Each Day of the Pandemic Brings a New Dilemma

by on September 2, 2020 · 12 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach

By Judi Curry

Covid-19 is affecting many people in many ways.  Listing them all would still leave out some, because none of us are aware of everything others are going through to get through each day.

We are all aware of unemployment; no health care; deaths; inability to pay bills, etc.

Most of us are aware of the depression and boredom facing people today.

Most of us are aware of the dilemma of sending our children to school or NOT sending our children to school.

Many of us are staying out of stores that are open – grocery stores, for example – and having others do our shopping.  Many people do not have enough food to eat.

Many people that have suffered great loss of loved ones are suffering because they could not be with the loved one prior to his/her death; that funeral services cannot be held; that there is not enough equipment available for everyone that is suffering from the virus. Yes, all of us are suffering in one way or another.

One of the problems facing us today is in making the correct decision.

For example, my great-granddaughter graduated from high school in June.  She missed out on so many things that senior’s normally do in that last year of high school.  My grandson decided to have a small party to help her celebrate her graduation.  He set up chairs and tables away from each other; he placed people that normally spend time with each other at the same table; he and his wife made and served all the food; collected all the dishes and staggered the times that people arrived – and left.

And I stayed home.  How I wished that I could have been there to see the happiness Kalie showed when she saw how much everyone cared for her.  But I felt that it was best that I not go; not be exposed to people that I did not know, even though masks were required except when eating and drinking. But everyone used the same bathroom; everyone had to go through the same door to get to the outside patio where the party was held; and it didn’t seem safe to me.

Now I am faced with an even bigger dilemma.

I have twin grandsons. One of them is already married; the other is getting married on October 23rd.  Before the epidemic began, they had made arrangements for a large wedding in San Clemente – they live in Orange County.  There was going to be over 150 people there; there would be music, photographers, dinner, etc.  We all know what happened to those plans. Fortunately, they were able to get most of their deposit back because of the size restrictions placed on gatherings.

They have now decided to have their wedding on the same day at their home.  Outside, with much the same set-up as their brother did for his daughter.  Instead of 150 people, they will be limiting it to 50.  The same musicians will perform; the same photographer will be taking pictures.  The same caterer will be planning the menu.  And many of the same people that were at Kalie’s graduation will be at their wedding.  So what’s the problem? It is obvious to me – do I go to the wedding or watch it on “Face Time” a hundred miles away?

I am very close to all 18 of my grandchildren.  The twins have been special, because, let’s face it, they are “twins.”  I went to one of their weddings before the pandemic; can I legitimately not go to the other one?

The twin that has been married for two years said something that really has me wondering what to do.  He said, “Grandma, I would rather have you around to meet my children – when I have them – then to have you get sick at the wedding and not be here for them.”  What an interesting comment.

We all hope that everyone at the ceremony will be Covid-19 safe, but how do we know? I am certainly in that vulnerable age range, with underlying conditions, that would make me very susceptible to catching it if exposed to it.  On the other hand –

I would hate to miss the joy of seeing these two lovely people united in marriage; of being with my family – my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren – for maybe the last time in a long time.  What are the chances that I might catch the disease there?  No one would go if they thought they had been exposed to it, yet you read all the time about how one “carrier” didn’t know they were carrying it and the entire wedding participants became ill.

That is, right now, the dilemma facing me.

Rather than tell me that this is not worthy of writing about; rather than telling me that this is a minor problem when such major problems are facing others; I am asking you what you would do? Go or stay home?  And I’d like to know  the rationale behind that decision.

It might help this old lady in making her decision. What do you think?

