Gransnet forums


Refusing to wear a mask

(247 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.

craftyone Mon 19-Oct-20 17:35:34

Don`t say anything. He is an adult and entitled to his own choices

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 17:36:14

Ah janeainsworth “What would our dear queen do” was one of my mother’s guiding sayings.
I do however feel my mother would have disapproved of her not wearing a mask (as I did).

suziewoozie Mon 19-Oct-20 17:42:50

There’s all the difference in the world between saying you disagree with him and having a big row. I am truly baffled by so many posters thinking that disagreeing with an AC would threaten the relationship . Especially as he brought the topic up in the first place. PS I hope his wife is nothing like Melania.

Namsnanny Mon 19-Oct-20 18:21:10

Look at the estrangement threads suziewoozie.

One mans disagreement is another mans abuse.

Oopsminty Mon 19-Oct-20 18:24:27

I rather like Melania

And I cannot see the point in getting into a discussion about masks with a middle aged son who lives thousands of miles away.

Esspee Mon 19-Oct-20 18:30:58

Thank you everyone for your advice. I will not be bringing the subject up and when he does I will simply say we have different views so let’s leave it at that.

Have a peaceful evening everyone.

suziewoozie Mon 19-Oct-20 18:37:46


Look at the estrangement threads suziewoozie.

One mans disagreement is another mans abuse.

Well DD and I have a very honest, open and lively relationship,and can disagree about all sorts in an honest, open and lively way. I’m sorry for people who can’t do this.

Franbern Mon 19-Oct-20 19:24:36

He lives thousands of miles away - why on earth would you even be discussing this matter with him. If he brings it up, just say that you do as it is now the law in the country to wear masks in any indoor public space.

Lots of people disagree about the usefulness and efficiacy of masks - there does not seem to any absolute definative opinion.

I am sure he is not breaking any laws and would wear a mask if he managed to come to UK.

Just enjoy a good relationships with him, and ;ook forward to when you can eventually all meet up again

BlueSky Tue 20-Oct-20 22:37:18

Esspee your son he’s a grown man and entitled to his opinions regardless of how you brought him up. You can calmly explain why you think mask wearing and other restrictions are necessary but leave it at that.

quizqueen Tue 20-Oct-20 22:53:14

Masks are the equivalent of a placebo. If they work, why are cases increasing!

MayBee70 Tue 20-Oct-20 23:17:01

Because they are only one line of defence. It has now been found that the virus can live on people’s hands for many hours so hand washing /sanitising is still vitally important And the death rate/hospitalisation is going down which could be because people are infected with a lower viral load. This is a very contagious virus. The influenza virus doesn’t survive anywhere near as long on people’s hands.

Kamiso Tue 20-Oct-20 23:39:04

The most I would do is comment that we must agree to disagree if he brings he subject up. Are you still planning to visit?

Hetty58 Tue 20-Oct-20 23:46:49

Esspee, I'd make it all about how terribly worried you feel.

I'd be crystal clear in communicating how very dangerous Covid is, how especially concerned you are.

He is, of course, at increased risk of complications - being male - even more so if he's overweight.

Then ask if, please, he could wear a mask. Maybe then you'd be able to sleep at night - instead of lying awake worrying about him.

Lay it on thick and guilt trip him. I'm sure he wouldn't want to upset his mother!

gmarie Wed 21-Oct-20 01:15:23

As a mom I would maybe just send a quote or graph like one of these?

"A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in May compared the number of deaths from COVID-19 at that time, and the deaths from seasonal influenza during the peak weeks of the last seven flu seasons. The findings: COVID-19 deaths counted in mid-April were about 20 times higher than the seasonal flu deaths during their worst weeks."

gmarie Wed 21-Oct-20 01:17:49

(Should have mentioned the graph and quote are from two different sources.)

mokryna Wed 21-Oct-20 01:33:50

Don’t say anything, why rock a good relationship. If would be different if he was coming to your home and as it is you cannot travel at the moment.

BlueBelle Wed 21-Oct-20 06:41:35

Please keep your thoughts to yourself what he does or doesn’t do is absolutely nothing to do with you you can’t control a 40+ man his views might be different to yours but they are valid to him
Who knows who’s right or wrong, the jury is still out, the Chinese have never gone anywhere without masks on for years but it didn’t stop the virus surging through their country So who knows Worth giving it a go for sure but not worth falling out with an adult child especially one that won’t be anywhere near you
If this is the worst thing you are ever out of tune with you’re one lucky lady

Esspee Wed 21-Oct-20 07:22:14

Kamiso I would drop everything if I could visit. People here seem to be unaware that the USA has closed it’s borders to U.K. citizens. (Of course very important people like Tony Blair can get exemption - the usual one rule for them....)
We were supposed to spend Christmas with them in the U.S.
The country we were supposed to be meeting in for February has completely closed their borders.

Blencathra Wed 21-Oct-20 07:27:08

There is nothing you can do - just tell him that we are luckier in UK because most people are wearing one - and leave it at that.

Esspee Wed 21-Oct-20 07:31:02

Hetty he is in perfect health, not an ounce of fat and a very impressive six pack. I have no especial worries for him or the family as a whole. My worry is that he is showing no sense of responsibility to others. He wasn’t brought up to be like that.

Franbern “why would I even be discussing matters like that?” You ask.
Well why not? We speak or WhatsApp several times a week. He brought the subject up.

eazybee Wed 21-Oct-20 08:02:04

Do you need to make a response?
Choice of words always interests me.
Your son 'is stating he is refusing to wear a mask'; your husband asks you 'to think long and hard' before you reply, 'so you don't alienate him'; you like to say exactly what you think.

Is he being provocative? He has been brought up to be socially responsible but you think 'he is behaving contrary to his upbringing'. He is a grown man and making his own decision, based on evidence. His choice.
My advice would be: leave it, but I think you have already decided that.

BlueBelle Wed 21-Oct-20 08:31:53

You cannot and should not want to control a 40+ year old mans thoughts or actions why does he have to have the same views as you, he is allowed to have his own thoughts on subjects You brought him up to think of others well that’s your job done and you did the right thing, what he does with your passed on wisdom is up to him
I can’t believe you don’t get it

Lavazza1st Wed 21-Oct-20 08:39:30

@Espee my now ES has always refused to wear a mask until some shop staff had a go at him. He argued back and got banned from that shop- but he always wore a mask after that. I never said anything to him as I figured that someone else would and he would receive it better from them.

25Avalon Wed 21-Oct-20 08:53:52

Your son probably doesn’t support Trump but the way Trump goes round bragging he has survived Covid, it’s no big deal, and the US have medication to defeat it, is bound to have percolated throughout the country, so maybe you should not be surprised at ds view. The science isn’t exact anyway.

Personally I am keeping self isolated as much as possible but wear a mask when in contact with others. You can only tell your son what you do in UK . If no one else is wearing masks then your son isn’t going to be protected by wearing one anyway. He sounds like a good lad. So sorry you won’t be able to visit. flowers

Esspee Wed 21-Oct-20 10:07:47

I do “get it” BlueBelle. You last sentence would have been better left unsaid.