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For the COVID-cautious: what would you do?


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Her a eeing the in laws who aren’t being cautious would definitely put them out of my pod (if I had one). Are you in the same house? I certainly wouldn’t expect sil to quarantine in her own house after dr visits, but I wouldn’t visit during those times If they live separately. We aren’t visiting inside the home of anyone else, though. We would see her outside. I know it’s really cold there, so that would mean brief visits right now during this current surge. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Everyone wears a mask about 100% of the time when out (well, I take mine off at the park when we aren't anywhere near people), but I have no idea how much of a difference that makes when we're talking prolonged indoor contact like a doctor's appointment. Probably some difference but not a ton. 

 

No, everyone is being cautious, but she's going to see doctors because of the baby. And yes, we have a genuine pod -- we see each other indoors without masks. But everyone is working remotely and not going inside at any point... except for these doctor's appointments. This is really the only exposure. 

Here the exposure at a doctor’s office would be really low. People are waiting in their cars and only going in when the office calls or texts and tells you to come in. It’s a 100% mask mandate anyway, so everyone is wearing masks. I do suspect a lot of the masks are worthless but the medical staff should be wearing decent ones.  Nothing is perfectly safe but the doctor’s office is probably okay.

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I think you answered your own question in the first post.  You are uncomfortable with it.   So I think you have to change the set up to where you are comfy.  Maybe go home?  You are staying with the in-laws right?   The doctor visits and the mother coming over would be to much for me.  

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Do I understand it correctly that she is, and has been, part of your pod? If so, I would accept the small risk of a masked doctor's appointment. 
If your DH or kid would have to see a doctor, would you feel like you had to exile them from the pod? I am not snarky, just trying to understand the situation. 
Maybe I don't understand how your pod works, but to me, a family member having an unavoidable medical appointment would be an acceptable risk.

Edited by regentrude
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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

No, we wouldn't exile my DH from my pod, obviously, but we made sure not to see doctors when we're seeing DH's parents. We did those doctor's appointment in NY, quarantined, then rejoined the pod. 

That does not seem practical if somebody is under regular medical care and needs to have frequent appointment. I would consider this part of life and accept the small risk as unavoidable. 

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The way our ped appointments are set up, I wouldn’t have a problem.  We actually have to go to a different office than we normally do because they’ve separated age groups by location in addition to patients waiting in cars and (obviously) mask wearing.

The other in-laws... that’s another story.

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So I looked this up (because my kids are so old) and Google says that a baby goes to the doctor six times in the first year if they are doing regular well visits and don't have extra illnesses.  The most will be in the first couple of months.  Every two months at first and then every three months.  It doesn't seem too much for them to see the grandparents between those visits. 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

As in, you think they should quarantine after each visit or no? (Sorry, just not clear on what you mean!) 

Sure, quarantine after each visit (since it sounds like they are naturally doing that if they aren't going anywhere else).  Then see each other as often as they want for the rest of the two or three month period.  BUT my opinion is that adult elderly (and 70 isn't that old in the sense that they can make their own decisions) and adult family should make their own decisions even if you are podding with them- especially since the vulnerable ones in the family are the newborn and the grandparents and not your immediate family.

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I'm COVID cautious with my in-laws and parents. 

I would not want the in-laws exposed to people who had been in contact with her MIL. That sounds like an unnecessary risk. But my in-laws recently took an understandable but unnecessary risk to visit extended family. I accept they made that choice, even though I wish they hadn't. 

I think I would be comfortable w/the parents deciding it is worth the risk to see the newborn despite the appointments. I certainly wouldn't try to push against everyone's wishes on this.

I might try to make sure my SIL had a really good mask if she's open to that. Depending on the wait, how crowded it is, appointment timing, etc. it may be as much of a risk as you are imagining. You could suggest that everyone mask, limit time spent, increase ventilation--whatever they are willing to do-- for 10-14 days during visits after the appointments,  to lower the risk even more. But I would probably just see it as acceptable risk. (You could insist your own family take extra precautions, even if no one else does. I probably would do that, but I'm not sure your dynamic would allow for that without "bugging" people involved). 

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If you are in a major metropolitan area, as I think you are, I think most doctors offices would likely have high grade filtration for the ventilation and a separate respiratory clinic for all patients with respiratory symptoms. That makes the risk associated with a routine well child visit lower. The biggest risk  in your scenario seems to come from your SIL’s mom who was babysitting other kids and not generally careful about social distancing. I would ask them (your brother and SIL and newborn) to quarantine for two weeks after the grandmother leaves, then accept the smaller risk associated with the well child visits. You could Offer to bring them some meals during that time so they don’t feel abandoned. 

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43 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

So yes, there's lots of discussion and negotiation, but the high risk people still get to decide for themselves. And there aren't perfect solutions.  We made what we thought were the best decisions, including some very hard ones, and then we continue to renegotiate and reconsider as things change.  

 

I know you have had a very unique situation regarding all of this, and I'm so sorry, but I am taking care of my elderly dad and my 94 year old in-laws.  For me, they don't really get to decide for themselves.  Well...they can, but then I will be hiring care for them.  If my dad chose to be out and about in his apartment building with all the people I see not wearing a mask, then I would not be coming over.  I would be hiring help.  Because...if I bring it home and my DH gets it, then he could take it to his parents and they won't survive this at 94.  Same goes the other way.  I am doing everything for my dad (down to cleaning his toilet and cutting his toenails) and DH and his sister (and me from home) are doing everything for his parents.  My boys even quit year round swim this year to keep them safe.  So...if we are doing all of this for them, then I expect the same consideration in return.

