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If you've been VERY careful, how do you reopen your home?


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We've been locked down TIGHT to protect DS.  With adult duchenne's muscular dystrophy, something like COVID would be a disaster for him.  We've been hyper safe this far and don't want to blow it now.  At what point would it be wise to allow houseguests?  It's been over a year since anyone but our daughter and her fiancé have been inside our house.  We've had a handful of patio visits from friends, but we've been cut off from our out-of-state family members.  I MISS my mom.  DS is fully vaccinated (for less than two weeks). Mom's in WV, so she's fully vaccinated.  Dd and her fiancé were fully vaccinated in phase one because they work with kids. Dh got his first shot yesterday.  I'm at the end of the line and won't even be eligible until the end of April.  At what point would it be reasonably safe to allow my mom to visit for a while? I know some of you guys must have bulletin boards with pins and yarn mapping all this out and I could use your objective advice.

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I think if the people coming, and your DS, have been vaccinated, it would be pretty safe. 

We are choosing to socialize in small groups of other, full vaccinated (2 weeks past last vaccine) people, without masks/precautions (or we will I should say, just got 2nd vaccine yesterday and most friends just got first). 

We will limit interaction with children to only kids who are low exposure - parents vaccinated, not in school or other significant activities. 

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Our plan is to allow vaccinated people in our home in small groups.  We won't require masks.  That is as far as we have gotten.  Dss and I both just got our second shot Tuesday/Wednesday of this week.  Dh got his 2nd shot 2 weeks ago.  So we are feeling excited about the prospects of entertaining. 

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8 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Once everyone is vaccinated.... We are in a similar boat. 

So do you think it would be wisest to wait until I'm fully vaccinated, or is it just as safe if I'm the only person NOT vaccinated?  We're still 6 weeks out from Dh being fully vaccinated.  Mom asked me yesterday and I told her "once everyone is vaccinated" but then I wondered if me being surrounded by fully vaccinated people increased anyone's risk at all.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Our plan is to allow vaccinated people in our home in small groups.  We won't require masks.  That is as far as we have gotten.  Dss and I both just got our second shot Tuesday/Wednesday of this week.  Dh got his 2nd shot 2 weeks ago.  So we are feeling excited about the prospects of entertaining. 

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

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Once everybody has been fully vaccinated,  two weeks past the 2nd dose for the last person.

Until then, we socialize outdoors only, or with careful DS masked and distanced  indoors. We have no especially vulnerable family members. 

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

So do you think it would be wisest to wait until I'm fully vaccinated, or is it just as safe if I'm the only person NOT vaccinated?  We're still 6 weeks out from Dh being fully vaccinated.  Mom asked me yesterday and I told her "once everyone is vaccinated" but then I wondered if me being surrounded by fully vaccinated people increased anyone's risk at all.

The advice I am getting from my medical team is nothing until everyone is fully vaccinated.... I might consider it if I was one dose in because one dose coverage a couple of weeks in is fairly decent, and I was the last one...

We have made considerable sacrifice to get to this point...I don’t want to mess up just because I am sick of it all. Realistically, we are probably another 6-18 months out from “freedom” as we are still waiting on ped doses.

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9 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

I would have no trouble saying that I am not feeling comfortable with unvaccinated guests and would expect my friends to be honest about their vaccination status, because that's how people act when they care about one another. I can't imagine a friend lying to me just to get into my home.

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19 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

The advice I am getting from my medical team is nothing until everyone is fully vaccinated.... I might consider it if I was one dose in because one dose coverage a couple of weeks in is fairly decent, and I was the last one...

We have made considerable sacrifice to get to this point...I don’t want to mess up just because I am sick of it all. Realistically, we are probably another 6-18 months out from “freedom” as we are still waiting on ped doses.

I think you're probably right.  I did tell my mom we should wait until everyone is vaccinated.  I just haven't got my brain around the science of WHY a house with five vaccinated and one unvaccinated adult is actually safer than a house with six vaccinated adults. I haven't done the work to figure out what the real difference is in those two scenarios.

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

So do you think it would be wisest to wait until I'm fully vaccinated, or is it just as safe if I'm the only person NOT vaccinated?  We're still 6 weeks out from Dh being fully vaccinated.  Mom asked me yesterday and I told her "once everyone is vaccinated" but then I wondered if me being surrounded by fully vaccinated people increased anyone's risk at all.

I would want to wait until 2 weeks after the last person's second shot but you are probably safe two weeks after the first dose.  So, Memorial Day or Flag Day depending on your comfort level.  

