Coronavirus Outbreak: Part 2

I think some parties here need to agree to disagree and stop flogging a dead horse. It’s not adding anything to the conversation.


That is one example.

Yes, I am. I’m trying to use caution against directing the conversation where I know people don’t want to go while still trying to get across their motivations.

I’m not sure what I said that implied you were dumb. You clearly are doing research so that thought never crossed my mind.

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I understand. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you.

Get ready to mark your bingo cards…
Early soft opening to 2021 hurricane season :persevere:




I’d welcome advice on this situation. My family is invited to an outdoor graduation party of someone very important to us, the really informal kind in the family’s small backyard. I fully expect people to hang out in the house. I think we will go, but one of us is still too young to be vaccinated, and we will probably not know a lot of the other guests. It seems like a no brainer to ask the hosts how many people are expected and to say upfront that we’ll probably be wearing masks, but…I feel awkward about it all. What to do? Part of it is that I know they were very worried about the pandemic for the first 6 months but have basically decided it’s over for them. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up being the only people there in masks. I’m good at standing up for myself but tend to be overly cordial and accommodating in most social situations b/c I can’t stand awkwardness. So this is hard for me. But until she can get the vaccine I feel obliged to mask for my DD9. The kids are used to playing in this backyard without masks; it will be awkward for them if we make them. Any advice is welcome. These are people we will be seeing a lot of forever so if something awkward happens the consequences will stick with us.


Is there someone you could leave DD9 with, which frees up the rest of you to go unmasked?


She would be devastated to miss it.

Unfortunately, as seems to be the case with most things related to Covid, there probably isn’t a great solution. You’ll just need to decide which is the “least bad” one for you in the long term.

Here are some options I can think of…

  1. Go without any of your family masking and be willing to accept the risk that comes from that
  2. Go with just DD9 masking since she is the only one unvaccinated, and accept whatever risk comes from those there that are unmasked (you could try to keep her outside as much as possible to reduce the risk)
  3. All go masked, which would mean the risk would maybe be just a very, very small smidge safer than #2 but might be easier for DD9 to accept
  4. Explain the situation to DD9 and leave her with someone else (with plans to do something to make it up to her, possible by getting together with the same family at a different time in a less risky way)
  5. Send your regrets but send a gift and try to make plans for both families to get together to celebrate at a different time in a less risky way

You could ask the hosts about the guest list and what the expectations are for the party to see if that’s helpful, but keep in mind that they might not be the type to enforce those expectations, so you would need to be prepared for that. (The one “socially distanced driveway graduation party” that we attended last year included me literally leaping away from someone unmasked that tried to hug me.)

Basically, what it comes down to is, you can’t control the behavior of other people at the party, only plan how you will respond to it. Which, yes, could very well be awkward. If you decide to attend, you need to be prepared to choose between awkward and some degree of added risk.


It sounds like you’ve outlined a hard limit here:

so attending unmasked isn’t an option, and given this

it sounds like you should go. I’d either have DD9 wear a mask or have everyone in your family wear a mask. I’d probably go for the latter, if it were me. In my circle people are being really understanding about different people having different comfort levels, though, so YMMV.

Could you have a frank discussion with the hosts before the party, telling them that you just don’t feel comfortable with DD9 going to such a large gathering unmasked, and asking them if they thought it would be a problem for DD9/your family (whichever your choose) to attend with masks? I find if I make things about my anxiety/comfort level, folks tend to be accommodating because most people are kind and want you to be comfortable. The conversation might be awkward, but it might make the party less so. You know the hosts best, though, and can best judge how to approach them.

I’m sorry you’re in an awkward position!


Can you stay outside, too? Or maybe the rule is no masks outside, masks inside? Does that make it easier?

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We are in a similar situation. We thought a party we agreed to would only be the other two families in our pandemic “bubble” but it turns out the host is inviting other families to party in their very small backyard. We know all these other folks, and some of them are as cautious as us, but some aren’t. We have all had at least one shot, except for DS11.

What we’ve decided to do is to tell the host that if we’re uncomfortable, we won’t stay long. That’s really all we can do. We’ve been really good friends with these people since the kids were infants, so they won’t care what we do, they won’t be offended. Not sure if this helps, but that’s what we’re going with.


The plan is to stay outside, but of course somebody will have to use the restroom sometime. It’s almost an hour drive from our house.

I know how that goes too. I had to plan a very quick backyard funeral for a family member last fall and we invited two couples. One of the couples invited everyone else in the neighborhood! So then we had a dozen unexpected people whom we did not expect, and most of them refused to wear a mask b/c we were outside. I just kept as much distance as possible. Luckily this was a larger backward. We didn’t want to turn anyone away. This is why we didn’t do the real funeral; b/c we didn’t have control over who might come, and it would have been indoors (all the plans were made by the relative before they passed; funeral is currently on hold until all close relatives feel comfortable to travel, probably 2022).

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Just think ahead on contingencies. We attempted 2 of those as well, where the weather suddenly turned and they were moved indoors. Decide ahead of time what you will do if that happens so you don’t have to try to have that discussion on the fly.


Ah gotcha. Didn’t realize it was so far away. Wow on the funeral!

Crunching some numbers for your situation. If those at the gathering are a perfectly representative sample of your county in terms of vaxed, unvaxed, and previous infections, I think there would need to be 578 unvaccinated people there to make it more likely than not at least one of them has a current and therefore transmissible covid case. That’s in a vacuum though, and if course if one person in a household has it, there can easily be more. And I’m considering any risk from vaccinated as negligible, which isn’t completely accurate. Adjust up or down based on how you might know the group differs from your county as a whole. Not saying what you should or shouldn’t do, but that’s a rough estimate I’m getting and an interesting way to look at it.


Wow, thanks! I would never have thought it would have to be that many. I would expect maybe 20 - 30 guests at the party at most. I am probably being over cautious, but it’s hard to know what to do after 14 months of almost total isolation. We did almost nothing except walks around the neighborhood, medical stuff, and groceries that whole time (except when we had to go out of town to deal with the death in the family). We did decide to send the kids to two outdoor events at the school for end of school. The school is going so far as to break those up into only a few grades at a time and even putting each event in a different part of the outdoor space each day. They really don’t want anything to go wrong.