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Difficult decisions re grandchildren and Covid

(29 Posts)
Cabbie21 Mon 18-Oct-21 13:17:41

We have two tricky situations coming up.
DH continues to be very cautious as his health conditions make him vulnerable, though not extremely. ECV.
A grandson has a 14th birthday coming up. He has not yet been vaccinated, though the rest of the family have. They live locally, so I have seen him quite often, but always outside since covid. We have been invited to join them for a meal out, in a pub, but after some hesitation we have decided not to go. It was nice to be invited though, and nobody will take offence.

Another grandchild is 6 and we have not seen this family for over 18 months. There is a date in the diary, postponed from earlier in the year, when we had planned to meet outside and eat at a pub, outside if the weather permitted. It is likely to be too cold to do that in November.
We consider the greatest risk to us is likely to be via unvaccinated schoolchildren, and have been avoiding them. We want to see this family but DH is very reluctant because of the risk. We don't know what to decide.

rosie1959 Mon 18-Oct-21 13:38:06

I think this is a decision you will really have to make for yourselves Cabbie21 you could ask your family to test before you meet up
We haven't stopped seeing family during the pandemic apart from the first strick lockdown
My children and grandchildren are regular visitors to our house and I look after my grandaughter one day a week. We really weren't prepared to not see them covid or not
We are all vaccinated now and as we all work go out and about for normal activities it would be pointless not seeing them

Luckygirl Mon 18-Oct-21 14:45:32

These things are so difficult as to some degree we are groping in the dark a bit.

I have been picking GC up from school all this term, working on the principle that I have had all my vaccinations so, if I am going to do it at all ever, this is the best moment - even though children seem to be the worst affected just now.

So far, so good - but who can tell?

Cabbie21 Mon 18-Oct-21 14:59:12

Thanks for replies. If it were just me, I would be less cautious, but DH is more worried as he is more vulnerable.

GagaJo Mon 18-Oct-21 15:42:14

I'm not ECV but do have health issues which put me at risk.

I've decided that the ONLY risk I'll take is with my DGS. He lives with me and needed to start nursery. We held off sending him for a while, but he needed it. If he gets as much as a sniffle, I test him.

I know I'm taking a risk, but I've put his needs before mine.

Could you buy some expensive FFP3 masks and see them? It reduces the risk by quite a lot because they're the masks worn by healthcare professionals.

Greenfinch Mon 18-Oct-21 16:53:07

Presumably the older grandchild is doing a twice weekly lateral flow test which can be done more often if required as there are plenty of supplies.
I would not really like to advise but my DH is CEV and we have two 14 year old grandchildren living with us so we have no choice. So far it has been OK and we are just carrying on with our lives but we can't take anything for granted.
As for the younger one surely you can eat outside if you wrap up well . Could be fun!

cornergran Mon 18-Oct-21 17:01:30

We see our grandchildren. The two older ones have lateral flow tests three times a week, their Mum is cautious. Having said that one is currently positive for covid although thankfully not ill. We plan to continue to see them once she is out of isolation, for us it’s an acceptable risk. If this isn’t so for your husband disappointing though it is I think you need to accept his choice and explain to the family. Don’t forget some pubs have outside areas with heaters, not ideal but warm enough. Perhaps consider a meal at one of those?

Cabbie21 Mon 18-Oct-21 17:31:34

I have a couple of places in mind, one with play areas both inside and out, the other with a huge outdoor play area but the outside seating is not within sight of the play area.

We have already decided not to join the 14 year old’s family, but we often see them, so that is not an issue. I will leave DH to make the decision about the other family. He is meeting with the child’s father, so they can discuss it. It had already been agreed not to have them in our home, so I guess that won’t change.

LOUISA1523 Mon 18-Oct-21 21:13:21

That must be really hard Cabbie not seeing your 6 Yr old geandchild for over 18 months .... I guess you have to do what you think is right for you ....but very difficult ..... I saw all 3 of my grandaughters ( 5 3 and 2) right thru covid .... I was ECV at the time but it was a risk 8 was prepared to take at the I've had 3 jabs it feels much less of a risk but I guess being around children are the greatest risk these days ...hope you get to see your GC soon

welbeck Mon 18-Oct-21 21:20:17

why can't you see the six year old and family outside, go for a walk in a park, well wrapped up and masked.
then you get to see them but with lower risks for your husband.
i would not agree to seeing any children inside.
it's not worth the risk. your husband's life is irreplaceable.
wish i had one to keep safe.
good luck.