Is there any chance you could get the shot before the end of the month?  Are there any 'will call' lists you could join?

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The CDC says that vaccinated people can safely interact with unvaccinated people from ONE household, if the unvaccinated are not at high risk.  So I think it would be fine for you, as the only unvaccinated person, to socialize with another family that is fully vaccinated.  

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36 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

At this point I can't imagine inviting anyone who I'm not close enough to to know if they've had their vaccine or not.  People who haven't seen close friends and family for a year probably won't be entertaining acquaintances first. 

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45 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

Good question...  I know that all of my close extended family and friends either are or will be vaccinated.  I guess I wouldn't even extend the invitation to someone if I didn't know already.  I wouldn't ask them though, because that would feel too awkward -- you're right.  So that would mean I would just have to know them well enough to know.  I don't know how that will play out down the road, but for now, that feels about right. 

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I don't plan to have anyone over inside our house until we can all be vaccinated.  Youngest is at high risk due to medical issues, and he can't get a vaccine until he is 16 in October or if they approve a vaccine for younger teens.  I am not even sure if DS will be able to get the shot until I talk to his allergist.

We will only have people over that we know are fully vaccinated once we are all vaccinated.  It is something that I will ask about due to the medical necessity.  I am hoping by Thanksgiving we will know more about vaccines and can have a small family gathering.

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KFP—my medical team said this:

1. Vaccine efficacy is lower for people on the types of medications I am on. Some guesses can be made from flu shot studies, but it is statistically significant. Not sure what your ds’s situation is, but...

2. Breakthrough disease is possible. What vaccination does do is make death less likely. No one in my state has been hospitalized once fully vaxxed. Illness has ranged from symptomatic to allergy-like in the cases they are aware of and have tracked.

3. Ultimately you have to decide for yourself and what you are comfortable with. Life is always....complicated....when dealing with serious chronic illness. Be at peace with whatever decision you make, and best wishes.

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We are planning to have small outdoor gatherings. Usually we have 40 plus people which is our core group of friends we socialize a lot with. We plan to meet one family at a time. 

 

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1 hour ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

Ask. I am from TX like you and I always ask people about their gun policy because people of all stripes have them. The people who want to be friends with us wil tell us. So too I plan to ask about the vaccine. If you do not speak up, who will ?

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2 hours ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

Just ask them at an unrelated time, not in the context of a potential visit. "Have you had the vaccine?" is pretty standard conversation fodder these days.  

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It sounds like you are the only unvaccinated one, right?  I would have no problem in your situation meeting indoors with your vaccinated family. 

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I would also call any and all vaccine clinics.  In our area, any caregiver is eligible for a vaccine.  Call and explain your situation ....over and over again.

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2 hours ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

You must be surrounded by people who are poo-pooing covid and you feel social pressure not to ask. 

I have a few friends who are poo-pooing covid, but I’m going to barrel ahead and ask them anyway if we get to the point where we are talking about getting together.  I’m going to be *that* person who asks. Oh well. Guess they’ll either still like me or they’ll shun me for “living in fear” and for asking insulting medical questions.

Edited by Garga
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One of my good friends has a medically fragile son and she is still on the fence about how to “renter” society. She and her son have been vaccinated for about 2 months now, they were among the first in our state outside of nursing homes, but they haven’t been out and about yet. Our friend group is almost all vaccinated and she is really looking forward to getting together soon, but we haven’t talked about what that will look like. 

I agree that as a caregiver you should be eligible for the vaccine now, I’m surprised you didn’t get it at the same time as your son. You may need your son's doctor to advocate for you. 

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Given that with a very little effort, you'll likely get your first dose in less than a month, I would hold out. As I understand it, caregivers are not eligible in MD, but so many other groups are - the health conditions list in MD is pretty extensive so while I wouldn't suggest skipping the line, I would say to not feel like you're skipping the line if you do qualify, say because you were previous a smoker or because your BMI is above 25. And if not, it's going to be a couple of weeks before they expand, tops.

If you were just following the CDC guidelines, then at this point, anyone who is fully vaxxed could visit you. And then once you're fully vaxxed, anyone who is unvaxxed, as long as it's a single person/household at a time. But you're obviously - with very good reason - taking another level of precautions. With that in mind, I'd wait until you're fully vaxxed and then only allow visitors who are also fully vaxxed.

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14 hours ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

It is a big topic of discussion with my friends - we are all talking about where to get vaccinated, our side effects, etc. 

I also put on facebook a post about wanting to get together with fully vaccinated folks...so there is that, lol. 

