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Selfish family - should i say something?

  • 23-06-2020 9:37pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    I've decided to go anon for this.

    So my parents don't live in Ireland. Obviously myself and my siblings have been unable to go see them during the crisis. They are elderly.

    My parents have now informed me one of my siblings has booked a trip to see them in mid July along with their 4 young kids. Parents don't seem to know what to think, mother seems to believe social distancing will be ok, and father knows it's a bad move.

    I don't know what to do. I obviously want to protect my parents from getting the virus and I don't see why my sibling gets to go when the rest of us have to sacrifice not going for their protection and our own. It just feels really selfish and irresponsible. But I don't know whether I should be passive about it to avoid a potential lifelong grudge or say something such as how selfish it is and how it's putting my parents under pressure.

    Please don't start commenting on the virus transmission etc, I know there are a lot of people on here who don't take it seriously, the same brigade who mocked anyone using sanitiser back in March when it hit. Ireland may be nearly back to normal but travelling to other countries that are still really struggling is asking for trouble. If we don't get a second wave thanks to the airline industries needing their profits I'll be very surprised. Anyway that's not for here. Any advice would be welcome on what to say to my sibling or to just leave it and hope their selfishness doesn't kill my parents.


Comments

  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    4 kids aren't going to be able to do social distancing staying at grandparents.


    I'd probably say it straight up to your sibling - your dad thinks its a bad idea and your mother has misgivings and all their efforts to keep safe to this point could be undone just because your sibling wants a holiday?



    Do you have other siblings you could present a united front with and tell the travelling one that they weren't invited and they are being dickheads about risking your parent's health?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,701 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    Hi Op

    why would you be the gatekeeper for another siblings relationship with your parents? i get that you dont think it is wise. But to interfere or to be be the one that tells them off?

    Surely the pertinent issue is are your parents happy or unhappy with the plans. if they are unhappy then they should be the ones to inform your sibling of their concerns, and how they would like to proceed. IE you can visit for a short period or we can sit in the garden an socially distance etc. Adults wear facemasks etc.

    All evidence points to young kids as not being significant spreaders of the virus. Plenty of countries where hugging is back on the menu etc. As long as your parents are happy, you should not interfere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,695 ✭✭✭December2012


    I actually hate when siblings decide to to act on behalf of their parents and fight their parents battles.

    If your parents have a problem (and they may be in a country where the restrictions are different), then they need to bring it up with the proposed visitor.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    you dont note what country they are in

    if air travel is back up and allowed i dont see where you enter into it tbh


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,172 ✭✭✭cannotlogin


    It's your parents issue to address, not yours.

    I agree with everything else you are saying btw.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Thanks for all your replies.

    Some good points. Yes I would keep my nose out of it if it didn't have knock-on consequences for me and my other siblings.

    I think some of you are forgetting the fact that should those kids and sibling inadvertently give the virus to my parents, they could die. That's in my interests. There's also the spreading the virus there and delaying the time before I or my parents can travel to see each other again. My parents are elderly, they aren't going to turn my sibling and the children (who are a serious handful by the way) away. They also haven't got the knowledge of how the virus spreads so it will be a mess.

    I'm very tempted to let my sibling have a piece of my mind and then to make it very clear to my parents the exact risks they are about to take. I'm still gobsmacked people are choosing to fly away to the sun during covid, you would think they would stay on the island and spend the money here to help our economy, instead of potentially feeding another wave and killing lots more vulnerable people. Sad how so many people are so two-faced and cold.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,159 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    Neyite wrote: »
    4 kids aren't going to be able to do social distancing staying at grandparents.


    I'd probably say it straight up to your sibling - your dad thinks its a bad idea and your mother has misgivings and all their efforts to keep safe to this point could be undone just because your sibling wants a holiday?



    Do you have other siblings you could present a united front with and tell the travelling one that they weren't invited and they are being dickheads about risking your parent's health?

    OP, I agree with Neyite.

    It may be difficult for your parents, especially as they are elderly, to say no to your sibling. Your parents don't sound very happy about the situation.

    I would have a word with other siblings, and one or more of you have a chat with the sibling who is proposing to travel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,695 ✭✭✭December2012


    Thanks for all your replies.

    Some good points. Yes I would keep my nose out of it if it didn't have knock-on consequences for me and my other siblings.

    I think some of you are forgetting the fact that should those kids and sibling inadvertently give the virus to my parents, they could die. That's in my interests. There's also the spreading the virus there and delaying the time before I or my parents can travel to see each other again. My parents are elderly, they aren't going to turn my sibling and the children (who are a serious handful by the way) away. They also haven't got the knowledge of how the virus spreads so it will be a mess.

    It is your parents decision, not yours. If your parents dont know the risks, then all you can do is tell them. Then they can decide how they want to deal with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭Gekko


    It sounds to me like if you don’t want them to go then you need to speak discreetly to your father and get him to put his foot down and tell them not to visit?

    If they’ll all be staying in the one house, sharing a kitchen and bathroom(s), then the risk is clearly very high

    I don’t doubt the sensitivities here, but if your parents’ health is at risk due to their age, then someone has to speak up


  • Registered Users Posts: 850 ✭✭✭radiotrickster


    This is crazy. I’m all for reuniting loved ones (my partner is in the same boat) but if the travel isn’t essential, then they need to cop on to themselves and abide by the rules.

    Is your sibling desperate to see your parents, worried in case this is a last chance sort-of thing? It could be a move out of fear and desperation.

    You don’t know you’re carrying Covid until you know, and if they carry it they could do real damage to your parents and the area they live.

