Gransnet forums


New school term, risks for grandparents

(80 Posts)
Speldnan Tue 18-Aug-20 07:52:34

I see my grandchildren at least once a week. I’m worried now that they are soon going back to school (aged 8 and 4) whether it will be safe to still see them regularly. It seems inevitable that there will be outbreaks of coronavirus in schools and if children are asymptomatic it could be even more dangerous to be seeing them. I really don’t know what to do! I’ve been in a bubble with them so we’ve been interacting as normal up until now. What will other grandparents be doing?

Marydoll Tue 18-Aug-20 08:16:40

I was shielding and my DDG was in our very small bubble.
Our son will not allow us to pick her up from school ,due to the free for all at the school gate and total lack of social distancing.
Our bubble has literally burst!. 😢

Kalu Tue 18-Aug-20 08:40:40

Both our DGs are back at school now which means they can no longer come into our house and we can only have garden visits again. At least it’s still possible to see them during summer months but I don’t even want to think about the likelihood of not seeing them at all when the clocks change and it is too cold and dark for garden visits.

Normally we see them regularly during the week occasional school pick ups and love having them for overnight stays but none of this has been possible since March😢

Our bubble has been burst too. Well put Marydoll

janeainsworth Tue 18-Aug-20 08:59:12

My GC live 200 miles away & they came for a visit last week & we’re going to theirs next week for a few days.
Sadly we’ve had to accept that once they go back to school that won’t be possible.
DD is thinking she might keep them off school for the last week of term so they can quarantine for 10 days & then we can visit them during the Christmas holidays.

But things may be very different by then, we just don’t know. We might be in the middle of a really bad second wave, or there might have been just a few clusters.

Witzend Tue 18-Aug-20 09:08:06

Don’t know what to say really.
We’ve been seeing ours (5, 4, and a baby) about once every 10 days for the past couple of months. The two elder will be back at school/pre school in early September and we’ll almost certainly go on seeing them.

My own feeling is that this horrible thing could be with us for a long time before there’s a vaccine (if there ever is) and we just have to learn to live with it. Having said that, apart from our ages, dh and I don’t have any particular health problems to make it even riskier.

Of course if there’s a huge spike in infection rates, like at the beginning of lockdown, we might well think again.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 18-Aug-20 09:15:27

We shall be picking up the five year old GC from school twice a week and will have the seven month old sibling all day on those days.

Dorsetcupcake61 Tue 18-Aug-20 09:25:14

It's an awful situation made worse by the fact theres so much we just dont know.
Mine live a two hour drive away so dont see on a weekly basis. My daughter has been very cautious throughout,my eldest grandson who is nearly five has been at a summer camp for the past few weeks.
A month ago my daughter did a house swap with her in laws who lived nearby and we were able to do a socially distanced visit in my garden.
My daughter and grandsons are visiting this week. They are staying with the in laws at their request. They are in 70s but other than that fit and healthy although of course their immune system is not as effective. Still it's their choice and their house is ideally set up so can be used as separate households with completely separate living areas.
I on the other hand am younger but diabetic. I have been stringently social distancing. A week ago friends suggested picking me up in their car for a garden visit. They are both very cautious. The government guidelines at the time were quite woolly so I thought maybe I should venture out. Yesterday I checked website and they have changed again advising vulnerable people to minimize social contact outside of household. If the government suggest it I follow as they seem to be quite hopeless so if do advise against something there must be a problem!
So I cancelled friend visit although they are happy to visit in my garden. Sometimes I feel like a coward other times I think well I've got this far!
Not driving complicates the issue as it makes it impossible to meet up at say a local country park with daughter and family. Still I'm lucky to have a garden and a pond with ducks nearby if weather holds up.
The opening of schools is a major issue for everyone if not done properly ☹

Greenfinch Tue 18-Aug-20 09:32:35

Some of you are very lucky to have the choice. Our grandchildren live with us so we have no option. We will just practise as much social distancing as is possible. They are 13 and I am quite heartened by the measures prepared for each school but having said that the schools both have over one thousand students so the year group bubbles will be huge.We will just have to manage the best we can.

