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How covid risky is this and how would you mitigate?


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Relatives have a healthy thriving 3 week old baby.  Mom is vaccinated and breastfeeding is going well so baby is partially protected.  Her vaccinated MIL is coming to visit, flying from California where she is quarantining and testing before the flight.  She will wear an N95 during the flight.  

If this was your baby, what precautions would you want Grandma to take?  

No, it’s not my decision, but they are asking my advice.  

 

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Well, the least risky time will be the first few days she is there. But after that maybe a daily rapid test, with one of the at home kits? If negative, she's unlikely to be shedding enough virus to be contagious, even if she did catch it on the plane. 

 

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Honestly, I think the risk is low with a fully vaccinated person wearing an N95 on a plane.  I think a rapid test 3 days and a week out is probably reasonable, but I don't think it's necessary for her to quarantine in a separate location for two weeks or anything.  

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Oof...this is a hard position to be in (re: the baby's parents). On one hand, you want to show off the baby. OTOH, there's COVID/the risk of COVID. FWIW, our youngest was born last fall. We allowed my mom to come visit for a week. She quarantined at home ahead of time. And she is only about a 3 hour drive away, so my mom can do that with only one quick break. 

My MIL waited longer to see the baby, because she wasn't willing to quarantine. Actually, that's not quite true. We didn't really ask because I just don't trust that she would effectively follow through on that promise. ("But I only saw K. and T. and their kids. And only for an afternoon." would be the type of thing that would come out afterwards)

And, obviously, vaccines weren't a thing yet.

I say all that merely to point out that I've walked the "had a baby during a pandemic and had to make decisions that weren't popular" path.
In this situation, I'd be fine with grandma visiting having tested and wearing an N95 during the flight. I wouldn't make grandma quarantine on arrival or wear a mask at home or whatever. 

FWIW, if their decision comes under criticism, I found that "well, when you've had a baby during a pandemic, I'll consider listening to your advice" shuts people up really, really fast. People seemed to react better to that than my standard "my baby, my choice" that I used with our other kids.
 

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I think the precautions she is taking pre- and during flight would really be enough for me. The thing with babies before 6-8weeks is that any illness is a serious cause for concern meaning the baby catching catching the flu is also going to the hospital and have every type of bodily fluid drawn from their body. The only real difference is COVID is easier to catch for the adults involved so they should take precautions not to catch COVID themselves. Otherwise take normal new born precautions as you would without a pandemic.

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A three week old? Nope. No way. As a pp pointed out, just about any virus is going to be serious in an infant that age. Not only that, but what if mom has a breakthrough case and can’t care for/bf the little one?  Sorry, grandma. You can visit later. (Remember though, that I am one of the most Covid-cautious people on the board. Others might be just fine with the risk.) 

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