Transnational family in a pandemic world :-(

49 posts in this topic

21 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

There is hope for an ultrafast airport PCR test, this will be a deal-breaker. 

 

It will be good to have it. But it does not cover all possible cases.
coronavirus infection takes some time to become detectable in PCR test.

If a person is tested in this phase test will be negative but he will become a spreader after some days.

Putting person in quarantine for some days fixes this problem.

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We (wife and toddler) last went back to Canada in Feb/March in 2020. Had booked the tickets in mid-December '19 when corona virus was publically just a China problem. And this was kind of a last-minute change, as originally we planned later summer of '20. By January, we did have a "hmmm, wonder what we should do" talk, but decided to go unless they officially forbade it. Basically just in time. My grandmother (98, in very good health) met her great-grandson (she already has a few great-grandchildren anyhow), along with the rest of the family. Glad we made it, when we did.

 

While there, recommendations to avoid meeting or crowded public places started, and a few friends who we had planned cancelled on us in the very indirect way Canadians do. Nonetheless we had a good time. 

 

The day before we flew out was when the first shut-downs started in Canada. A goodbye dinner (with family) at a restaurant turned into goodbye takeout. At the airport, they almost didn't let me on due to last minute "changes" from the German gov not to let foreigners in. I waved my Niederlassungserlaubnis around (with my half-German toddler strapped to my chest) and got on, but about half or more of the passenfers were quite suddenly turned back. Two hour delay to sort out to all the grumbling and occasional re-routing... and a nice half empty flight. Came back to everything shut in Germany and everyone hoarding toilet paper. While gone, we had also got home office orders. 

 

We had planned to visit Canada again in late summer '21, but obviously that's on hold until whenever. Not that Canada's response has been especially brag-worthy, but at least vaccines are going faster than here. Higher and a faster rate. Canada is much more flexible in the way it's doing it so far, I think.

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@JonnyEnglander  I did the reverse journey last weekend in our U.K. registered car, with no problems.  My route was France and Luxembourg.  
 

When I checked in at Ashford the U.K. Border Agent asked why I’d been in the U.K. for a week, no evidence of my reason was requested.  French control were only interested in my Covid test results.  Enroute I saw police cars at two motorway areas I stopped at and neither bothered me, nor did the one I drove past when about 5 miles away from home here.

 

Good luck if you try it.  We’re driving back for the summer in a couple of weeks.  

 

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19 minutes ago, alderhill said:

but obviously that's on hold until whenever. .

 

This is the hardest part, not knowing whenever it will be, and in the meantime there are milestones to make that you might miss. How long to wait before they say, OK, it's time to bury our mother's ashes, for example.   I'm sure someone will point out in a most helpful way that we're all in the same boat, but really: planning for the future is very important - it gives you some sense of anchor that you can depend on somewhere down the road.  Staring into a void for too long cannot be healthy. 

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18 hours ago, mseth said:

Putting person in quarantine for some days fixes this problem.

You cannot fear the virus forever (and we already know this pandemic is to stay here for the whole current decade). Some balance must be maintained between anti-epidemic measures and the basic rights of the people which includes a right to vacation. 

 

I cannot afford to be quarantined, so no vacation for me so far. Exactly 1 year ago we cancelled our big vacation to Germany and Austria because these countries were included in the compulsory quarantine list. One month later, all foreign arrivals were quarantined. 

 

 

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My mother (from the US) is currently visiting us in Berlin for a month. The last time we saw her and the rest of my family in the US was our visit there in Nov 2019, and she was coming 2-3 times per year pre-pandemic. She is of course fully vaccinated, and was required to show proof of first degree relationship to a resident of Germany before boarding the plane in NY (oddly, the negative COVID test was only required upon arrival in Germany, but not to leave NY), but the trip was relatively smooth and stress free (except for a delay and last minute gate change in FRA). As per the official rule, we provided her with a letter demonstrating the urgent need for her visit but the authorities did not ask to see it (even when she volunteered it). She was required to quarantine for 10 days at our flat in Berlin (reduced to 5 after presenting a negative COVID test to Gesundheitsamt taken earliest 2 days after arrival).

My family and I are traveling to NY in July, and either we'll be vaccinated before in DE (doubtful), or right when we arrive in the US. But under no circumstances am I cancelling this trip. Things are on their way to going back to normal in the US, variants or no variants, and the US is on track to vaccinate 90% of its population by July. By the time we get there vaccines will be available to anyone who wants one. So why not?

The pandemic won't be over any time soon, and we obviously can't rely on the DE authorities to make the situation any better as the default solution is lockdown lockdown lockdown, while hopelessly complicating and bureaucratizing the vaccination effort in the name of 'safety and trust' - and tossing away vaccines rather than deviating from the priority groups. If you're wondering why it's going so slowly, my neighbor (a doctor) told me about his experience of going to a Berlin vaccine center recently. He said there were more people working there than getting a vaccine, and that it took him an hour from when he entered, to when he exited. He said the place had the look and feel of a Bürgeramt, there was complicated signage everywhere, and he had to show papers at 3 different checkpoints each with 4-5 people standing around doing nothing - obviously more interested in checking you had the 'right documents' than vaccinating you. He even got admonished for not bringing his Impfpass, which he said he hadn't seen since he was a little boy. He was even required to watch a 15 min video warning him about the side effects of the vaccine. So, basically, the 'Bürgeramt' approach of needlessly complicating simple things to addressing a public health crisis. What could go wrong? In the US, they got it down to vaccinating 1 person every 1-2 minutes.

Anyway, if I can find a safe way to travel, and for my family to visit, while obeying the rules, then I'm going to do it. I'm not going to wait around and hope the authorities improve the situation, given their dreadful track record of dealing with this crisis thus far.