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We are planning to have some family for L's graduation this summer, but everyone who would be likely to come has had at least the first shot. We are going to start getting together with some of L's friends after the 16+ groups has been able to be fully vaccinated, but will plan outside activities if the younger kids will be present, for their safety. 

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re resuming contact with loved ones --

I would, at this point, be quite comfortable with doing OUTDOOR visits with any loved ones who've been vaccinated. If you're especially longing to see your mom, is it possible that she could stay in a nearby hotel, and have as many meals on your patio / walks / projected outdoor movies / etc as you can fit in?  I'd be comfortable with any of that.

As far as having houseguests, indoors, staying overnight... my fully-vaccinated mother stayed overnight with us in the interim when my husband and I were in between Dose 1 and Dose 2.  But neither of us are medically fragile, and she locked down for a week before coming.  In *your* situation...

10 hours ago, Farrar said:

Given that with a very little effort, you'll likely get your first dose in less than a month, I would hold out. As I understand it, caregivers are not eligible in MD, but so many other groups are - the health conditions list in MD is pretty extensive so while I wouldn't suggest skipping the line, I would say to not feel like you're skipping the line if you do qualify, say because you were previous a smoker or because your BMI is above 25. And if not, it's going to be a couple of weeks before they expand, tops.

If you were just following the CDC guidelines, then at this point, anyone who is fully vaxxed could visit you. And then once you're fully vaxxed, anyone who is unvaxxed, as long as it's a single person/household at a time. But you're obviously - with very good reason - taking another level of precautions. With that in mind, I'd wait until you're fully vaxxed and then only allow visitors who are also fully vaxxed.

 

 

Re the New Awkward Covid Dance: Are ya vaxxed?

14 hours ago, TexasProud said:

How would you know? I guess I'm feeling pretty awkward to tell someone, "You must have a shot to visit." I really am not sure who has had a shot and who hasn't.  

For a long time, the awkward dance has been to try to suss out the level of one another's precautions; now it's shifting over to this.

In @KungFuPanda 's case, with folks she knows well and loves deeply, I think it's actually a much easier conversation:

Quote

We're so longing to see you, but as you know ________ is extremely medically fragile.  We'd love to have you visit if you've been vaccinated; otherwise let's figure a plan to get together outdoors.

Close relatives and friends, who know and cherish ________ as well, will surely understand.

 

The harder dance IMO is with the second and third tier circles of friends and acquaintances.

And it surely makes a difference, what side of the vaccination tipping point a particular community / extended family / social group is on.  In my extended family, we have regular group zooms and we have now, for months, reported on who's got appointments and who's got first shots and who's got second.  Similarly in my Torah/bible study group and two of the civic groups I'm on the boards of (with wide age ranges): in the chit-chat before we start, we routinely start with a vaccination prelude, who nabbed appointments where and how (it's crazy how complicated it is here, so there's a lot of swapping tips), who's had 1st or 2nd, whose kid is in a state where they've lowered the age threshold, etc.  I KNOW for a FACT that anybody I'd have as a houseguest in the BeforeTimes is either fully vaccinated or on the way.... because in my circle, it's both normative, and discussed openly and enthusiastically.

But that's not the case everywhere, so the sussing-out dance plays out differently.  For folks on the other side of the tipping point, where it's not a constant open topic of conversation, then I expect this approach

12 hours ago, katilac said:

Just ask them at an unrelated time, not in the context of a potential visit. "Have you had the vaccine?" is pretty standard conversation fodder these days.  

makes most sense.  One conversation on Tuesday about the pros / cons / thoughts / plans about vaccination.... and depending on how that goes, a different conversation on Friday about if and how to get together.

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We are allowing vaccinated family members in on May 1st, as well as 2 unvaccinated nieces and a nephew. I suspect at least one of them, perhaps all three had asymptomatic coronavirus, as their mother tested positive for antibodies. They see friends unmasked, have travelled to hotspots, etc. so they are aware of the risk. I'd feel better if they were vaccinated, but it's a mental health issue for my mother-in-law at this point. May 1st all of the adults in the family will be fully vaccinated and at the full immune response. This date is actually 17 days past the 2nd dose for the last person to be vaxxed. 

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One question to consider is, as the last unvaxed person, what happens with the rest of your family if you get sick? How much of a problem is it if you have to be isolated for a few weeks?

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2 hours ago, ktgrok said:

It is a big topic of discussion with my friends - we are all talking about where to get vaccinated, our side effects, etc. 

I also put on facebook a post about wanting to get together with fully vaccinated folks...so there is that, lol. 

