My parents are around 70 in a small town in India. Neither me nor my siblings live in the same country. Given the current international travel restrictions, we aren’t able to visit them as often as we otherwise would. We are doing as much as we can for them online – bill payment, groceries etc. So there is no ‘necessity’ for them to leave the house. But they are facing lockdown fatigue, they want to go out and resume their regular lives, meet friends and extended family. Attend family functions, funerals and weddings It is freaking us out, but they think that we are being unnecessarily paranoid.
They then send us photos from these meetings and most people there are either not wearing a mask or wearing it below their nose/mouth / chin. I am at my wits end as to how to get them to wear their masks properly, avoid unnecessary social interactions etc.
They are well educated, hold Masters degrees, so its not that they don’t understand how dire the situation is, they just don’t think it is as serious as WE think it is.
Or maybe, living abroad, we are being too paranoid?
2 thoughts on “How do I get my parents who are currently living in a different country than me to follow safety protocols and stay home during Covid times?”
I totally agree that we are at times paranoid when it comes to our dear ones. I myself have reacted like that many a times with my dad and MIL despite living in the same city. But what we need to ensure is that they take proper care and maintain social distance when they happen to go out. An occasional outing with required care should not be an issue. But it’s always better to restrict socialising to the minimal.
They need to make sure of wearing preferably a surgical 3 layer mask that protects them and dispose it appropriately by snipping or burning them after a group gathering. They need to leave or come out in open far away from crowds to avoid direct exposure and also make sure that they happen to touch minimum surfaces. Once they come home, it’s better to put their clothes for wash and also have a head to toe shower as a precautionary measure.
It’s always better to suggest/insist on precautionary measures rather than imposing a blanket ban on them. Today it is Covid pandemic, tomorrow it may be something else. How long will we keep the family locked down at home. It’s better to guide them to take care responsibly and appropriately when they step out and also insist that they do not binge on the freedom and end up missing out on precautions occassionally.
Just like NO is not a solution for handling kids, it applies to elders also. Think back and see how they handled our resistance many times even if they strongly felt that it was not right for us to indulge in that particular act.
Hope this helps bring clarity to you.
Thanks Amitha for your thoughtful reply.
I spoke to some of our other family and friends who still live in the same town and things have loosened up, so people are attending weddings – masks are in the pocket because everyone is constantly eating and drinking and hugging and kissing everyone else.
This is what my parents are seeing and don’t understand where we are coming from when we say that we ONLY head out for groceries and occasionally eat out in open-air well spaced apart restaurants