Cabbie21 Mon 18-Oct-21 23:03:31

Sorry, I should have said, they live a two hour drive away, so normally a visit would involve a meal. When we go to them, they take us to the pub( they don’t really cook). We normally cook for them and they seem to enjoy decent home cooking.
My husband cannot walk very far, so a walk outside is not going to work for him, unfortunately.
I am leaving it to him to work something out. He normally leaves me to make all the arrangements, but not this time. It’s over to him now.
Thanks for all the thoughts.

maddyone Mon 18-Oct-21 23:38:17

It’s a difficult one isn’t it? For myself I would go, although I’m becoming very afraid as numbers rise, I wouldn’t want to miss such important family occasions. Perhaps you could ask everyone to text first, would that help?

greenlady102 Tue 19-Oct-21 10:44:03

I think from a family POV, if you are declining an invitation to see one GC indoors, then you should decline the other too. That has nothing to do with Covid, more to do with not making differences between the GC's.

esgt1967 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:00:31

I find it really sad that people are still living their lives in absolute fear of Covid, we will never get this time back again and now that our freedom (or lack of it) is not dictated by Government, I would personally encourage everyone to try to live life as normally as possible, taking precautions obviously, but not letting life slip by.

Ginpin Tue 19-Oct-21 11:06:42

@cabbie21, I wonder whether if you, your husband and the 14 year old wear masks ( indeed the whole group of you so as not to single the 14 yr old out), whether your huband would feel happier?
We were in church 3 weeks ago, my husband, myself, 11 year old grandaughter and her cousin, 23 month old grandaughter. Behind us slightly to the side sat a 13 year old and his dad both wearing masks. My husband and I were also wearing masks.
The dad messaged me later to say that sadly his son had tested positive when they got home from church.
None of us, who had been sat in front of him for 30 mins before the children went out, none of us caught it from him.
Masks really do work. smile

RillaofIngleside Tue 19-Oct-21 11:55:15

I understand your caution. Sadly, you can't rely on people to be as sensible as you, even when you might think they are. My son in law has just driven my grandson home from a PCR test without wearing a mask, even though he was ill and a lateral Flow test came up positive instantly.
I have been driving his sister home from school all this week. And my DH and I have been really careful to social distance, wear masks etc. So it can come from the people closest to you. Hopefully they haven't passed it to us

Elvis58 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:59:23

Apart from first lockdown we have seen our grandchildren my DH has copd and asthma but we would not or could not miss our grandchildren.
Each to their own l suppose.l would go on my own if need be.One cannot hide away from life forever.

Juicylucy Tue 19-Oct-21 12:07:00

Lots of great advice. But please if you go down the route of testing before meeting please please do a PCR not lateral flow. My dd GC and a work colleague also neighbour some poorly some not all showed up negative on lateral flow so carried on as normal, 24hrs later had a PCR and all off them were positive and they had been mixing on the results of lateral flow. It’s very easy to book a PCR within 25th and it’s free.

Rileysnana Tue 19-Oct-21 12:47:57

Better to get family to take tests beforehand. Vaccines do not stop the virus being passed on. You could catch it from vaccinated or unvaccinated. The most vulnerable are the unvaccinated.

Willow68 Tue 19-Oct-21 12:51:05

How about all doing a
Lateral flow test, I know they are not 100% accurate bit if someone has a big load of vitas they are accurate. I have been seeing my grandchildren one of which has leukaemia, I’m just careful when I’m out, it’s very hard for everyone and only you can make the decision as it is always a risk and it’s sucks..

Scorp007 Tue 19-Oct-21 12:58:25


GrauntyHelen Tue 19-Oct-21 13:14:37

I would never make a difference between grandchildren I'd see both or neither Your husband is being wise

Cabbie21 Tue 19-Oct-21 13:50:31

Such a range of views! It is not easy, is it?
I can see all points of view.
In this case, there is no virtue in not differentiating between grandchildren, as one is local and is my relative, and the other lives away and is my husband’s relative. I said earlier, I have decided not to join my grandson’s birthday meal, but we are in regular contact( socially distanced), whereas we have not seen my husband’s family at all for over 18 months, so that decision is his to make.
I am not sure whether half term will mean less mixing and will check the spread of Covid, or whether people will be travelling more, and spreading the virus more. Just seen the situation in Romania, as bad as Italy in those early days last year. The virus has not gone away. I am getting out and about more, with mask indoors, but being cautious especially amongst children and teenagers who seem to be the biggest spreaders.

Summerlove Tue 19-Oct-21 13:52:16


I would never make a difference between grandchildren I'd see both or neither Your husband is being wise

I wondered as well if the family you do see could be hurt by you going to the pub with the other family.

Family politics are quite tough.

Good luck

Lulu16 Tue 19-Oct-21 15:54:35

I could not bear it if I did not see my family, but the risks are still there. You could still put safety measures in place, testing, masks, social distancing etc

Even if it was to meet for a short time, I would check the weather forecast, do some research into where outside (with shelter?) we could meet. Family could take their own flask and a sandwich instead of meal.

It is such a shame that grandchildren will be growing up not getting to know grandparents, as it such a precious relationship.