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Gran4hjkn34 05-22-2020 02:10 PM

Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
New here.

I'm a 50 year old grandmother to an infant (a little over 1 year) and toddler (about 2 and a half), plus have 2 more grand-babies due in the fall.

Up until a couple months ago I was seeing my grandchildren frequently and they would often come over to my place where I would babysit them. I miss them so much now. Because of being on immune suppressing medication for rheumatoid arthritis I was instructed to stay home (unless absolutely necessary) and avoid other people who are not also isolating.

While there are some who understand and agree I'm doing the right thing, there are others who believe I don't need to do this and that I could still take care of my grandchildren if I just avoid touching my face and wash my hands frequently. Another suggestion was to teach them how to be safe, but they are too young to understand germ transmission and I doubt infants or toddlers can be "taught" to cover their sneezes or coughs.

Part of me still wonders if maybe I'm being *too* careful. I've been reminded to "look on the positive side which is that people have at least a 99% chance of surviving if they get Covid19 and to not be so worried about the tiny chance of having anything more than just another virus which would be inconvenient but no big deal in the long run.."

I am not elderly but I do have some risk factors including asthma and getting infusions for rheumatoid disease which make it harder to fight off infections.

Another issue is that children, especially very young ones often don't have symptoms if they are infected. So if parents are still working in public and having contact with other people, they could pass it to the kids and not even know it.

I've tried searching to see if I can find info on what my chance (percentage, risk) would be if I ended up with Covid. People keep reminding me that the vast majority of people are okay if they catch Coronavirus as long as they are not elderly or severe health conditions such as cancer. That is true.. but I have more than just an average risk. I don't know how much more of a risk it is though.

How do I know when it's safe to visit them again? I'm also hoping we don't have another wave in the fall/winter because that is when my other grandbabies are due to be born.

Titchou 05-23-2020 06:30 AM

Re: Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
You need to quit listening to those people and listen to the experts. In fact, if they start talking this nonsense to you, do like we do in the south....say "bless your heart!" and go on about your business.

quincy 05-23-2020 10:42 AM

Re: Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
Hi...is it you wanting to see your grandchildren and justifying the risk, or is it that you've been asked to babysit and others are justifying the risk?

Statistics are not subjective, and if you were to get Covid-19, you have no control of the symptoms extremity.

q

Gran4hjkn34 05-24-2020 09:54 PM

Re: Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
It's easier said than done. If the comments are from strangers then yes, but when it comes from family (and you lack emotional support and have guilt heaped on top of the grief) it is harder.

Gran4hjkn34 05-24-2020 10:09 PM

Re: Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
Honestly, there is a part of me that wants to justify the risk because I miss them so much.

The comments (and subsequent guilt trip) are from when I express my sadness and then am basically told that I'm bringing it upon my self because it is a choice to be paranoid and believe all the "hype" (which makes me angry along with being sad).

I think part of it has to do with people including family members who not only downplay the virus, but also don't think my chronic illnesses are all that serious either. They can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that arthritis from an autoimmune disease is different than the kind many people end up with as they get older.

I do believe I've been making the right choices even though it's difficult and even heartbreaking. I still wonder how long I am supposed to do this though. As the states are re-opening we are not going to really know if it's truly "safe" to go back to normal until/unless a significant amount of time goes by without another wave of positive cases and hospitalizations again.

ladybud 05-27-2020 09:15 AM

Re: Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
[QUOTE=Gran4hjkn34;5503517]Honestly, there is a part of me that wants to justify the risk because I miss them so much.

The comments (and subsequent guilt trip) are from when I express my sadness and then am basically told that I'm bringing it upon my self because it is a choice to be paranoid and believe all the "hype" (which makes me angry along with being sad).

I think part of it has to do with people including family members who not only downplay the virus, but also don't think my chronic illnesses are all that serious either. They can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that arthritis from an autoimmune disease is different than the kind many people end up with as they get older.

I do believe I've been making the right choices even though it's difficult and even heartbreaking. I still wonder how long I am supposed to do this though. As the states are re-opening we are not going to really know if it's truly "safe" to go back to normal until/unless a significant amount of time goes by without another wave of positive cases and hospitalizations again.[/QUOTE]

I am in the same boat, 70 years old with lupus, RA on immunosuppressants. Thereís no right or wrong answer here, just a personal judgment and decision. I have based my actions on how careful I think my daughter and husband are being about their exposure to others. Since they have been very careful, we have visited them with no spacing or masks, and giving hugs. On the other hand, our other daughter has been very cavalier about their family exposure and I will not get near them. Thatís a part of your risk assessment. Hope that helps!

Jenna60 05-30-2020 09:06 AM

Re: Grandparenting during pandemic with chronic illness
 
My best friend (she is 68) visits with her 4 grandchildren but they stay outside. At first she was scared to visit them but then she started to miss them so much that she decided it was safe to be with them outside (distancing).

I think it's your call to make. Can you visit them outside of their residence?

I also have a cousin in her 70's who babysits her 2 grandsons in her house (one is a baby, the other 16 months). She has done her research on Covid-19 and decided it was okay (I believe she read a study where children are not at risk compared to the elderly to contact this virus).

My own personal opinion is that more people die from the flu compared to this virus (the media hypes it which is why I don't watch as much news as I used to).

Again, it's your call.


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