One of the constant fearmongering tactics is to blame the kids for killing grandma by bringing home the Covid-19 virus. ( I often wonder why they single out grandma. Doesn’t grandpa count? But I digress.)
Young people are going to be sad enough to have one of their grandparents die – for any reason. It seems shameful to burden them with terrible guilt if, perchance, grandma gets the virus from them. A lot of the emphasis is on students coming home from college for the Christmas or Hanukkah holidays.
Even worse, we are terrifying younger kids by making them believe that going to school will kill grandma … or their parents … or their teachers … even though being in school may be a safer environment than hanging around the house.
There is also a side of the killing grandma argument that is not considered in all those news reports designed to shame the kids. While it is true that grandma might have contracted the virus from a grandchild, what about the responsibility of grandma to stay safe?
You must admit that every time a grandma gets the virus from a family member – or even a friend – grandma did something to put herself at risk. A lot of grandmas were hosting all those Thanksgiving family dinners. They were spending time with the grandkids – even hugging and kissing.
It is an indisputable fact that virtually every time a grandma got the Covid-19 virus, she had let her guard down and exposed herself in some way. She was not following the strict advice of the doctors, scientists and news media. She could have isolated herself in her home – wore her mask and washed her hands frequently. She could have told the grandchildren how much she loved them – and how much she longed to be with them – but still discouraged a personal visit.
We have heard so many times how we all should cancel any travel and all holiday celebrations. How we should wear our masks whenever outside and keep the home free of visitors. That WILL prevent the disease from spreading, we are told. If grandma were to follow those instructions, she would NOT catch the virus.
But grandma is like most Americans who have shown a willingness to take risks. It is not so much the students and the kids who are taking the risks to grandma, but all those grandmas who do not lockdown.
Taking any risk is axiomatically the responsibility of the person … taking the risk. If you take the risk to drive a car, you don’t blame the passengers if you get into an accident.
There is an old joke that is not terribly funny but has a certain application to this commentary. Seems like an old couple was told by the doctor that any sex would most certainly kill the husband because of his weak heart. After several days of abstinence, they met madly rushing to each other in the hallway between their bedrooms. He announced that he could abstain no longer and had decided to commit suicide. She replied, “Good, because I was on my way to kill you.”
I understand that we Americans hold grandmas with a special affection. We love our grandmas. But that does not mean that we should absolve them of responsibility for their own decisions and actions. And we should not put the burden of shame and blame on the students and young kids. I mean … what grandma would want to put that traumatic pain on their grandchild?
If grandma contracts Covid-19 from family members, it is as much her choice as anyone elses – maybe more so. She is primarily responsible for her own actions and her own health in this situation. So … stop blaming the kids.
So, there ‘tis.