Gransnet forums


Hygiene or Politeness?

(53 Posts)
Alexa Thu 06-Aug-20 11:49:38

At age 88 I think it is sensible to stay at home and meet only two sons who help me in various ways and who don't cover faces but keep about 3-6 feet away most of the time.

However yesterday afternnin my very nice ex- sort of daughter in law came unexpected by me, though I guess one son knew she was coming. She did not have a mask on and seemed not to be very conscious of social distance. By contrast, I had a plumber in yesterday morning and he was very professionally dressed with a black mask on and I thanked him for wearing one.

Should I have asked ex-sort of daughter in law to wear a mask?

merlotgran Thu 06-Aug-20 11:52:23

If she came into your home did she wash and sanitise her hands?

I think I'd be more concerned about that than a mask.

Iam64 Thu 06-Aug-20 11:55:49

In recent weeks, I have ventured into a supermarket or a hobby shop for the first time since March. I wear a mask, don't linger and use the hand sanitiser.
I have met two friends at 2 metres in my garden. Same with my adult children.
I have had a negative covid test but been diagnosed with a chest infection. The nurse said I could have picked it up when someone sneezed or coughed near me, or from a work surface.
Alexa, this suggests to me that I'll be even more careful . If anything like that happens to you again it may be wise to say "I'm shielding, could you keep the distance please". That's my plan!

Hetty58 Thu 06-Aug-20 11:55:50

I'd have insisted that she put on a mask before she came in. I have some disposable ones in the porch.

It was inconsiderate of her to make you worry over it.

Furret Thu 06-Aug-20 12:47:03

I’d have made sure she socially distanced eg ‘let’s sit in the garden so we can socially distance’ or ‘you sit there and I’ll sit over here so we can socially distance’.

Don’t be afraid to speak out.

Alexa Thu 06-Aug-20 13:40:40

Furret and Iam64, It is mostly a problem of finding the right words as you both realise. I will work on your suggestions thanks.

Alexa Thu 06-Aug-20 13:44:45

Merlotgran, I never thought of that. Same sort of problem really. How to avoid hurting feelings and also keep to hygiene rules in own house.

Maybe someone could publish a list of polite ways of saying .

Alexa Thu 06-Aug-20 13:48:23

Hetty, this lady has a very kind and generous personality. However she is not easy to reason with as reasoning is far from her accustomed talkativeness. She had also brought me a kind and thoughtful present.

merlotgran Thu 06-Aug-20 13:58:24

Maybe someone could publish a list of polite ways of saying

Ha Ha, Alexa. Two relatives came for lunch last Sunday. We set up two tables in the garden and I served up two dishes of everything so there was no passing around or sharing. This was the third time we'd done this so it's getting easier.

When they arrived we greeted eachother at a safe distance and they sat down, completely ignoring the bottle of hand gel I'd put on their table. I laughed and said it was their 'apperatif' but they didn't take the hint.

They've just returned from France so I had to take a deep breath and politely but firmly ask them to use the hand gel. They did.

Seeing as they know about DH's health issues I shouldn't have had to insist.

Iam64 Thu 06-Aug-20 14:20:27

merlotgran-I sometimes wonder if people who weren't in the shielding/very cautious groups realise the level of risk we face. Plus some who are in the categories take the view they're facing a shortened life span so they'll live as they wish. I have a friend in late 70's, widowed, isolated and that person walks to our local shop so they can chat to any associates/neighbours any friendly face. I definitely keep the distance when we meet but I always stop to chat because I know how lucky I am to share my life, as I have for 40 good years, with Mr i.

Hetty58 Thu 06-Aug-20 14:29:52

Alexa, you could (like me) have a note on your door telling people to contact you by mobile. I only allow visitors to sit in the garden, not indoors.

merlotgran Thu 06-Aug-20 15:12:29

It's actually quite weird to think that nobody has been in our house since 16th March. hmm

AGAA4 Thu 06-Aug-20 15:19:58

I have had visitors, just family so far. The chairs in my living room are positioned so I can sit 2 metres away from them.

welbeck Thu 06-Aug-20 15:28:36

you just have to tell people what you want them to do/ not do.

BlueSky Thu 06-Aug-20 15:47:43


It's actually quite weird to think that nobody has been in our house since 16th March. hmm

We don't have visitors (or visit) at the best of times so nothing new there!

Franbern Thu 06-Aug-20 15:54:36

I do ask anyone coming into my flat to go into the bathroom and wash their hands. That is all. Do not want them to wear masks in my home.

Tangerine Thu 06-Aug-20 18:11:16

I have not had any social visitors and, so far, I haven't visited anyone socially inside their house.

If I did so, I'd ask the person inviting me what they wanted me to do.

I have gone into people's houses to care for them and you can't socially distance if providing personal care. I didn't wear a mask either because I was staying with them.

ExD Thu 06-Aug-20 18:24:05

I hand them a bottle of sanitiser. I sit 6ft away from them and if they come closer I get up and move away.

Alexa Thu 06-Aug-20 19:22:27

That sounds right Welbeck. Will try to do so if any unexpected or expected visitors arrive.

SillyNanny321 Fri 07-Aug-20 10:06:49

I have had two of my friends visit recently. We sit a good distance apart & have lunch together. We do not sit in my garden as it is too small we are just careful. When my DS & family visit I am afraid it is very different. With young children in a small space I now just hope for the best. Both adults work & their bosses are very responsible. All wear masks & protective gear. Hopefully the children will not be the ones bringing in the virus.

Juicylucy Fri 07-Aug-20 10:59:37

Why don’t you get some disposable masks and leave them by the door that people enter, and say there’s a mask there please would you mind pop in one on.

Hymnbook Fri 07-Aug-20 11:01:32

I went to my sisters house on Wednesday. Her husband is Jamaican with health issues we all wore masks sat out in the garden at a safe distance.

Gwenisgreat1 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:02:35

Yes, I think I would have asked her to stay socially distanced in those circumstances.

Alexa Fri 07-Aug-20 11:02:57

Juicylucy, that is exactly what I was planning before I switched on Gransnet! I'll visit Amazon almost immediately.

Peardrop50 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:19:11

It is a difficult one Alexa, we are conditioned to be polite to our guests but also fearful of covid-19.
A close friend telephoned and asked me would I visit her as she is lonely and hasn't seen anyone. I said I'd pop down on the next nice day so that we could sit in her garden. I took my own fold up chair and, politely but gently, declined her offer of refreshments. She started to tell me all about her various outings to shops, pharmacies, other friends homes and that her family from a covid hotspot had not only visited but stayed overnight I felt I'd been well and truly duped and felt less safe. When she came right over to my chair and stood over me to show some family photographs, I recoiled inwardly but said nothing out of politeness.
When I got home I noted the date on the calendar so that I could count fourteen days before relaxing again.
I was so furious with myself for putting manners before safety and will not do so again.
She rang again yesterday to invite me and I told her with all the spikes on the news I was feeling a bit anxious and would rather leave it. Again a white lie to spare her feelings but her response to me was to call me paranoid. Hey ho.