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yeah, maybe that's part of the emotional valence of this for me -- we're being REALLY careful to keep my in-laws safe. The kids don't have classes or play dates or anything. They don't see friends. We rented an AirBnb nearby to spend. time with them. Our decision was to see our in-laws and to be maximally careful in order to do so. So this probably just grates on us. 

I totally get it 😞!  And...it makes me mad to see so many people out and about doing things!

It is hard with the newborn and doctor's visits, and I'm not sure what to say there, but anyone else that you know is not being careful (her MIL) would be a deal breaker for me.  At least from now through spring.  We will be re-evaluating some things next spring because I'm not sure I will continue to put our lives on hold (especially my 10th graders lives and prepping for college and college resumes) when the elders have lived a very full life.  So hard making all these decisions.  And...I'm not young and have some risk factors, but am working on those to try and be healthier come spring.

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

We're thinking about whether to do this. It's possible that's what we'll come to. But I'm going to feel really rotten if something bad happens in this set up. 

I know from your other posts that you feel the same way, but I'm so very tired of worrying about all of this!  And...trying to determine whether the consequences of an action (covid related) are worth it!

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2 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

So, rather than saying "this is what we all need to do as a pod", she can simply say "I'm not comfortable with that risk to me or my kids.  We'll see you in a few weeks."  

 

2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

 

 

2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

 

This is sort of why we wound up not podding with either my parents or our very close friends, even though they're all being quite cautious.   My mom goes swimming, and our friends have a babysitter come in plus they were having work done on their house, and people have doctor's appointments, and and and.  It's not like any of these things are unreasonable -- some, like the doctor's appointments, are very necessary -- but it I just couldn't deal with constantly having to think about it all.  

I think it's perfectly reasonable for your ILs to want to see their newborn grandchild, and I actually don't think that the risk from doctors' appointments is all that high, but a six-adult pod seems challenging to sustain.  

Edited by JennyD
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4 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Really???  They are in the waiting rooms? 

The only medical place we’ve had to wait in the car is at the veterinarian. 🙃 We have been in waiting rooms with other patients for all of our appointments since the beginning of this. We’ve had several of them and I have another in two weeks. 

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Unless you have reason to think people are catching CV19 at baby doctor visits in their area, I would consider that low risk. I would not disband a pod over it.

If your nuclear family is especially high risk, and particularly if you don’t maintain high D level etc, perhaps consider waiting until 7 - 14 days after their doctor visits to visit with them.

Your time in NY apartment building common spaces if you still go to NY apartment may perhaps be more high risk than the baby’s doctor visits. 

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7 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Really???  They are in the waiting rooms? 

We are in an area that is generally very cautious (no one is in school, everyone wears masks, for example), yet the two different places we’ve had to have doctors appointments in the past couple months, both have people waiting in the waiting room. I was not at all thrilled about that. And we were in the tiny exam rooms with all doors and windows closed for a long time both times. Did did not feel like a safe set up at all. Unfortunately, both were totally necessary.

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9 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yeah, it's definitely challenging. We tried to form a small pod with friends, too, but that didn't work at all -- everyone had WAY too many contacts for us to be comfortable. 

This one has overall been pretty good. People have had doctor's appointments before, and I've been fine with that... but the calculation felt different in the summer, when the numbers were lower. On the other hand, the part of MA we're in still does have pretty low numbers... but I do feel much more worried about all this. 

I think part of my problem is that I'm very flexible and responsive to data, so I tend to change behavior when things change (like, say, numbers go way up in the fall, as they were expected to do.) But other people don't, so then convincing people that things aren't the same as before is stressful 😕 . 

For the record, we are not arguing our in-laws shouldn't see their newborn grandchild!! Just that they shouldn't see the child when there's been a recent doctor's appointment 😉 . That hopefully shouldn't happen that often. 

 

Yeah. The doctor I went to in NY had people in the waiting room. Maybe it's partially because it's not like people drive, mostly 😛 . There are no cars to wait in. But yeah... my dentist didn't have curbside check-in, either. I was pretty annoyed about the whole thing. 

Ahhh.  I forgot you were in the city.   That isn't a thing where I am.  🙂

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4 minutes ago, kand said:

We are in an area that is generally very cautious (no one is in school, everyone wears masks, for example), yet the two different places we’ve had to have doctors appointments in the past couple months, both have people waiting in the waiting room. I was not at all thrilled about that. And we were in the tiny exam rooms with all doors and windows closed for a long time both times. Did did not feel like a safe set up at all. Unfortunately, both were totally necessary.

Hmmm.  You would think they wouldn't want to do that at all.   We have skipped everything and only gone to a dental and surgery appointment.  Both were set up to not have people in the waiting rooms.  I thought that was how it was being run everywhere. 

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It depends I don't worry about visits to the pediatrician.  They don't see anyone sick at the office anymore.  Virtual for small things and a dedicated office for sick kids. They screen everyone of course.   We do wait inside but its very short since you check in online now.  So its been 5 minutes with no more than 3 people.

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