did find it hard to come up with an answer to her question ( my grandkids are 100 miles away so I promise you this isn’t about me!)

EthelJ Wed 22-Apr-20 11:39:34

I think it's because it could set a precedent. If one person does it OK. But if everyone is going to their families home to sit in their gardens and chat at a distance. The chances are that won't happen. Social distances guidelines will be broken. It's hard for families not to sit closer, to hug etc especially if children are involved.
It's hard, I hate it. But I am keeping away from my children and grandchildren and they all live within a couple of miles of my house.

Septimia Wed 22-Apr-20 11:42:48

I can't see any problem with walking past the daughter's house and waving or talking over the wall or through a window at a safe distance. Going into the garden is maybe stretching the rules a bit far. Just need to make sure that young children (who seem to be pretty savvy) don't rush up for a cuddle.

Chestnut Wed 22-Apr-20 11:43:29

People seem to be talking to their families through the window so is that okay? The rules are not very clear. Maybe she could do that because there is no risk of infection through glass. Unfortunately I can't do that because my flat is on the first floor, although I suppose I could hang out of the window.

Elegran Wed 22-Apr-20 11:50:11

She is over-interpreting the rules. If she is not self-isolating because she (or someone in her house) has symptoms or is a contact, then she can walk around outside. She could stand at their gate while they talk out of the window or from their door, so long as she stays some distance away.

What she CAN'T do is meet them close up or hug them. It is better not to join them in the garden or a park, as there is then a temptation to move closer together.

MaizieD Wed 22-Apr-20 11:51:27

I don't see any problem with it, either.

If it's within the reach of your daily 'exercise' walk and you're maintaining safe distancing then it's not setting a 'bad example'. Perhaps those who are rigidly observing the 'rules' to the point of not doing something that is OK within the rules are needlessly depriving themselves.

I do think that it's a bit weird to think that it would cause everyone to lose self control... hmm

Teetime Wed 22-Apr-20 12:01:43

I see a lot of families here doing juts that. We met a lady we know on our walk in the park yesterday and from a very good distance away she told us her daughter had a baby last week and she had been round juts once to see the baby through the kitchen window. I would probably have done the same. Its very hard not seeing them isn't it. My daughter and GS is over 100 miles away so heaven knows when we can give them a big hug. I sent her some cheese yesterday which she loved.

rosenoir Wed 22-Apr-20 12:08:12

It sounds fine just to sit apart in a garden chatting but it would soon lead to drinks,something to eat,using the toilet then it being too cold or raining so sitting inside.

Even worse with children being involved,not really understanding why they cannot be kissed or cuddled.

Bathsheba Wed 22-Apr-20 12:22:00

I'm another who sees nothing wrong with this. As long as social distancing is observed what's the issue? We've visited our family frequently, as part of our daily walk, and seen the grandchildren from a distance - they know they mustn't come close, even the little ones understand, so there's no risk of them running up for a cuddle.

I really don't understand why this might 'soon lead to drinks, something to eat, using the toilet' etc. We are all grown ups here, and capable of being sensible. Anyone who thinks it OK to go inside to use the toilet, or to shelter from the weather, is probably doing that anyway! I'm sure we've all come across the morons who are blatantly ignoring all guidance.

I honestly believe that over interpretation of the guidelines, sticking too rigidly to them, can be harmful to our MH, so how is that a good thing?

BlueSky Wed 22-Apr-20 12:29:02

Of course she could talk to her family at a distance like people do with friends and neighbours!

Calendargirl Wed 22-Apr-20 12:36:44

As others have said, if it’s on your daily walk to go past family homes, then I think it’s fine to chat at a safe distance.
But no way to be going in to garden, the walkers stay on the pavement and the home owners well inside their property.

Witzend Wed 22-Apr-20 12:42:25

In theory, if combined with daily exercise, I don’t see a problem. In practice I dare say it’d be very difficult to stick strictly to the distance, plus it’s against the spirit of the rules, and there might well be Stasi-like, curtain-twitching neighbours kicking up a stink, especially if it was a regular thing.

A Swedish friend of mine (in Stockholm) is visiting her son’s house maybe once a week for coffee and a chat, but they sit well apart on a balcony that I know runs the whole width of the house. However she doesn’t see the grandchildren, the elder 2 of whom are still going to school.

Personally I’d find it extremely hard to see grandchildren at a distance and not be able to give them a cuddle, but then mine are very small so they’d find it very hard, not to mention bewildering, too. I suppose there’s some advantage to living an hour and a half’s drive away, so there’s no temptation.
It must be sorely tempting if you’re just a walk away.

paddyanne Wed 22-Apr-20 12:43:36

My son and his family passed on their walk on Sunday and stopped to chat ,we were at the door they with baby in pram at the end of the drive.Baby was delighted to see us and daddy was able to show off her two teeth that appeared last week .We had no physical contact and were no closer than 4 or 5 metres We area very close family and usually see them almost daily and they miss us as much as we miss them so it was nice to see them especially wee madams smiley face .

