I literally banged my head on the table when my mom revealed she went to a dinner party with some of her friends.
Both my parents are among those most at risk during the coronavirus pandemic, due to their age and underlying medical conditions. In all fairness to my mom, she strictly followed the shelter-at-home rules put in place by Delaware Gov. John Carney for over a month. But lately, with the weather getting nicer and positive trends emerging in the state, she’s begun to venture outside the house — and likes the taste of freedom.
First it was to lead a car parade to celebrate my niece’s birthday. Then the secret rendezvous with some family friends, a nugget she dropped on a family Zoom chat. Now, she and my father are camping with six of their friends, where they promise they’ll cook their own food, won’t share their wine, and will stay six feet away from everyone else.
I can’t parent my parents. But I also realized I’m far from alone. The New Yorker’s Michael Schulman had to deal with his mom meeting friends at a bar in Manhattan. Lucy Carson, a literary agent at Friedrich Agency, asked on Twitter: “Best advice for convincing a diabetic boomer parent to stop commuting into the city?" Chris from California told Fatherly he yelled at his parents about staying home, and because it was out of character for him to raise his voice, they listened.
My approach — stern texting with mentions of her grandchildren peppered in — weren’t enough to convince my mom to stay home. She did text me Thursday night, “Sitting around the fire. And yes we are social distancing." It’s not the safety of her home, but it’s something.