Life Advice



Ask Amy: Distanced family visit causes heartache

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My wife and I recently visited our cross-border family for the first time since COVID struck. We insisted on no vaccine protocols for my wife’s family, even though the unvaccinated children are all in school.

We only applied a protocol to my mother, who is unvaccinated, but also extremely insular (she is the guardian to three disabled children, and seldom leaves the house or receives anyone).

We said we would not meet with her indoors because of her vaccination status. We would see her only in the yard.

I told my wife that it hurt me that we would do this, and she expressed regret that it hurt me, but would not reconsider her choice.

I even showed her that the unvaccinated children on her side of the family likely presented much higher risk to us.

She was unmoved.


Now the visit is over but I'm swimming in a fog of guilt and depression about it. I've tried to tell her that this hurt me badly, and she doesn't seem to care.

She reminds me that she bent "the rules" to see my mother at all, even though my wife also rides public transit daily, presumably with a number of unvaccinated people at any given moment.

Is vaccination status so sacrosanct for adults that family must be treated this way? Am I right to keep feeling hurt? Am I right to be alarmed that my hurt is worth so little to this woman?

– Pro-Vax-But-Feeling-Stunned


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