in a quandry

Hello chums!
Can you give me your opinions on something please?

A cousin of mine, whom I have only recently got close to, after many years and whom I love, has had covid. She was hospitalised and extremely ill. Doctors didnt expect her to survive.

She has thank heavens and is now asking to see me.

She didnt have the vaccine on religious grounds and still refuses too.

I know she can get it again and wish she would reconsider. I am also worried for myself, in meeting her, as I dont want to take any risks myself. I have had all 3 of my jabs.

What would you do?


No absolutes here. As you say, she could get it again although she should still have antibodies in her system. And you’re up to date with jabs.

Based on reasonable probabilities you should be OK but there’s no certainty is there - with any of us. Maybe not slobber over each other too much?

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Hi Bouds, personally, I wouldn’t meet up but understand the emotional pull. Perhaps an idea would be to meet up socially distanced, outside etc. Mitigating as much risk as you can.

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I know people are entitled to their own opinion of Covid, vaccine or not, and shes a survivor already.

But, I don’t think anyone has the right to endanger others.

Yes, you could see her outside, masked up, socially distanced (though recently I’ve read that for eg 1 metre plus isn’t enough) but is that what you or she would want from a meeting? It’s not like you can have a close, intimate conversation in those circumstances (shouting across a carpark??!)

Why not just have a Skype / virtual meeting? It’s safer for you and you don’t have to confront her views on vaccines.

I find it a bit odd that it’s religious views that prevent your cousin from getting vaccinated. I just looked up religious views and vaccination and can’t find any religions that forbid it. I wondered about Jehovahs Witnesses and Christian Scientists, but it seems they both advocate vaccination. The only churches that forbid vaccination seem to be extreme fundamentalist types of various religions. Maybe it’s still worth having the conversation with your cousin about vaccination. You could see it as a good thing to challenge her, gently of course!

Obviously if she’s obdurate about her belief in the central ‘wrongness’ of vaccination, then maybe best steer clear. But really, don’t risk yourself for the sake of someone else’s belief system. See if you can communicate remotely.

Sue x

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If it were me, I’d opt for the outside, distanced meeting, taking all the sensible precautions, if deciding to meet in person. However with this weather, not exactly ideal conditions for meeting outside! As you are not very mobile then you’d not want to get chilled. Plenty of chats on the phone or by zoom are probably better all round though for the time being. Perhaps wait till nice balmy spring to meet up properly.

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I like this idea. If you can do an outside meet-up, do that. I’m feeling especially sensitive to all this right now, as I’m currently watching an anti-vaccine friend, who convinced her new boyfriend not to get vaccinated either, witness said boyfriend hooked up to a ventilator and it’s not not looking good for him. She’d had it previously and so should have had antibodies and she didn’t get sick, but my suspicion is that she was the one who passed it on to him as she’d been exposed by another anti-vaxxer.

It’s so tough that this issue is tearing families asunder, but I actually don’t really think it’s particularly fair of your relative to ask when she’s not vaccinated and she knows you are. It kind of reminds me of those signs you sometimes see in shops “Please do not ask for credit - refusal often offends”. She kind of asked you something which has no comfortable response.

Everyone is tired of being separated from loved ones at this point, and it sounds like your relative has been through a lot… but that doesn’t make it okay to put you in harm’s way. If landing in hospital didn’t change her mind, then I don’t suppose risking landing you there would change her mind either. It’s an awful situation, but honestly, protect yourself.

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