Dear Amy: My wife and I are elderly. We have been on a self-imposed lockdown for the last 10 months (and counting).
Immunization is on the horizon.
Because there will be questions as to who’s been vaccinated for the virus and who hasn’t, sensitive folks like us would like to have a prepared question for asking someone if they’ve been vaccinated.
It needs to be worded in a way in which those queried would not likely take offense.
My wife and I have tried to come up with the perfect question, but don’t believe we yet have the right words. Even more ticklish – how do we ask for proof of a vaccination?
We’re hoping that you can provide that guidance.
— Locked Down
Dear Locked Down: First of all, medical questions should be shared with your doctor (I am NOT one). You should focus on getting your own vaccinations. Don’t ruminate on what others are doing.
A very helpful article published by AARP (aarp.org) explains the effect of immunization this way, quoting Dr. Thomas Moody, principal investigator at the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute: “…a vaccine makes a person resistant to an infection from the virus and the illness it causes — COVID-19 — or, at the very least, makes it so that a person who becomes infected has a shorter course [of disease], or not as many complications.”
Although a vaccine protects you from the COVID illness, vaccinated people can still possibly spread the virus, itself (which is why your friends should also get vaccinated).
Because of that, it is vital that you continue to maintain safe practices while out and about. William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says: “Just because you roll up your sleeve and get the shot doesn’t mean you can throw away your mask and disregard other prevention efforts such as social distancing and handwashing. Those will be crucial for quite some time, in order to get control over the virus.”
Once you are vaccinated, you could become an ambassador and advocate for others in your circle to also receive it.
And so you can say, “We got our COVID immunization. It was a snap. Have you gotten yours, yet?”
No. You should not ask for proof that others have been vaccinated. Your vaccination helps to protect you from illness; theirs will protect them.
Dear Amy: I am married to a much older man. My husband is 83 and has declining vision. He prefers that things he uses daily (such as certain tools, and condiments he uses for his food) be kept out where he can easily locate them.
Until recently, I have been a breadwinner. I am now retired and enjoy several hobbies.
His children are mostly younger than I am. One daughter-in-law, “Brenda,” is my age. Brenda has always been a homemaker — a good one.
The issue is that during a recent visit, Brenda moved things that my husband uses regularly.
Two days later I figured out where hubby’s catsup, peanut butter, butter and power strip were.
Brenda has no hobbies other than cleaning and television.
Are we wrong to expect our son to corral his wife?
Should we say something? Hubby says that he would rather Brenda not visit anymore.
I think we should visit our kids and move their stuff and see how they like it!
— Frustrated Parents
Dear Frustrated: Wow. Unless you have left out key details, I’d say that you and your husband are working very hard to inflate an annoyance into a real problem, and then cast blame.
First of all, sons should not be expected to “corral” their wives.
Secondly, you state that “Brenda” is a good homemaker. She was doing this during her visit — cleaning and tidying, and (it seems) trying to be helpful.
You could thank her for that, and then explain why some things need to be left out where your husband can easily find them.
Dear Amy: I was concerned to see you recommend the work of personal finance adviser Dave Ramsey, answering a letter from “Sugar Mama” in a recent column.
Dave Ramsey has actively promoted COVID conspiracy theories, endangering people.
Dear Upset: Dave Ramsey’s alarming lack of concern for the health of his own employees (and fans) became news several days after filing the column where I recommended his financial advice.
In my opinion, this calls his judgment into question, and I agree with readers who objected to my recommendation.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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