I guess here is the thing. I don't really have close friends.  All of my interactions with people were at activities.  I did not see or interact with people outside of the things I did. I guess my relationships are rather shallow.

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14 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

Ask. I am from TX like you and I always ask people about their gun policy because people of all stripes have them. The people who want to be friends with us wil tell us. So too I plan to ask about the vaccine. If you do not speak up, who will ?

LOL, everyone I know packs pretty much.

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1 hour ago, Garga said:

I missed yesterday's briefing.  Thank you so much!  Not only am I now pre-registered, they are opening mass vaccination sites this month that are much more convenient to me than the current sites.  I just can't bring myself to commit to driving to the Eastern Shore twice for the walk-in clinics.  I think I'll also call the closest pharmacies and see if they have a list for unused end-of-day doses.  

1 hour ago, Pam in CT said:

re resuming contact with loved ones --

I would, at this point, be quite comfortable with doing OUTDOOR visits with any loved ones who've been vaccinated. If you're especially longing to see your mom, is it possible that she could stay in a nearby hotel, and have as many meals on your patio / walks / projected outdoor movies / etc as you can fit in?  I'd be comfortable with any of that.

As far as having houseguests, indoors, staying overnight... my fully-vaccinated mother stayed overnight with us in the interim when my husband and I were in between Dose 1 and Dose 2.  But neither of us are medically fragile, and she locked down for a week before coming.  In *your* situation...

 

 

Re the New Awkward Covid Dance: Are ya vaxxed?

For a long time, the awkward dance has been to try to suss out the level of one another's precautions; now it's shifting over to this.

In @KungFuPanda 's case, with folks she knows well and loves deeply, I think it's actually a much easier conversation:

Close relatives and friends, who know and cherish ________ as well, will surely understand.

 

The harder dance IMO is with the second and third tier circles of friends and acquaintances.

And it surely makes a difference, what side of the vaccination tipping point a particular community / extended family / social group is on.  In my extended family, we have regular group zooms and we have now, for months, reported on who's got appointments and who's got first shots and who's got second.  Similarly in my Torah/bible study group and two of the civic groups I'm on the boards of (with wide age ranges): in the chit-chat before we start, we routinely start with a vaccination prelude, who nabbed appointments where and how (it's crazy how complicated it is here, so there's a lot of swapping tips), who's had 1st or 2nd, whose kid is in a state where they've lowered the age threshold, etc.  I KNOW for a FACT that anybody I'd have as a houseguest in the BeforeTimes is either fully vaccinated or on the way.... because in my circle, it's both normative, and discussed openly and enthusiastically.

But that's not the case everywhere, so the sussing-out dance plays out differently.  For folks on the other side of the tipping point, where it's not a constant open topic of conversation, then I expect this approach

makes most sense.  One conversation on Tuesday about the pros / cons / thoughts / plans about vaccination.... and depending on how that goes, a different conversation on Friday about if and how to get together.

If you're not above being a little shady with that Covid Dance, you can just ask, "Which vaccine did you get?" and open the conversation that way. 😁

As for outdoor visits, we in a cold snap right now and it is literally freezing outside.  I'll just hold out a bit longer until I can kidnap my mom and plant her comfortably in our guest room. She's an awesome houseguest.  She could LIVE here and nobody would complain. My mom is the best mom.

22 minutes ago, Carolina Wren said:

One question to consider is, as the last unvaxed person, what happens with the rest of your family if you get sick? How much of a problem is it if you have to be isolated for a few weeks?

Would it be unethical to fake Covid for a week just to serve some time in isolation while the family waits on you and fends for themselves? I'm asking for a friend.  (I would never do this, but I can fantasize about lockdown within lockdown if it gets me through the day.)

 

I definitely won't blow it now that we've put in all of this time to be careful. Weirdly, it would be so easy for me to just drive to the lab that is making the J&J shot, but that's not a thing and those doses are all shipped out of state.  The people WORKING in the lab didn't even get that vaccine.  

 

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1 hour ago, TexasProud said:

I guess here is the thing. I don't really have close friends.  All of my interactions with people were at activities.  I did not see or interact with people outside of the things I did. I guess my relationships are rather shallow.

I’ve discovered that I have more of those than I thought I had. I have a few friendships that are deeper and I’m going to be working very hard on the friendhips when I can start seeing people again. I won’t take relationships for granted anymore. Going forward I plan on being very, very careful to curate a group of friends whose friendships are deep and true. I’m realizing I can’t have deep friendships with everyone (not enough time, plus I’m an introvert and need a lot of alone time), but I plan on being much more proactive about deepening friendships in the future.

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