Grannynannywanny Wed 22-Apr-20 12:59:51

Paddyanne I’m sure your arms were aching for a baby cuddle but lovely you saw them. My 2 youngest GC are over 100 miles away and it’s a daily video call. 2 oldest are 20 min motorway drive away and feels just as far as 100 miles when I can’t visit. I did make the trip to them when their mum was ill for a week with virus. Dropped box of groceries and cooked meal on doorstep and chatted through closed window. After feeling desperate to see them I could only remain at window for 2 mins as I knew I was about to burst into tears and upset them all.

Brit Wed 22-Apr-20 13:05:46

My neighbour’s parents walk past the back of their house where there is a playing field. My neighbour and family stand on a bench and talk briefly to them over the fence, keeping a safe distance. It is only for a couple of minutes and seems to work ok. Likewise, a friend and her son and husband walk past her mother’s house and wave through the window, no contact.

starbird Wed 22-Apr-20 13:07:58

As long as everyone is feeling fine and not coughing or sneezing I see no harm in passing by each other’s home to see each other through the window and talk with the window open a crack, or even on the phone, or arranging to be in a park at the same time, even if just to see each other from a distance.
There are rumours of even more draconian measures possibly to come for over 70’s going right up to December next year for those most at risk, but I believe that we should be allowed to have a say once the hospitals and medical staff are no longer under such great pressure. What is the point of being imprisoned at home if you only have a year or so left to live? Who would not rather hug their family and face the consequences rather than die without seeing them again?
Our grandchildren might find virtual reality satisfying but for most if not all of us, it is no substitute for a real hug with a loved one. I would happily give up snapchat and zoom etc for a year in exchange for a few hours of being with my family in the flesh.

SueDonim Wed 22-Apr-20 13:22:16

I can’t see why your friend shouldn’t see her daughter from a distance as a part of her family exercise. If she’s not driving there, why shouldn’t her route take her past her dd’s house? They can maintain a safe distance and have a wee chat, which whilst it isn’t the same as a proper visit, is better than nothing.

As for the comment about drinks, the weather, using the toilet etc, I’d ignore that. I’m sure your friend is grown up enough to use her own loo before she goes out, take a drink with her and refrain from going out in a thunderstorm.

BlueBelle Wed 22-Apr-20 13:28:14

Your friend is over thinking grannynannywanny there is nothing to stop her going by her daughter house and standing at a distance for a chat My daughter does this quite often she goes out for a run (shock horror according to the other thread, crime of the century) or a walk and knocks on my door she then steps back to the pavement which is about 10 or 12 ft away and we stand and have a chat for ten or fifteen minutes I blow her a kiss and she goes home we are both as happy as this lockdown can allow us to be
I see no reason to have a window open a crack starbird if no one is coughing or sneezing that’s a step too far
This week I walked to my friend half an hour away took my coat off sat on her driveway while she made me a cup of coffee She has been inside alone for a month so I have no worries about drinking out of her cup She set it down, went inside while I retrieved it, then I went back to the bottom of her driveway we chatted for half an hour she sat on a chair by her front door then we reversed the cup process and I came home
I do agree starbird if more draconian long term measures come in for the over 70 s I will not feel life is worth it

Grannynannywanny Wed 22-Apr-20 13:37:51

Thanks for your comments everyone. If I meet this lady on my walk this afternoon I’m going to suggest to her to reroute and go take a walk past her daughter’s house for a safe distance chat. I’m sure she’ll feel much better if she did. I’m now wondering if I’m fit for the 25 mile round trip to my daughter’s but I might be a bit conspicuous walking along the hard shoulder!

Hithere Wed 22-Apr-20 13:38:42

The only issue I see with this is that if she wants to see her family and chat at a distance - this is one individual case.

How about everybody doing it? How many more people would be in the streets? How often?
What if you need to stop to rest in a bench that has been touched before by an asymptomatic carrier?

Too many weak links.

Videochats, while not the same, are safer for the whole community , I think

SueDonim Wed 22-Apr-20 13:51:06

It’s nonsense to think that everyone is going to do this, because most people don’t live within walking distance of family. Not one person in my street has family nearby and not one of my DC lives closer to me than almost two hours drive. If only I could walk on water to visit my son 4,000 miles away. hmm

SalsaQueen Wed 22-Apr-20 14:05:07

I think sitting in the garden, within 2 metres should be ok, shouldn't it?

My neighbour rang me this morning, said it's his birthday today - he lives alone, gets lonely - and said he's having a few friends round for a party this evening! He invited my husband and me......we declined. Madness.

Hithere Wed 22-Apr-20 14:13:44

Or visiting friends too, not just family.

We can agree to disagree, I just stated my opinion.

AGAA4 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:44:03

We all have to think before we do anything whether that action could result in the virus being passed on. I don't think people should enter anyone else's property even just the garden.
Chatting to someone on a walk for a few minutes, and keeping well away is unlikely to transfer the virus.

kircubbin2000 Wed 22-Apr-20 16:16:21

Son brings my shopping but he wears gloves and wipes everything he touches. He sits in the garden for a cup of tea but doesn't come in.