    Usually I’d say to let your parents fight their own battles, but it sounds like they need an advocate. You know yourself that this will become a grudge if your sibling goes and you say nothing. You might as well battle it out now because if something happens and God forbid, your parents end up sick, you’ll only fight it out then and they’ll say “well you never said you’d any issues so don’t blame me.”


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  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    The rules around covid can be quite confusing. Can we hug, do we wear masks, can we visit someone inside, can we make them a cup of tea etc..

    My siblings and I have been very protective of the vulnerable in our family and I think I'd be very well informed when it comes to the new rules and abide by them. But even then I find myself double checking. Because if I get it wrong, if I pick it up and pass it on, I might get a bad dose but it could kill someone I love. And it's also tough for those cocooning to keep on top of the rules for each stage.

    Now, we do have the kind of family where we can call out someone - and we do - and if one of my siblings was planning a trip to someone cocooning the rest of us would call it out. Sure it might cause ructions but I'd prefer that to having a parent in ICU fighting for their life because I was too scared to stand up to a selfish sibling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 SantaClaw


    I think one big factor is what have the kids and the sibling been doing the last weeks? If they all stayed home and had little to no contact the situation is clearly different from if both parents are in healthcare.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,701 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    would you not say that the arbiters of who visits and the rules when people visit are the adults who are cocooning though?
    If your parents say yes come over and your brother or sister says no, who has the final say?

    If there is a family whatsapp you can discuss rules and good ideas, but no way would anyone else in my family tell me not to visit my mother. Its not their decision.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭Batgurl


    I don’t think there is anything wrong with sharing your concerns in a practical, factual way with your sibling but at the end of the day, you can’t stop them from visiting; only your parents can.

    People make selfish decisions all the time that impact innocent third parties but that doesn’t mean we have or can have any control on their decisions or actions.

    Different people are approaching this virus in different ways and tolerance is the most important thing we, as a society, can learn from it.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck


    Normally I'd say keep out of it. But these are exceptional circumstances, so I think you should speak up. But I'd just voice your concerns and then leave them to it. Unfortunately you don't have any real say in the matter. If they've already booked their flights, they're unlikely to cancel them at huge personal expense. But I'd still feel better saying my piece and let them all decide if the risk is worth it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    SantaClaw wrote: »
    I think one big factor is what have the kids and the sibling been doing the last weeks? If they all stayed home and had little to no contact the situation is clearly different from if both parents are in healthcare.

    Clearly don't understand covid transmission

    Travelling to and through an airport, being on a plane with recirculated air, entering a foreign country, etc

    Being asymptomatic but highly infectious etc

    By your reasoning anyone who doesn't work in healthcare should be fine eh? If carriers can be asymptomatic then by default we are all carriers until proven otherwise.

    Please don't comment on the thread again


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,794 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    MOD NOTE

    OP, people are taking the time to respond to you and offer help. Please remember this. Telling people whether they can or cannot post in a thread is back seat modding and is not permitted here. You don't have to like every single piece of advice offered, but we do ask all posters to be civil.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    MOD NOTE

    OP, people are taking the time to respond to you and offer help. Please remember this. Telling people whether they can or cannot post in a thread is back seat modding and is not permitted here. You don't have to like every single piece of advice offered, but we do ask all posters to be civil.

    sorry for the backseat modding (weird term) - note I did ask responders to please not turn this into an argument about covid transmission so to please respect my concerns about it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    When you say a visit to see them... do you mean they are taking a holiday nearby and will visit a couple of times. Or, do you mean visit more like, go to stay with them?

    I think it's a bit reckless to travel at the moment depending on where you're taking about. I initially thought you meant just somewhere in Ireland, but you've clarified this is a flight.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,431 ✭✭✭Stateofyou


    I think some of the posts so far are a little odd. We are currently in a never-before seen global pandemic which is highly contagious and killing 100's of thousands of people. Sickening hundreds of thousands more. Older people specifically have been advised to cocoon and be extra cautious. The elderly people in question here are the OP's parents. Of course you should speak up! The notion that you can't have an opinion and say something to your sibling or else they might be annoyed or not like it is just crazy to me. You're dead right to say something and to be upset at their selfishness. A row - if it comes to it - with your sibling over keeping your parents as safe as possible in a global pandemic is not the end of the world. Jaysus!!
    And also, there are now calls for anyone to cancel their booked and non-essential trips abroad. This is due to the reality that Ireland is experiencing an increase in cases due to returning travelers from abroad. So now you have that on your side as well.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭KiKi III


    It’s not your place to police your siblings behaviour.

    Why do you think your dad is incapable of speaking up?

    Have you balanced your fears about your parents getting Covid against them mental health risks of continued isolation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    Ordinarily I’d say stay well out of a sibling to parents disagreement. But - I know of older relatives who’ve said to me “oh but I couldn’t say no” when faced with short notice of their children and grandchildren regularly landing on them, expecting to be fed. Like lots of them. I think it might be a generational thing, the fear of someone taking offence at the word no. Or at least with older people that I know.

    So in that context, I can understand the parents being very concerned, but yet not willing to say no (or even raise concerns). I think it would be remiss of the OP not to say anything to their sibling. Of course the OP can’t control events, but given that older age and foreign travel are two red flags - I feel that the OP should absolutely express their concerns. And strenuously.

    And I think the sibling is being unspeakably selfish and inconsiderate in their behaviour. If it was genuinely about seeing their parents, they should self-isolate beforehand, and visit alone.


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