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My father is saying it is the biggest event of his life to come visit for Christmas and if he doesn’t come he will get very depressed. He is in an independent living facility that has been on lockdown during pandemic. He want to fly halfway across country to see California. Not necessarily us. I get it, he needs to get out. But he is not considering the risks flying of getting sick, then potentially giving it to us, the elderly, compromised person, who would give him a ride, not to mention bringing it back to facility where he lives. How do I make him understand it is not about him and we are all making sacrifices during the holidays and everyday? Not to mention the guilt he is placing on us to keep him from getting depressed if we don’t comply?

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You could say to Dad, "We have put off any celebrations until 2021, and we will surely invite you to come then, if you can just hold on awhile longer",
"We love you!".
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AT1234 Nov 8, 2020
2021 may not come for him. We that live with someone in lockdown go from week to week, test to test. His reality may be very different than yours. When it works for you he may not remember you. I’m watching this destroy my mom from a window. I took her out and home with me for a week I couldn’t care for her properly, we did all the rules they required then it was glorious I picked her up. It made all the difference and I’d thought I could keep her with me but I couldn’t. The quarantine was 14 days when we went back and she never go through that again. Consider everything. My mom understood and was willing to try it.
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The “I’ll be depressed if you don’t take me there” is the equivalent of a little kid threatening to run away if Mom doesn’t get them the toy they want. Emotional blackmail and passive aggressive.

It’s not like everyone else can travel and he can’t. It’s hard for everyone. But the more people think the rules don’t apply to them, the longer this virus will last.

Tell him he doesn’t have to be depressed if he decides not to be! Making you responsible for his emotions is just manipulation.
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FamilyNeeded Nov 8, 2020
Heartless response!
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Is it likely that your father is mentally capable of flying across the country? If your father does so, would he be accepted back into his care faciliity?
Is this "the disease talking" or is this something realistic that your father could actually plan and implement.
I think if the latter is the case I would make it clear to him that in Covid times that is not something you can allow, that depression may be an outcome and you would attempt to help him negotiate care for himself if that happens. That these are tough times with no easy answers, and sad times for so many, but sadly in this case the tough answer is that much you will miss him, he is not welcome to come visit.
What terribly sad and hard decisions we are all faced with now.
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DrBenshir Nov 9, 2020
You are so right. It doesn't sound like Dad can make the arrangements himself. It is also unlikely that he understands the implications of what he wants to do. The total isolation for 2 weeks after his return would be excrutiating.
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If he's capable of understanding Covid and the effect it has had on the entire country, I think it's reasonable to tell him that you, too, are depressed that the holidays can't be like they usually are, but you're doing your part to keep the virus contained and you expect him to do the same.

That said, he's an adult, and if he's competent, I guess he can go where he wants. I think it's highly unlikely his place would let him waltz right back in again when he returns, so you might point out that he's going to be quarantined for 10-14 days and stuck in his own place until such time as his facility allows him to be in the general population again.

I think a lot of our older loved ones realize they "can't buy green bananas," so to speak, so holding off another year to do something isn't a guarantee they'll be around in a year. We can't acquiesce to every desire and want, but we need to be cognizant of the different perspective they're coming from. Remember, too, most of these people lived through the polio epidemic and lived before vaccines, and yet they've survived. They probably think the rest of us are a bunch of wimps. :-)
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MargaretMcKen Nov 5, 2020
Perhaps they think they don't have much life left to lose! However that's not how infection works - they can catch it on the plane and give it to everyone they have come to visit. Thanks, Grandpa!
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It’s really ridiculous to think we can have normal holidays like in the good old days. I find it interesting that Americans and others too, just do not want to sacrifice for the greater good. Can you imagine Brits saying they didn't feel like doing the black outs during the German's invasion? Yet, people act now like big babies when asked to wear a mask. You need to be blunt but kind. And by the way no one can MAKE anyone feel guilty. That’s on you if you accept it. Set boundaries and do what’s right for you. You’ve been given some good suggestions here.
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Dosmo13 Nov 8, 2020
For the Brits, I think being bombed was more frightening than getting sick. Would be for me, too. The enemy we face is silent, unseen and uncertain. We know ways to avoid it, but not as simple or temporary as blackouts. Isolation is what is hard to endure, esp. for the elderly I think. Every normal social activity is curtailed. Maybe the enemy with a face, someone to blame, is easier to cope with. I think Americans are coping pretty well for the most part. Of course there is some complaining and rebellion. Americans cherish personal freedom!
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In this forum, I keep seeing situation after situation presented where elders are being unreasonable, self centered and demanding. Just because they are "seniors" doesn't mean their kids or grandkids, who are often also "seniors," must jump to or yield to the unreasonable. A lot of us kids of "seniors" are still working well beyond when our parent(s) retired, due to the need to support them. We are also responsible for managing their household, their medical and financial needs, just everything. Right down to toilet duty round the clock.

Your father's demand is unreasonable. We are living in a time akin to WWII, where sacrifices were necessary for YEARS. And you say you are elderly and immune compromised yourself.

I would tell father he's free to do what he pleases, but out of health concerns for yourself, you cannot provide local transportation or a place to stay or make other contact with him at this time. Until a vaccine is available.
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Amyjow, does your Dad understand that he would need to wear a face mask from the minute he gets into the airport, the whole flight, and into his destination airport? If he doesn't realize that, that might change his mind.

Also, there is no social distancing in the plane. All the passengers are placed next to each other. Hopefully his seat-mates and those in front of him and behind him don't have the virus.
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I feel badly for the entire world with this pandemic but it doesn’t mean that I will compromise how I feel about the situation and nor should you.

Erase your guilt because the way I see it, you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

Of course you have empathy. So do I. Your dad will get through these tough times. We all will.

We must be smart. Your post has already shown that you are smart! Being cautious during these difficult and challenging times is very smart.

Your dad is blessed to have a very wise and caring daughter.

Take care.
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Just learned today that California's considering restrictions on Thanksgiving holiday travel. No timeline or details available as of yet. Best to stay tuned, for possibilities may be limited.
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I'm in California. We've been a hotspot all along and Governor Newsom has been quick to close down targeted counties, if not the whole state.

With the virus on another rise yet again, and many numbers soaring higher than the original shut down parameters, the truth is that it isn't safe for compromised people to be able to travel here.

It is also a fact that there's really no serious distancing on airplanes, so there was already a high risk for exposure even before the covid numbers were on the rise.

Try to try to reason with Dad - - show him how the numbers are on the increase. If he can't be reasoned with, then you just have to tell him NO, that traveling right now is a hazardous idea that presents an unreasonable risk.
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Midkid58 Nov 8, 2020
My Dh has been traveling the last couple of months (against my better judgment, but I have no say in this) and he has commented on the OBVIOUS signs that airports and esp. airplanes are being cleaned with MUCH more vigor and eye to safety. Still--it's a risk.

At least Delta, the only airline he'll fly, has 'distancing' no middle seats are assigned and the restrooms are cleaned as best as possible. Food is all prepackaged and the flight attendants are very cautious.
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