 

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Carole O September 2, 2020 at 2:02 pm

We just experienced this within our family and here is how it turned out. My Aunt (94) and Uncle (89) who both have underlying health concerns were of primarily concern to one family member (an RN). They worried and worried about this, but the Grandma of the Groom was RESOLUTE in her desire to attend the wedding. We took all the necessary precautions. The wedding was held outside in Malibu and there was a shared restroom. If you decide to attend, bring Clorox wipes with you to make yourself feel more safe. Perhaps attend the service and be there for photos and a short time afterwards and perhaps shorten your time at the reception or after party. My cousin made double fabric masks and asked me to send a photo of the dress that I would be wearing and hand made a matching mask to wear. This made them feel like they were protecting me (and everyone else that they made masks for).
Judi, the more I read and the more I hear, I think that ISOLATION is going to be a huge issue for seniors. We are in this for the long haul at this point. How many events do you want to miss before you are existing rather than living? I personally see a difference between a grandchilds’s high school graduation and a grandchild’s wedding. If one had to take a flight well, that might be a completely different consideration. So I think for every situation that one is presented with there is a RISK versus Reward and at this point there is no singular answer for that. Each situation is different and the information around us is constantly changing so I think its a fluid situation. The most important thing is that you do what YOU feel is the right thing for you. The wedding I attended in July is now in the rear view mirror. There were 40 people in attendance including the minister. I feel that we were blessed and we were covered as I had people praying that our gathering to celebrate this marriage would be protected. Not one single person was ill. I think everyone would do it again the same way. We had a BLAST and you would have thought there were 100 people there as the bride and the groom were so happy that they finally made it to the actual day since everyday leading up to it had come with change after change. It was a true celebration and a true victory and a triumph over all the wows and the ills of the world. It felt WONDERFUL to be together even though we longed to hug one another, we did not. I expected to be there for the ceremony and a short time thereafter (a condensed 2 1/2 hours, but I stayed for 5 1/2 hours until it ended).
One thing that I would LOVE to offer to you is that I bought 20 books called.. Be Not Afraid by Deacon Steve Greco and I bought them to provide to give to others who could benefit from this newly written and released book which bring calm in these challenging times . Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to deliver a copy to you. I am confident that God is watching over me. In my world.. this is a win win.. If I’m here I have a super great place to be. If God should call me home, well, that would be his will and I know that my Heavenly Home is even better than my earthly home. Good Luck with your decision. I know that it is difficult, but follow what is right for you. That maybe that you make the decision the day of the event!?

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Judi Curry Judi Curry September 2, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Thank you for the great suggestions. I appreciate it so much. Would love the book – maybe just to borrow. It would be greatly appreciated.

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Avatar Candy Ruthven September 2, 2020 at 8:12 pm

Judi, it pains me to say it, but I think that you should not go. Better safe than sorry. As my mother would say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I agree with what you grandson said when he said that he wants you to be around to meet his future children. There is such a thing as healthy fear. This pandemic will be under control eventually with a vaccine & better treatments. I pray it’s soon. God bless you.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry September 2, 2020 at 8:50 pm

Thank you, Candy. I am almost convinced I should stay home. I am hoping for some “miracle”, but…..

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Avatar Angie September 2, 2020 at 9:18 pm

I say you should go. We all think we have so many tomorrows, but any of us could die at any time. We never know when the last time we see someone is going to be the “last” time. Be as safe as you can be, but go and enjoy being with your loved ones on the special day. You may be more “at risk”, but none of them are guaranteed any more time than you are.

Best wishes to you and yours!

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Judi Curry Judi curry September 2, 2020 at 9:49 pm

Thank you for another perspective . I hope I don’t have to make a decision until the end of the month. I just heard about a wedding in Maine that is having disastrous results. I want to go- but… I appreciate your comments.

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Avatar nostalgic September 3, 2020 at 10:34 am

The self-help books on Making Decisions all revolve around a standard theme – gather more information. This is impossible to do today when turning to scientists on how to conduct our lives. “Which mask is best?” is a hard translation to “Which mask is best for me and where do I get it?” Your wedding is an example. Have the catering personnel been COVID-19 tested? Will they be wearing masks? Are their temperatures taken before working? And the other attendees? How many are working high-risk jobs – RNs, bartenders, first responders? Would it make difference if you knew? Your current choice is a good one. Wait and see, because you may get more information before you have to make the choice.

