Gransnet forums


Travelling to family for Christmas?

(88 Posts)
Mirren Tue 15-Dec-20 10:18:52

We have been very cautious as regards the virus all year, not taking any risks at all . In the summer lull we managed to see all 4 of our children and our little grandchildren but that's it. We managed to see a little more of our daughters in Edinburgh ( not much though) but have only seen our beloved son and his lovely wife and 2 little girls once since January. They live in Berkshire. We live in Northumberland.
As soon as Boris announced the Christmas details we arranged to go to them for Christmas.
We will be terribly careful. No other mixing etc . I don't think I will even dare to visit the loo in motorway services on the journey.
Now the latest news is the rise in the south with a new variant virus.
I am a GP , was retired, now back working during the pandemic so I fully understand the details and the risks.
However, I still don't know what to do. I really don't want to disappoint my son and family. However, with the vaccine being released this week I wonder if we should delay?
What would everyone else do?

merlotgran Tue 15-Dec-20 10:26:05

Delay. It's not worth the risk.

mokryna Tue 15-Dec-20 10:27:16

I am sorry but I don’t understand, you say you are a GP? Listen to what you think is safe not the regulations given out by the government. Keep safe.

timetogo2016 Tue 15-Dec-20 10:27:27

I would selfisolate for 10 days then go to the family covid free for sure.

tanith Tue 15-Dec-20 10:29:33

I wouldn’t go, I’ve disappointed all my grown up GC as we always get together on Christmas Day evening for our Secret Santa gift giving but I’ve decided home is the safest for me.

My eldest GS rang me to say how disappointed he was ‘when will we see you Grandma’ brought me to tears but I said ‘Keiran how would you feel if I caught it and died’? He got my point then. With the vaccine on the horizon why put yourselves at risk now.

DillytheGardener Tue 15-Dec-20 10:29:34

Have you and all the people you will be joining quarantined for the two weeks before Christmas? This started last Friday. If you or they haven’t, there will always be a risk, especially as the numbers are exploding atm. If you google Covid Christmas scientists lots of articles pop up. We are cancelling our family Christmas, my sisters DIL is vulnerable and is currently living with them so it’s not worth the risk.

JenniferEccles Tue 15-Dec-20 10:41:01

If you still decide to go (I would !) maybe I can allay your fears about using motorway loos.

In my experience they have been fine. Clean, not crowded and every other cubicle and wash basin are closed so you wouldn’t be in close proximity to anyone.

The last time I called in one they were strictly limiting the numbers allowed in. There were hand sanitisers by the door. Masks were mandatory of course, so they have done all they can to keep everyone safe.

Of course between now and Christmas the rules could change confining us all to barracks again!

Daisymae Tue 15-Dec-20 10:49:27

This is the dilemma that many have had to contend with, what you can do v what you should. That's something only you can decide. It would be easier with a blanket ban on mixing, which may yet happen.

M0nica Tue 15-Dec-20 12:45:45

You will be safer in Motorway Service Station loos than hospital visitor loos.

DH is in hospital, thankfully visiting is allowed on a strict and restricted manner. As home to home is 3 hours and more. usually need to use the loo at some time - and they are disgusting, often not working and dirty. I have been doing this for 5 weeks and I am still healthy.

Wipe the seat, wear a mask and disposable gloves. As soon as you are out of the loo strip the gloves off and dispose of them and use sanitiser on your hands.

That is a lot safer than hospitals are happy with and should make your journey safe and just go and enjoy your Christmas..

Charleygirl5 Tue 15-Dec-20 12:51:22

Stay at home- I personally do not think it is worth the risk if like me you have seen an awful lot more of the inside of your house than normal. I am marginally more use alive than dead.

JenniferEccles Tue 15-Dec-20 12:55:59

That is shocking MOnica

Have you said anything to anyone about the state of the hospital toilets? Someone in authority needs to have serious words with the cleaning company.

What a dreadful situation where motorway services toilets are cleaner than those in hospitals.

Just once could be excused but it’s shocking to think you have encountered this for five weeks.

Greenfinch Tue 15-Dec-20 12:57:19

We live in Berkshire and parts of it are not too bad especially if you are going to the Newbury area. Avoid Reading at all costs and Slough of course which is in Tier 3. It depends which part of Berkshire you are going to.

Ellianne Tue 15-Dec-20 13:08:52

As a gp you obviously understand the system and the guidance given. You also understand how to protect yourself as much as possible and how to be careful in public places.
Surely you have access to tests, so why not just get yourself tested too if you have been working?
I can't understand why you are causing yourself all this soul searching.

Daisymae Tue 15-Dec-20 13:09:32

The BMJ have something to say in the matter today, maybe that could help you decide?

sodapop Tue 15-Dec-20 16:35:12

I really can't understand this obsession with Christmas family gatherings given the current circumstances. A lot of us have not seen any of our families for well over a year and in some cases a lot more.
If you have to come on here and ask the question then that should tell you something. I'm really losing patience with it all now.

NotTooOld Tue 15-Dec-20 17:48:03

Don't go. It's really not worth risking it with the vaccine already over the horizon. Re motorway loos, they may be clean but remember you have to park next to someone and then you must walk through the horrible food hall to reach the loos. No, not worth it.

PollyDolly Tue 15-Dec-20 17:53:58

In light of the virus mutating, no one knowing for sure that they are not a carrier and the fact that cases and deaths are rising the wisest choice would be to stay at home!

PollyDolly Tue 15-Dec-20 17:54:51


I really can't understand this obsession with Christmas family gatherings given the current circumstances. A lot of us have not seen any of our families for well over a year and in some cases a lot more.
If you have to come on here and ask the question then that should tell you something. I'm really losing patience with it all now.

Well said sodapop!

Jaxjacky Tue 15-Dec-20 17:55:56

With due respect, why are you asking on here? You are a GP, you’ve read guidance, as with all of us, you assess your personal and others risk, then decide.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 15-Dec-20 18:04:31

Listen to your peers, you know really the sensible thing to do surely?

ginny Tue 15-Dec-20 18:06:26

If you have to ask then I think you know what you should do.
Many families ( including ours) have had to decide on a different Christmas this year.
Sad but even sadder if the worst happened and we felt we could have avoided it.

OceanMama Tue 15-Dec-20 21:07:09

As a practicing GP, I wouldn't want you to visit me. I consider that high risk for exposure. If you don't think it's safe, don't go and let them know why. If you think it is safe, ask the family you will be visiting if they are comfortable with you visiting or would rather you didn't. If just one party is uncomfortable, the visit doesn't happen.

quizqueen Tue 15-Dec-20 21:14:37

What's the point of the vaccine if the disease is mutating! Strange that the Chinese people seem to be behaving normally now after we were shown some just dropping dead in the street back in March!!

When the rest of the world can't seem to get rid of covid, there are far too many questions to be answered.

Iam64 Tue 15-Dec-20 21:20:09

Sodapop is absolutely correct.
The government nonsense about 3 families over 5 days was always exactly that, nonsense. The same government is insisting schools stay open, thus ensuring that not a family in the land could isolate for two weeks before older relatives join them.
My friends who are GPs or nurses are all united in saying stay home, stay safe, see family outside if you live close enough to do that, otherwise was till May or June.

humptydumpty Tue 15-Dec-20 21:46:11

quizqueen I understand they think the vaccine will still be effective against the mutated strain of the virus.