My elderly mother recently moved from her home from another state and now lives in an assisted living facility close to me (I have POA). My teenage daughter works at her facility and has been following COVID protocol standards put in place by this facility. The facility has been testing for COVID regularly - they did have several positive cases (cause for concern), but as of today they are COVID free. Recently my mom and daughter received both doses of the COVID vaccine. Before my mom received the vaccine, she wasn't sure if she wanted to get it. I had told her that since she's still able to make decisions of her own, she needed to decide. She got the vaccine and seems to be fine (no adverse side-effects for either her or my daughter).

My sister (not from this state) was wanting to pay all of us a visit within the coming month). My husband (who takes the virus very seriously and has been tested twice to protect himself and our family) would like my sister and her husband to get tested before they come. I had mentioned the possibility to my sister and she was furious and stated "we won't come" if they have to get tested. This breaks my heart. (In the past she hung the phone up on me when I told her I was taking my kids to get their flu shot!).

I'm trying to be diplomatic, but I feel like I'm literally stuck in the middle of an ugly battle that won't end well for either case. I have been trying to err on the side of caution and follow proper protocol when it comes to my mom and family's health. Has anyone else experienced this situation? I'm worried that if we stick to our guns and tell them to please get a test, they won't come. Maybe they won't have an opportunity to see my mom again and will make us feel like it's our fault. On the other hand, if they feel like this virus has been a farce from the beginning (and they aren't taking it seriously), they could spread it to the rest of my family who has not been vaccinated yet. Every time I converse with her she seems angry with the world and they way things are and blames it all on politics. I'm ready to have a breakdown... it's getting to be too much. Any advice is appreciated!

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Frankly, testing is only good for the day you get the test. That wouldn't be good enough for me.

My mom tested negative before she left a rehab hospital, was quarantined as per protocol when she got back to her nursing home the next day, and on the last day of her quarantine 18 days later, she tested positive. It was traced back to the rehab hospital where six other patients all tested positive later, too. She ended up being quarantined another three weeks.

I'd tell your sister she can visit when everyone in your family, including your mom, is vaccinated. Your husband has a right to feel safe in his own home. A vaccine doesn't prevent anyone from passing on the virus, but if you're vaccinated, you'll likely have a minor to an asymptomatic case. You and he need to do what you feel protects YOU, and if your sister isn't interested in getting vaccinated, that's her business.

My husband's family has a few denier types in it, including one brother who couldn't believe we had to cancel my MIL's 85th birthday last August. We finally pointed out that a large number of guests would be in the same age group, and while he (and my MIL) might think they're invincible, the others might not agree. Folks simply stood their ground firmly, and the majority ruled. That scenario has been repeated at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and I'm sure it will be again at Easter. (It gets old.)

Stand your ground.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to MJ1929
MissFixit Mar 1, 2021
Thank you for your input! That’s definitely what we are leaning toward doing in this case!
I have this problem with my own family. My patents are in their mid nineties, my mother is in end of life hospice care at home, and my father is frail. The parents are dependent on their children for 24 hour care because they want to stay at home.

I am the only one who wears a mask there. None of my siblings mask up, there or in their own realms. A couple of them are vehemently political about it and deny that COVID is worse than flu. After all, they haven’t had it yet so it must not be that bad. One of them was so combative about the vaccine that the oldest sister kept it a secret that she was getting her shot.

They aren’t reasonable, don’t care about science, and are tired of living with restrictions. You can’t reason with them any more than you can reason with someone who is a brainwashed cult member. So protect yourself. Insisting on seeing test results is not perfect but is perfectly reasonable. Insisting that people wear masks and practice social distancing is perfectly reasonable. I would not allow any unvaccinated person to stay in my house. I wouldn’t go to a restaurant, for sure. I can’t stop people from doing what they want, but I don’t move one inch to help them do unsafe things. If your sister wants to arrange a visit on her own, there’s not much you can do about it except to inform the facility that you expect them to enforce mask wearing. No way do they get to stay in your house, ride in your car, join you for dinner. Stick to your guns.
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Reply to Kentuckienne
my2cents Mar 4, 2021
You hit the nail on the head with comparison to cult. If the past years of political division taught me nothing else, I learned that there is a huge following of cult-type behavior....from some folks who hid their beliefs and nastiness quite well in previous years. There may have been little hints, but it surfaced full force when nastiness toward others became the norm
Every time this comes up in my family I state that I am following my doctor's direction or my mother's doctor.

Most of our immediate family have been vaccinated except for husband's brother.
We are still wearing masks and staying home.

I have a daughter who chooses to vacation with her family and do socializing in large groups. When she has an outing I isolate from her family for 14 days.

I provide after school care for her children so this is not a small issue.

It does not hurt to be careful. Its very selfish for the visitors not to submit to testing.
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Reply to InFamilyService

If you want your sister to stay in your home, and feel that she should test negative for the virus in order to stay with you, then insist on it. If that means she doesn't come visit, then so be it.

If she wants to come to your state w/o being tested & w/o getting the 'vaccine', then she can do so, it's not a mandate to be tested or to get the shots. The AL has it's own rules with regard to visits, however, and she will be FORCED to abide by those rules if she wants to visit her mother. She may have to do a window visit, which is what we have to STILL do in order to visit my mother who lives in a Memory Care AL. And yes, she's had the vaccines, but they're still insisting on window visits for now.

