如果你像我一样,你已经被有关COVID的文章淹没了. 你可以读到感染率, 人们对开业和聚会的时间感到焦虑或沮丧, 以及您如何引导您的企业或组织度过COVID - 19大流行. But what if you are just trying to figure out how to navigate the forces of love and need for connection among family members with different risk tolerances? 我们的家庭怎样才能既尊重彼此又保护彼此,又不让感情剧占据整个社会?

让我们面对现实吧. 我们每个人都决定了我们应该如何应对COVID的威胁. Some of us are comfortable being early adopters of the new freedoms available now that the country is opening up. 我们开始去餐馆吃饭,戴口罩的次数也减少了. 我们中的一些人喜欢尽量减少与家人以外的人的接触. 我们限制了进入房子的人, 如果有人, and only run essential errands while wearing a mask and immediately sterilizing our hands upon completing that grocery shopping trip.

With this much variance among individual family members and a hidden enemy that does not tell us when we are in a danger zone, it is highly predictable that families will experience challenges in communicating and decision making about who comes in contact with whom. 然后是“离妈妈远点——你可能被感染了。!会导致感情受伤和沮丧.

那么,我们能做些什么呢? 让我们考虑几个场景.


Scenario 1: I want to travel to see my out-of-town aging parents but don’t want to risk getting them sick.

这里的任务是调整界限,以便实现一个共同的目标——在一起. Unless I have isolated totally and not been exposed to outside risk factors for the recommended 14-day waiting period to assure no transmission of the virus, 我不能完全保证我没有感染新冠病毒. 是的, 我可以隔离自己,等14天,确保我没有任何症状, 但当我在旅途中加满汽油或点快餐时, 感染是一种可能(尽管公认的可能性很小). If I draw my boundary as having no close contact until the virus is under control (likely from an effective vaccine), 我可以定期给父母打电话,也可以使用视频技术通过Zoom或FaceTime与父母面对面. 我甚至愿意亲自见他们, 但前提是我们都要保持安全距离,戴上口罩.

在这种情况下, 我必须向我的父母表达我对他们深深的爱和尊敬, 让他们知道我想见他们. 我可以问问他们是否也想见我. 如果我们在大局上达成一致, 我们可以进入具体的交流界限.g. 仅视频聊天或与保持社交距离的人见面). 如果妈妈说, “我不害怕这种病毒, 我们不需要保持社交距离,“我有责任告诉她,尽管我很爱她, 如果因为我把病毒传给她而让她出了什么事,我将无法忍受自己. 但我需要快速回顾一下更高层次的目标,即见面, 然后重申我的界限作为实现更高目标的条件.

即使妈妈不反对保持社交距离, it is helpful to walk both parents through a preview of our upcoming get together — especially if a personal gathering will occur. 通过谈论我们将如何互相问候(所有人的空气拥抱), 我们将如何让年幼的孙辈向他们挥手,而不是跑过去拥抱他们, 我们将在哪里集合, 还有当有人需要上厕所时我们该怎么做, 每个人都将对会议如何举行有更清晰的共识. This reduces the awkward and potentially hurt feelings that would have happened if everyone just gathered and some wanted to hug while others pulled back.

场景2:我正在恢复正常的生活活动,我想见我的弟弟, 但他和他的家人致力于隔离和社交距离,以防止病毒传播.

和第一种情况一样, if we can agree up front on our common purpose — to spend time together physically — we can then each share our boundaries. 如果我喜欢去餐馆和海滩,那是我自己的决定. 我没有资格要求我的兄弟姐妹和他的家人共享同样的舒适. 而不是, each of us will be best served by expressing our boundaries and then determining what is possible in terms of a gathering together.

例如, 假设我弟弟愿意在外面见面坐在八英尺远的地方只要我们都戴上面具. 如果我尊重他的立场对我们的关系是最健康的, 但假设我不喜欢戴面具. 如果我同意只在外面见面并且彼此分开坐, 我可能会选择让他知道我不想戴面具. 毕竟,我有权决定自己是否愿意采用降低风险的方法. 而不是固执地拒绝尊重我兄弟的界限, 我可以采取更有效的方法,让他知道我不喜欢戴口罩, 然后问他,如果我们增加社交距离(可能是15英尺),他是否还愿意见面. 如果他同意, both of us have succeeded in achieving our higher purpose of meeting together while at the same time respecting each other’s boundaries.

The important thing we need to remember is that neither of us wants to be in the position of forcing the other to do something he is unwilling to do. 接受彼此的自由限制了被心爱的人评判的感觉.


Scenario 3: My sister and I have shared responsibility in caring for our aging mother who has dementia, and I have been isolating while my sister has been resuming life with more public activities and contact.

在这个场景中, 虽然我们可能有一个共同的目标,那就是照顾年迈的母亲, because our mother is not able to speak for herself about how much isolating and social distancing she requires, 我们的主要职责是照顾她. 在照顾他人时, it is important that my sister and I subordinate our own freedoms in the service of protecting our mother. 是的, 我们可以自由地去餐馆之类的地方, but this is introducing a greater risk that we will fail in our primary common purpose — to care for Mom. Caring for someone who is in a high-risk group requires greater risk mitigation even if we personally feel safe to resume contact with the public.  如果我妹妹不愿意进一步孤立我, 那么在情况发生变化之前,我就需要担任主要的看护人, preferable without blame towards my sister but just letting her know that I respect her decision but mom’s health comes first.

我们可以想象无穷无尽的场景, but they will likely require the same elements to achieve both family togetherness and mutual respect for differences. If we focus on the higher order goals of maintaining family relationship strength and helping each other meet whatever boundaries are needed to assure personal comfort, we are respecting each other’s freedom and at the same time can come together with a workable solution for sharing time together. A key factor is to set boundaries in advance so we avoid the awkwardness of unplanned moments and emotional reactions that may drive us further apart from the ones we love.

家庭建立在相聚的基础上. Let’s not let an invisible enemy deteriorate the love and care we feel for each other by infusing fear and judgement in what would otherwise be healthy relationships.