When You’re At Odds With Family Over Holiday Pandemic Guidelines Again

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The holidays are on the horizon once again! But what typically results in fun family dinners and parties may be a source of stress for some.

Last year, there was no COVID-19 vaccine, and thus, most people chose to spend Thanksgiving at home, away from others. We all hoped that the pandemic would be over by next year and we could regain our family traditions. However, as it turns out, the guidelines aren’t simply black and white.

As you plan your own family celebrations, you might be met with some contradictory ideas on how to go about gathering all together.

According to the CDC, “the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.” But what do you do if some of your extended family remains unvaccinated? The CDC recommends having them wear masks indoors or taking a test before the event.

As you can see, this might cause you to be at odds with family members. That’s what one woman who wrote an anonymous article for ScaryMommy is dealing with as she tries to figure out how to go about her holiday gatherings. She explains in the article that she’s the only person really in favor of following the CDC guidelines, and everyone else isn’t taking it seriously, especially the unvaccinated people in the group.

“Some of my family members are older, retired. They are in the ‘nothing to lose’ category,” she explains. “I am in the ‘I have everything to lose, I have a long life ahead of me, I don’t want to die at 40, I want to keep my little one safe and even if I survive COVID, I’m uninterested going through what sounds like torture and I don’t want to gamble to see if I’ll have long-term effects all because you’re unwilling to eat outside or wear a mask indoors’ camp.”

Everything she suggests is turned down. “I suggested renting patio heaters so that we could eat outside together and just ask everyone to wear a mask while indoors. This was met with either immediate and complete opposition or dead silence – by everyone.”

She’s not only frustrated by the lack of understanding, but feels isolated by it, too. “ It puts distance between once close relationships,” she says. “It breeds distrust. It makes me wonder if I really have a family at all.”

She can already see what’s going to happen—when no one will compromise with her, she’ll be forced to be alone for the holidays, or guilted into going somewhere she won’t feel safe—neither of which sound appealing to her.

“Sometimes you have to be your own advocate,” she writes.” I just never thought I would be alone with that among the people I’m supposed to trust the most with my wellbeing.”

How do you plan to approach the holidays re: the pandemic? Have you dealt with contradicting pandemic opinions with your own family? If so, how do you go about solving them?