Gransnet forums


Refusing to wear a mask

(246 Posts)
Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 14:57:47

My son who lives in the USA shocked me yesterday by stating on WhatsApp that he is now refusing to wear a mask.

I have always had a habit of saying exactly what I think but OH has asked me to think long and hard about my response so as not to alienate my son.

Can any of you fellow gransnetters please help me word a reply to succinctly make my feelings known without getting his back up in the hope of making him reconsider? He feels that Covid 19 has been overhyped and as so few people have serious repercussions it should be treated like flu and everyone needs to get back to work. He opposes the restrictions that have been brought in.

He is early 40s, father to my only grandchildren, and living the dream with a gorgeous home, trophy wife, top job etc.
He was brought up to show empathy, be socially responsible, caring and level headed.

We were expecting to spend Christmas with them and in February meet up again for a family holiday in the Caribbean where he was brought up. Neither of these events are now likely to happen but I am mentioning them to show that we are on good terms.

He has been wonderful about keeping in touch and facilitates my beautiful granddaughters’ regular updates to grandma about items of major importance such as wobbly teeth.

I do tend to overreact when my children behave contrary to their upbringing.

Septimia Mon 19-Oct-20 15:11:19

Tricky. Perhaps you shouldn't criticise his decision directly but mention that people's experiences and opinions here are different. Although some people object to the restrictions, the majority, especially the more mature and/or vulnerable are in favour of them.

annodomini Mon 19-Oct-20 15:14:13

He feels that few people have had 'serious repercussions'. I don't think the over 200K people who have died in the United States would agree! Nor would the many sufferers from what is now recognised as 'long Covid'. Surely the statistics speak for themselves.

Illte Mon 19-Oct-20 15:23:59

Don't say anything.

He won't change his mind until someone he knows is really ill or worse.

Even then he might just think they were unlucky.

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 15:24:48

Problem is that when you look at the the statistics as a percentage of the population very few die from Covid and the average age is similar to the average age of death anyway. Most people who die have comorbidities.

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 15:29:56

I’m in my 70’s and have a heart condition so I am deeply concerned.
I brought my children up to care for society as a whole. I taught him to be articulate and think for himself and now he runs rings round me with statistics.
I’ve noticed on Mumsnet that lots of that generation are thinking like him.

Jaxjacky Mon 19-Oct-20 15:51:09

I agree with Illte don’t respond, it’s always disappointing when children don’t come up to the standards we expect.

Oopsminty Mon 19-Oct-20 15:54:50

I'd not say a word either.

He's a grown man after all

He sounds as if he's a happy, well rounded chap, (apart from his mask issue) and you should not be too disappointed.

jusnoneed Mon 19-Oct-20 16:04:04

I have family in the US and friends too and they are all anti mask wearing, all against lock downs and restrictions. They say the figures are no different to other years with the usual flu deaths. I think the feeling over there among many people is that too much fuss is being made in other countries.

I think you would be wise to say nothing unless he actually asks your opinion, then simply say you don't agree but he's an adult must make his own choices.

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 16:05:57

I feel so disappointed. Perhaps I do need to step back and hope his upbringing will come to the fore in the long run.

MaggieTulliver Mon 19-Oct-20 16:12:11

Definitely don’t say anything, he sounds like a decent chap. And I tend to agree with him.

V3ra Mon 19-Oct-20 16:14:17

He's living in a different country on a different continent. You can't expect him to follow the "rules" we have here even if you do believe ours is a better way. I'd say nothing.

BlueBelle Mon 19-Oct-20 16:18:18

To be honest esspee you can only bring them up the well rounded way you have, until they become adults, what they do with that upbringing after then is really not your business
You can no more tell him what to do or how to think about a mask than you can tell him which politics to follow
He’s not a naughty boy who has to follow his mums views you have brought him up to think of others that’s all you can do your job is finished
He has every right to make his own decisions on what to wear and what not to wear and you have every right to disagree but that really is all
Your husband is right keep your thoughts to yourself he’s an adult and made his decisions The fact you don’t agree with his decisions is immaterial

Dinahmo Mon 19-Oct-20 16:19:32

it was mentioned on either Daily Politics or Jeremy vine this morning that 2 Americans, opposed to mask wearing had died of covid. You could mention that gently, in passing.

M0nica Mon 19-Oct-20 16:22:03

All you can do is acknowledge his views, say you disagree and then agree to differ and do not mention it again. I have done this with DD on a number of times and we remain close However on, COVID and masks we are in complete accord. We are both hardliners over wearing of them.

V3ra Mon 19-Oct-20 16:24:53

On a holiday forum I'm on, earlier in the year a man was being very scornful about the likelihood of the virus crossing the US from the outbreaks (at the time) on the west and east coasts and said, "Do you not realise what a huge country this is?"
I felt like replying, "It's already made it from China, what makes you think it's going to stop now?"

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 19-Oct-20 16:28:50

I can’t really blame younger people for thinking as they do. Right at the start, we were told Covid wouldn’t affect most people. Only 1 in 5. Of those, only a small proportion would die. Not much different to deaths for any other reason. When you look at deaths in the U.K., as sad as it is, it IS, and I hate to say ‘ only’, but out of 70 million, not much. You could ask him how he feels Covid has been overhyped, and get him to explain. Outside of that, you can’t really do anything, just lead by example and keep safe yourself.

Galaxy Mon 19-Oct-20 16:39:06

I think it's fine to say you disagree and leave it at that. I dont agree with my dad on a myriad of issues but we survive. grin

Summerlove Mon 19-Oct-20 16:40:34

Unfortunately saying anything to contradict him could easily cause strife. At this stage, I would just be happy that you live in a different country.

petra Mon 19-Oct-20 16:55:48

You say you brought him up to think for himself
The figure of 200,000 dead out of a population of 328 million makes that 0.06 of the population.
He's probable done the maths and come to the conclusion that his chances of getting the virus are very small. Together with the fact that he's a young man and hopefully living a healthy lifestyl.

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 17:06:51

He is very healthy but I wear a mask to protect others so expected that he would do the same.

Namsnanny Mon 19-Oct-20 17:07:43

Please dont threaten your relationship by saying anything.

He is as entitled to his opinion as you are yours.

He doesnt think he is being in anyway selfish. He thinks he is being rational.

Dare I say it.......there is a scientific divide on this issue?

Given that the best of them cant agree, he has made his choice, and so have you.

suziewoozie Mon 19-Oct-20 17:18:53

He brought the subject up and he’s an adult so just tell him you disagree with him. Saying nothing is carrying maternal indulgence too far - you don’t have to rant at him but just say you think he’s wrong. PS what’s a trophy wife btw - that sounds horrible - your phrase or his?

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 17:29:42

Sorry suziewoozie shouldn’t have used that phrase. Certainly not his words. Think Melania.

janeainsworth Mon 19-Oct-20 17:30:40

What would you say to another person of your son’s age who had expressed the same opinions as your son Esspee?
Would you get into an argument with them, or would you calmly explain why you didn’t agree, possibly citing evidence, or would you just say nothing and move on?

You have to ask yourself if it’s worth causing a rift with your son over something that, as Namsnanny has said, not all scientists agree over anyway.

Let’s not forget HM the Queen didn’t wear a mask when she went out the other day.