Speldnan Tue 18-Aug-20 09:34:43

It’s a difficult one and pretty heartbreaking for us grandparents. I’m very fit and healthy and 70yo but judging by the stories you hear that is no guarantee against having a serious Covid illness. Plus I have parents in their 90s who rely on me so I won’t want to take any risks. There have been cases reported in 2 Scottish primary schools today and my young great nieces in the US both caught it at a summer camp: children can and do get it although usually mild they can obviously pass it on.
My DD has suggested that we meet in a park or NT place once school starts. It’s a good idea but how do you tell a 4 yo that she can’t cuddle you or hold her hand?😢

CrazyGrandma2 Tue 18-Aug-20 09:46:33

Our situation is the same as what Witzend said.

The only difference is that the GC went back to school in June for several weeks. Once they restarted school it seemed like a nonsense that they could mix with friends and teachers, but not their GPs. We started to socialise with them again and we are still here to tell the tale. We are lucky to be living in an area where the incidence of Covid is low.

As Witzend said, we have decided that we have to learn to live with it. Our family are all aware of the risks but also feel that life has to go on. My personal view is also that quality of life is probably more important than quantity of life. Strange times we are living in.

deanswaydolly Tue 18-Aug-20 09:46:37

It is worrying, I am 62 this year with a collection of ailments but still working 60 hours a week as a childminder. Not looking forward to them all going back to school. It is bad enough to know that parents are flouting the guidelines now.

trisher Tue 18-Aug-20 09:47:22

I used to pick up and take my DGC to school on 2 afternoons and 1 morning I haven't done it since over 70s were advised to shelter. My DS has adjusted his hours to make provision for September, so I won't be doing it then. I have seen them since they have been out of school but probably won't in September, I will miss them.
I don't know if people realise that parents can ask their employers to make adjustments to their working hours if they need to. Hopefully at some point we will be clear of this situation and back to normal.

Greyduster Tue 18-Aug-20 09:50:33

We have been seeing our GS as part of our family bubble, and would oversee him after school on two days a week in the normal course of events. He has a condition which means he shouldn’t be left alone. We have signalled our willingness to do so again when he returns to school and SiL returns to work after furlough, but will work out extra safeguarding measures as necessary and hope that will be enough for the necessary couple of hours.

Furret Tue 18-Aug-20 09:54:08

I’m watching the Scottish schools very carefully.

4allweknow Tue 18-Aug-20 09:57:46

Only last night I decided I would fly to see DS and family who live in south of UK. I weighed up that for months we were all allowed to walk about, go into stores etc without a mask and the spread reduced. Now masks are mandatory so surely risk has to be reduced again. I am no longer going to stop family contact as I could well drop dead from a stroke, heart attack, road accident. I will continue to wear a mask, sanitise hands and clean surfaces.

SpecialK57 Tue 18-Aug-20 09:57:50

I will be doing the school run 2 days per week and looking after the youngest little one full time on those days. As with others who have commented we have no health issues and are only in our early 60s

Craftycat Tue 18-Aug-20 09:58:47

I have seen my 6 quite a lot. We have gone on country walks where we can keep a distance. Met them in car park as we took our own cars. Mind you they did immediately run & hug me. I don't mind but DS was horrified.
I saw the other set at their home in the garden.
Not sure what we are going to do about me picking little ones up from school but it is only one day a week so we may just have to stop that for now.

Witzend Tue 18-Aug-20 10:06:50

Our Gdcs were back at school for a few weeks before the holidays too, @CrazyGrandma2.
We decided to risk it anyway.

An ex colleague of dd, a key worker, had her dcs at school/nursery throughout, and she and her dh are older parents even by today’s standards, but all well. Many parents in the area are medics - there are several hospitals, so you’d imagine the risk might be greater.

