Ask Amy: COVID doctors weigh skipping family wedding
Dear Amy: My fiancé and I are both doctors in a mid-sized American city. We are regularly caring for COVID patients and recognize that we are high-risk to be potential vectors. We've spent the last several months being absolutely horrified by this disease and shocked that some don't seem to be taking it seriously.
My fiancé’s family lives in a different state, where his sister is supposed to get married next month. Despite our frequently voiced discomfort, the current plan is for a 95-person wedding -- grandparents and all! -- with absolutely no COVID precautions at all in his parents’ backyard (outside, at least, but their home will be open to anyone). Masks and physical distancing are not on the table; they say they "can't control what people do" and that things have "gone back to normal" where they are.
In a nutshell, they get their news from far more conservative sources than we do, don't know people who have been sick, and don't think it can happen to them.
Obviously, in an ideal world we could talk this out and end up with a wedding that would at least feel a little more responsible. The only concession has been that they've said they will understand if we feel like we can't come.
At this point, it feels like any decision we make is wrong. My fiancé desperately wants to be there, but it is hard to imagine spending 36 hours in a series of situations that are risky and socially negligent.
Do we go? Do we stay? If we do go, do we wear masks and attempt to physically distance despite the fact that this will be completely out of place and seen as a political statement? If we don't go, how do we bow out gracefully?
Dear Caught: You and your fiancé are medical experts, but maybe it will take an amateur (me) to clarify things for you: Wake up! Wake up and smell the COVID!
As physicians on the front lines, you risk exposing others to illness. You admit as much in your question!
Please – don’t let others frame this choice as political, when it is medical.