Your sister is free to take the virus seriously or dismiss it entirely, that's her prerogative. And it's entirely YOUR prerogative how you choose to live life in YOUR home and who you wish to invite to stay with you inside of your home. When my sister wanted to come visit us several months ago, I said No. Period. She wanted to drive out from NYC with her b/f and my DH was recuperating from open heart surgery & then lung surgery, and I felt like I DID NOT want her and the b/f to be staying at my house, nor did I want them visiting us after staying in a hotel. My house, my rules. Same with my DH's children who were insisting on coming here for a visit in November & December. No. Simple and direct is the best approach.

Your sister can be as angry & belligerent as she'd like; it's her choice.

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
MissFixit Feb 28, 2021
Thank you for your post. I appreciate your insight and feedback! And you are spot on- we all choose to respond how we respond. I’m sure she will not be happy if we tell her perhaps another time would be better, but such is life!
There will come a time when your sister won’t see her mom again. It happens with everyone we know. That’s not on you should that be the case between your mom and sister. And how dare your sister get upset with you! She wants to play fast and lose with the health of your family and thinks SHE has a right to be upset. I’m sorry but she sounds like a bully to me. There are some people it’s best to just stay away from if they are that upsetting. I know it’s hard when it’s people we love that we have to protect ourselves from.

Perhaps you might want to take a look at the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud  and John Townsend
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Reply to 97yroldmom
MissFixit Feb 28, 2021
Thank you for your input and for the resource - always appreciated!!!
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I agree that COVID conversations are hard with everybody believing different things. Let me share some information as an RN. Feel free to share with your family. Hopefully, you can have some family discussions about dealing with COVID together. The focus should be on how to connect safely.

1 - COVID is virus spread through mist/droplets exhaled by infected people. It can be from a cough, a sneeze, or just an exhaled breath.

2 - The majority of people will have a mild infection similar to a cold and get better quickly. Many in this group may not even realize that they have the infection. This group is more likely to spread the disease without proper precautions - face mask, hand washing, social distancing, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces...

3 - Up to 30% of people will have a severe infection: fever, loss of smell/taste, cough, shortness of breathe, GI symptoms, and serious lack of energy from pneumonia. This group of people are more likely to be hospitalized and may even need respiratory support. It may take months for people in this group to recover. Unfortunately, 3-5% of people will die from this disease.

4 - Vaccines do not prevent infection. Vaccines build up the immune response so an individual is more likely to have a mild infection instead of a severe infection or death. The vaccines that are available can not "infect" a person since there is no live virus. Many people may have a reaction to the vaccine that is consistent with the body developing an immune response: tiredness, slight fever, achiness... OTC NSAIDs have been approved for these symptoms.

5 - Getting COVID tested will only prove that a person does or does not have active infection at the time of testing. Incubation period for COVID is generally 10 days but some people have become contagious in 2 days after exposure. So a person may get COVID tested before a trip, but get infected during travel and become infectious within days of a negative COVID test.

6 - The best way to prevent infection to vulnerable populations is vaccination and following CDC or WHO protocols. Meetings held outdoors tend to decrease the risk a bit further.
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Reply to Taarna

Let me tell you a story. My mother passed recently. We had a wake. The night of the wake my brother was there but started feeling sick. He didn't come to the church service or cemetery. Two days later he tested positive to the virus. I had to notify everyone. In the ensuing days, a number of people (in his family, wife, kids and grandkids) have tested positive. It's still going on. The moral of the story: Covid-19 is real and it spreads

Your sister may not agree, but she is being selfish in refusing to take a simple test. I will say testing before she comes isn't enough. She would need to test again when she arrives. The choice not to come is her choice, not yours. Do what's best for you and your family and don't compromise your own choice to keep your family safe.
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Reply to NYCmama
NeedHelpWithMom Mar 4, 2021
So sorry for your loss. Keep sharing your important story. Covid is real. I’ve lost a few friends to it.

I have family members still dealing with it. One cousin is doing better but still can’t smell or taste food.

I have a niece who normally has tons of energy is now tired all of the time.

My other cousin is seeing a pulmonologist now and I am hoping he will feel better soon.

I agree that people should not object to being tested.

I appreciate your posting. Stay safe.
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Our whole family went through having covid, pretty easily thankfully, after one person was inconsiderate with their choices. I wasn’t happy about it at all. You’re not asking too much for people to be careful, especially with an elderly person involved. And when your sister is a negative drain, spend less time conversing with her. We all need positive people in our lives, not disapproving or rude ones.
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Reply to Daughterof1930
MissFixit Feb 28, 2021
I have found that to be true... connecting with positive people is best for all of us! Thank you for your input!
To my mind the vaccine, and Covid-19 itself has become so politicized that it is quite hopeless to do anything other than "protect yourself" in so far as you are able. That means get the vaccine when you are able if you are willing to get the vaccine. You are then quite protected from getting covid-19, but more importantly you are VERY protected from getting a case severe enough to require hospitalization and lead to death.
Those who do not wish to get vaccinated? Fine by me. Darwinian, in fact. BUT you won't be coming to visit me unless and until I AM vaccinated (number two for me at 12:30 today, thanks Kaiser!).
I don't want any longer to convince anyone else to do anything. I am capable of protecting myself and will happily do so. So your Sis is mad? "So sorry, darlin; now y'all get out there and have a better day!" It is truly way too difficult to change hearts and minds. Let everyone make his or her decision. If they cannot abide by the taking of a simple test, then that's sad. But the even sadder truth is that a test before getting on a flight says not a whole lot about the single person you meet AFTER that flight coming to your house.
Wishing you good luck. I myself wouldn't think I was missing a whole lot if this Sis was unable to visit to a while.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Stand your ground and do what you feel is wise. The idiotic politicization of a disease is absolutely ridiculous. Get the best medical advice you can and leave the politicians to rant.
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Reply to rovana

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