My dd had her 3rd (surprise) baby in early January. As we’ve all remarked, if it was going to happen (of course the baby is a joy) she couldn’t have picked a better time to be on maternity leave.

luluaugust Tue 18-Aug-20 10:25:05

My DGC are older so not likely to hug me by mistake and I have managed to see them in the garden quite a few times, I am afraid it is the Winter I am dreading not only will the GC be back at school but three members of the family teach and two others have underlying health issues. Just have a feeling OH and I will be in our own home for Chr...........this year

Nannapat1 Tue 18-Aug-20 10:25:21

We have had to care for DGD (aged 6) since May, several days a week, as DD couldn't be furloughed. She is separated from DGD's daddy, who continues to do some care. We took and fetched from school,several times a week in June/July and will continue to do so in September, no choice as there is no longer a childminder in place. DH & I both still under 70.

NemosMum Tue 18-Aug-20 10:47:06
Please see your grandchildren! There is not a single confirmed case in the world of pre-pubescent children transmitting COVID-19 to an adult. The link above is to a paper giving the findings of the Icelandic whole population study. Unless you are VERY vulnerable, it will be much worse for you and your grandchildren not to see each other. As Prof. Spiegelhalter says, the risk of dying of COVID-19 does not exceed your whole-year risk of dying of any cause in 12 months.

jocork Tue 18-Aug-20 10:48:31

I work in a secondary school myself, as a learning support assistant. We work closely with the students we support, so won't be able to distance like the teachers. I'm starting to be concerned as I was due to retire in July but put it off, not wanting to retire from not being at work properly. Now I'm wondering if I made a mistake and may give notice when I return in September. I'm diabetic though otherwise in reasonable shape - I've even lost a bit of weight during lock down probably due to the lack of shared buiscuits in the staff room - so I'm not sure how high the risk is for me.

I was shocked when told we weren't to be allowed to wear masks in school, just visors, which are supposed to be worse than useless, though I will wear one anyway! One colleague has raised this with management as the fact that we can't distance like the teachers puts us at more risk, but she hadn't had a response the last I heard.

I was so looking forward to retiring but many of the things I'd planned to do have not been happening, another reason for staying on at work for a while. I guess I'll make my decision soon after I return, depending how the kids are behaving. I think the risks are lower in primary schools as the kids are smaller, so are not breathing out in your face, but in secondary most of the students are taller than me!
My first grandchild is due in September so that too will affect my decision as I certainly don't want to be a risk to him or her, though I won't see them often as they live at a distance and are due to move to Germany in October. Decisions, decisions... Good luck to all of you who have to decide about meeting grandchildren. I think that schools reopening may mean other things may have to be restricted more to balance things out.

25Avalon Tue 18-Aug-20 10:52:00

Everyone needs to do their own risk assessment taking into account all the circumstances and decide what they are happy with, and is any risk worth it. I have only visited gc in back garden observing social distancing. 4 year old GD knows this and is very good at observing it. No hugs but we do pretend kisses and hugs. It is a new world they are learning. I should have been collecting her from school one day a week when she starts in September but I won’t be doing it now as my dh is high risk.

SummerJ Tue 18-Aug-20 10:56:58

I think we all are living in a time when we have to take our own risk assessments, be aware of local and government advice and be sensible. In addition, we all need to keep an eye on the number of cases in different areas. At the moment cases are non existent, and have been for weeks, in the immediate area where we live. We are not being complacent but see no reason for not continuing to spend time, albeit socially distanced (as far as possible!), with our grandchildrenwhen they go back to school. We will be careful and rethink our approach, if needed, but will not live in fear! Both in our mid 60 s and healthy.

growstuff Tue 18-Aug-20 11:11:03

Please see your grandchildren! There is not a single confirmed case in the world of pre-pubescent children transmitting COVID-19 to an adult. The link above is to a paper giving the findings of the Icelandic whole population study. Unless you are VERY vulnerable, it will be much worse for you and your grandchildren not to see each other. As Prof. Spiegelhalter says, the risk of dying of COVID-19 does not exceed your whole-year risk of dying of any cause in 12 months.

The results in that article are from Iceland up to 4 April. Do you have a link to anything more up-to-date?

Recent research suggests young children shed virus in a similar way to adults. It's of concern that they can be asymptomatic, so could transmit infection without anybody knowing that the children were infected in the first place.