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(881 posts)
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 03:46 PM Sep 2020

Just was told that someone at my 89-year-old mother's small church has tested positive for COVID-19.

She lives with my Democratic sister, who has been practicing social distancing and mask-wearing, and my sister's 19-year-old daughter has been begging her grandmother not to attend church during the pandemic. But my mother is a Trump-supporting, Fox-News-watching, evangelical Christian who doesn't think the virus is a big deal. She is extremely stubborn. She does not listen to my sister or my sister's daughter. They have explained that she could bring the virus home and one of them could get sick. Makes no difference to my mother. Nope. Not at all.

My sister called me a few moments ago almost in tears. She said that she had just been informed by our brother-in-law (he picked our mother up to take her to church this morning) that when they arrived at church today the doors were locked because someone has COVID-19.

My sister has tried reasoning with our mother and has begged her to please stay home in order NOT to inadvertently pass the virus on to her, her husband, and her 19-year-old daughter. She said that her daughter has been extremely worried that her grandmother wasn't wearing masks and kept going to church. She doesn't want her grandmother to die, nor does she want to see her mother of father get ill should her grandmother bring the virus home to them.

I am so angry. I can't reason with my mother. Neither can anyone else. She told my sister she isn't worried about the virus because she was never "close enough" to the person to get it. She isn't worried. In fact, she is attending a birthday party tomorrow where most of the people most likely won't be wearing a mask.

I just want to beat my head against a wall. I know Republicans as a rule tend to be selfish, arrogant, hard-headed numbskulls, but I am sick to realize that my own mother fits that description.

She has no problem with her cognition. She takes no medication, has no diseases or chronic conditions, and is as sharp as a tack. There is no excuse for her to act this way.

My sister told her that she should at least wear a mask and stay home just to keep the other household members safe, but even that did not cause her to change her behavior.

We now have to worry during the next couple of weeks if symptoms will show up my mother.

I feel so terrible for my sister. I will support her in any possible way. She is a wonderful person. She says that living with a Trump supporter has been so demoralizing, especially since it has been our very own mother.

I just needed to talk about it. Thank you for listening.

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(5,024 posts)
2. My town has facilities for people to isolate if they've been exposed
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 03:53 PM
Sep 2020

and don't want to expose the rest of the family.

It sounds like the chief problem would be getting your mother there--I don't know if it works in reverse, if the rest of the household could go into quarantine to keep away from her.

I am so sorry. It's heartbreaking to hear she won't make the least effort to keep her family safe.

Ms. Toad

(33,814 posts)
14. Ohio has money for such facilities at least -
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 04:51 PM
Sep 2020

They were being touted as quarantine camps, but the order was to create facilities for people who had been exposed and did not want to expose their families.



(31,997 posts)
4. at this point playing hardball is the only option
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 03:54 PM
Sep 2020

if no one gets covid

lay down the law. Go to church-go to nursing home

no other options.

I know it is a parent, but death plays no favorites


(12,498 posts)
5. Sorry about your mother. A neighbor told me she hasn't been wearing a mask
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 03:56 PM
Sep 2020

unless forced to do so, because she’s “ good with god”. So I turned down her invitation to walk on the track with her.


(14,874 posts)
7. I am so sorry. I live in TN as well and I can imagine this upsetting scenario.
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 03:57 PM
Sep 2020

Is Mom still driving? I ask because you said your brother-in-law was driving her to church. I know it's easier said than done, but I would consider refusing to drive her places that are unsafe. Your sister has the right to protect her own and her daughter's safety.


(15,799 posts)
9. I hear you
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 04:00 PM
Sep 2020

I hope everyone remains healthy and the weeks pass by quickly.

My mother wants to come here in late October to see us- all 3 of her kids live here. Three of her siblings will be in town as well. She thinks it’ll be fabulous to have a little family reunion. Inside. With a meal.

Nope nope nope.

It should be a big nope, especially since one of my sibling’s partner lost one of their parents to COVID last week with another one is not doing well at all. It’s likely that my sibling’s partner will lose both parents and some siblings (they all live far away and have been hit quite hard).

And yet my mother still talks about what the meal should be....


(14,811 posts)
10. It may be time for your mother to move out and get her own place.
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 04:06 PM
Sep 2020

If she can't live independently, there are services available for people who need help at home, or perhaps some sort of assisted living facility is appropriate for her.


(7,942 posts)
11. Time to discuss other living options?
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 04:08 PM
Sep 2020

If your mom doesn't care about your sister's safety, or that of her family, your mom should understand that it is your sister's responsibility to protect her family, even if your mom doesn't see it that way.


(6,241 posts)
12. For the next two weeks,
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 04:18 PM
Sep 2020

you and the rest of family need to wear masks around your mother, whether she will wear one or not.

Tell your sister to get out the Chlorox wipes and pointedly wipe everything that she touches. Don't sit with her during meals, when you must remove your masks. Don't drive her anywhere.

Do everything you can to keep yourselves safe. The Amish use shunning as a very effective form of punishment for those who do not follow the rules. For the next two weeks, your mother needs to be shunned.

Ms. Toad

(33,814 posts)
15. I was going to suggest the same thing.
Sun Sep 27, 2020, 04:59 PM
Sep 2020

My spouse has always believed rules were for everyeone but her - and nothing has changed with COVID 19 (even though she is on the county board of health - her personal habits stink)

When she does something stupid (like go to her niece's shower), I discuss it very pointedly with her - encourage her not go go - and when she inevitably does, I isolate from her (very ostentatiously) for 2 weeks. We largely inhabit separate spaces in the hous - except for the bedroom. So for two weeks after she's done something stupid - I make a big show of sleeping in my recliner so we dont' share concentrated air space for the overnight period. When she brings someone into the home (which is supposed to be banned), I make a show of putting my mask on, apologizing profusely to the guests, and explaining that we had agreed the house was sacred space. No visitors. I'm sure they didn't know . . .

It hasn't changed her behavior - but it reminds her and anyone else involve about the importance of not sharing indoor air space with others. And, it mostly keeps me safe.

And definitely don't enable "mom." If Mom can't drive, let her call an Uber on her own dime. Don't drive her to places that make you unsafe.

Response to BlueDawn (Original post)

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