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Avatar South OB Girl September 4, 2020 at 9:31 am

I had a friend who got married recently… very small wedding guest list. The grandmother of the groom was given a special seat far removed from everybody and she was able to attend. Individual small cakes were served. Everyone got a small bottle of champagne. Seats were spaced out appropriately,

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks September 4, 2020 at 6:49 pm

I’m on the opposed side of this question, Judy. I’ve got two dead people I know from this, and two that are very sick and disabled though they are now ‘recovered.’ They can barely get out of bed and one is showing signs of some serious heart deterioration and is now back being tested because this has showed up a couple months later. Both are in their late 30s as is one of the dead.

Every single person that has been hospitalized and lived through this deadly disease is ONLY alive due to modern medical technology invented after WWII. Without the machines and drugs and knowledge gained since, the the death count would be in the millions and we’d be in the same sinking ship of the Kansas/Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918/20. Because of the belligerent stupidity of the Trumpettes we are facing a far worse Fall with the 2nd Wave that most likely will be descending on us in the next two months or so.

And obviously even then the tech isn’t keeping them all alive. And the testing and tracing is so woefully inadequate that we really don’t know how many are/have been sick. Not even close. The Trumpvirus continues to stalk our land…

Bluntly, if you go and one of the caterers that brings the food or one of the musicians caught it the day before from somewhere, the photographer is asymptomatic but is wandering around shedding viral particles as they take pics. Or a couple of the younger children who are well known as being vectors… Please think of the guilt burden you will be placing on everybody in attendance if you go ‘because you love them’ and then sicken and die? That would be extra horrible and this event that should be fondly remembered will turn into something else. I understand this as my oldest stepdaughter born in OB turned 21…on Sept 11, 2001. Her birthday has sucked since.

Not worth it. It just isn’t worth the risk because it is SO easy to catch this tiny invisible killer.
Besides, if they don’t know by now that you love them dearly no matter what… :)

My two cents.

sealintheSelkirks

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Judi Curry Judi Curry September 8, 2020 at 11:32 am

Thank you for your input. I never thought I would have so many conflicting feelings re: this decision. I love my grandson dearly and do not ever want him to feel that I “slighted” him by not going to the wedding. My daughter, his mother, who works in the medical field has promised me the best possible mask to wear if I should decide to attend. Yet, I read comments like yours, and the one below your from Toby, and the conflicts grow stronger. At this time I am leaning to not going to the wedding. I want to see what this last weekend may have brought to the scientific world. If these is a rise in the Covid cases – like I think there will be – I definitely will not attend. If these isn’t a rise, it will still be a difficult decision to make. Thanks for your input. Judi

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Avatar Toby September 8, 2020 at 1:54 am

Hi Judi,
If I were in your place I definitely would not attend. COVID 19 is still raging, people are being infected, suffering and regrettable dying every day. Testing is not readily available nor accurate; and we are months away from an effective vaccine.

Months ago I read a comment in the New York Times that used this analogy:

Suppose you took your car to a mechanic because there seems to be something wrong with the brakes. The mechanic tells you he/she is not sure what’s causing the problem and doesn’t know how to fix it. But, here are the keys you can ahead and take it home. Would you hop in the car with your family and drive it home?

Finally, consider it better to for the couple to remember this wedding as a happy occasion rather than the event where their beloved grandmother became ill or unknowingly contracted the virus and spread it others. Look ahead to celebrating a first wedding anniversary with the happy couple next year.

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Judi Curry Judi Curry September 8, 2020 at 11:35 am

Thank you Toby. Your final paragraph may be the one that makes the decision for me. I believe that my grandson and his fiance’ realize that if I do not attend it is for everyone’s best interest. And with the possibility of live streaming it to me I will feel like I am there – sorta. I appreciate your concern and your comments. Decision time is rapidly approaching.

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