High on my list this year is more quality time with the grandparents. And if what I’m hearing in the Vivvi community is any indication, I’m not alone.
It’s been nearly a year since the pandemic began — long enough to watch our kids hit major milestones in quarantine: first words and birthdays, five-word sentences, and brand-new foods. I try not to dwell on the fact that so many grandparents missed out on sharing memories with family members last year; instead, I want to stay focused on what lies ahead, and all the milestones they will get to experience in the future.
With the promise of widespread vaccination, the big question is: When can we stop worrying about spreading the virus get together with grandparents? Here’s what the experts are saying:
- The risks of getting sick are lower for grandparents after they have been vaccinated. But being fully vaccinated doesn’t eliminate risk—to grandparents or to their visitors—so it’s a good idea to assess your circumstances and continue to take some precautions. [The Wall Street Journal]
- If your grandkids live in the area, you could definitely safely see them outside with the standard social distancing requirement of staying 6 feet apart. If you want to see them indoors, there is going to be some level of risk. That risk will be much lower than if you were not vaccinated, but the risk is still going to be there to you.” In other words: mask up! [CNN Health]
- Experts still advise caution since young kids won’t be able to get vaccinated until ongoing clinical trials confirm the vaccine is safe and effective in children. [Today]
- Once you are vaccinated you have virtually no risk of getting a serious case of COVID-19. Even if you’re vaccinated, you may infect someone who is unvaccinated. If both you and your loved one are vaccinated, your risk of infecting each other is near zero. [AARP]
- I know it’s frustrating, especially for grandparents, because it almost feels like the goalposts have been moved again. But we’ve always said that you cannot just rip your mask off and run around like it’s 2019 once you’ve received the vaccine.” [New York Times]
It’s been a hard year, and while we’re getting closer to a new normal, it will still be some time before a majority of people are vaccinated and we achieve herd immunity. Until then, it’s important for parents to have a sound source of information to keep up with the latest safety advice related to COVID.
Dear Pandemic, one of my favorite (and science-based!) COVID-19 communication efforts have also tackled this question about visiting grandparents— I encourage you to follow them on Instagram to learn more.