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26 minutes ago, Brockman said:

Things are on their way to going back to normal in the US, variants or no variants, and the US is on track to vaccinate 90% of its population by July.

...

If you're wondering why it's going so slowly, my neighbor (a doctor) told me about his experience of going to a Berlin vaccine center recently. He said there were more people working there than getting a vaccine, and that it took him an hour from when he entered, to when he exited.

 

Where do you see 90% of Americans ?

as this report shows 

Nearly half of U.S. men who identify as Republicans said they have no plans to get the coronavirus vaccine

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/542814-49-percent-of-gop-men-say-they-wont-get-vaccinated-pbs-poll

and then 

The study, which surveyed 1,227 U.S. adults from March 3 to March 8, found that approximately 30 percent of Americans overall said they do not plan on getting vaccinated. 

 

 

Your other point can only be Berlin....

I accompanied  a friend to Kiel for the jab.

I had just found a parking place and was re-loading the e-car when she called me and said

ready for pickup. That included 15 mins of watch and wait after the jab.

 

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48 minutes ago, Brockman said:

If you're wondering why it's going so slowly, my neighbor (a doctor) told me about his experience of going to a Berlin vaccine center recently. He said there were more people working there than getting a vaccine, and that it took him an hour from when he entered, to when he exited. He said the place had the look and feel of a Bürgeramt, there was complicated signage everywhere, and he had to show papers at 3 different checkpoints each with 4-5 people standing around doing nothing - obviously more interested in checking you had the 'right documents' than vaccinating you. He even got admonished for not bringing his Impfpass, which he said he hadn't seen since he was a little boy. He was even required to watch a 15 min video warning him about the side effects of the vaccine. So, basically, the 'Bürgeramt' approach of needlessly complicating simple things to addressing a public health crisis. What could go wrong? In the US, they got it down to vaccinating 1 person every 1-2 minutes.

I think that type of discussion is useless. There is ZERO doubt that the current bottleneck in Germany is vaccine availability, NOT procedures. Rest is cheap populism and local variations.

Pfizer stocks are near zero in Germany, they are using all they have (of course, not counting the 2nd dose storage).

We can have this discussion again when they have more vaccines.

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2 hours ago, Brockman said:

He said there were more people working there than getting a vaccine, and that it took him an hour from when he entered, to when he exited. He said the place had the look and feel of a Bürgeramt, there was complicated signage everywhere, and he had to show papers at 3 different checkpoints each with 4-5 people standing around doing nothing - obviously more interested in checking you had the 'right documents' than vaccinating you. He even got admonished for not bringing his Impfpass, which he said he hadn't seen since he was a little boy. He was even required to watch a 15 min video warning him about the side effects of the vaccine.

 

My wife-in-law just told the same story about her vaccine experience at the Easter table today. So not only in Berlin.

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what is a "wife in law?"

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22 hours ago, Brockman said:

My mother (from the US) is currently visiting us in Berlin for a month. The last time we saw her and the rest of my family in the US was our visit there in Nov 2019, and she was coming 2-3 times per year pre-pandemic. She is of course fully vaccinated, and was required to show proof of first degree relationship to a resident of Germany before boarding the plane in NY

Wait, what? Does this work? Can my mom visit?

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19 hours ago, SpiderPig said:

what is a "wife in law?"

 

The new wife from your ex-husband?  :ph34r:

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15 hours ago, fraufruit said:

 

Fuck you.

 

If you can't get in the spirit of the thread which is having empathy and understanding with those of us who are sharing our stories, you don't belong here.

 

I have taken a lot of comfort in knowing that I am not alone.

Thank you, FrauFruit.  I had the same reaction.
I've been having a very difficult time.  Like many here, my 87 year old mom is back in the US.  She doesn't have dementia, but does have some kind of cognitive disorder.  Her brain is all mixed up, but at least she knows me.  She's had a stroke or two, but mostly recovered physically.  We suspect a lot of TIAs that have caused even more brain problems, though.  She had a pacemaker put in in the last year.  My sister says she is kind of diminishing.  We are starting to talk about funeral plans for probably this summer.  I desperately want to see her.  I usually get back once/year, but not this time.  My sister and I are very close.  Husband works 11 hour days so everyone else can work at home.  This whole thing is crushing me.  
I know this pandemic is serious, but I also think we are killing flies with hammers.  

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I live in the UK and we are not allowed to leave for tourism (well, we can leave, just can't come back and I can't pull the "I'm a citizen, let me in" card) and that includes visiting family. I haven't seen my family in Germany in a long time either. My parents have been vaccinated, but at 49, I'm still waiting in the UK and while I am not scared of any AstraZeneca side effects, I can't get my head around their reporting on efficacy. As far as I can tell J&J is as efficient with one dose as Astra is with two ? The mind boggles.

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1 hour ago, Krieg said:

The new wife from your ex-husband?

 

Actually, it all started the first time my ex visited us in Munich. Immediately Himself greeted him with "hello husband in law!" They get along like wild fire, too.

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1 hour ago, Storydale said:

Thank you, FrauFruit.  I had the same reaction.

Me too.  🙏  @fraufruit.  Many don’t share intimate stories on a public forum, but tragedies and sobering stories are brewing here.  😒  Passing judgment as the OP did is both unkind and unhelpful.

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I've been having a very difficult time ... This whole thing is crushing me.

My ❤️ goes out to you.  This is a stressful and scary time.

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Like many here, my 87 year old mom is back in the US.

✈️ across the pond poses its own challenges, and we can’t just hop in the 🚘 as we’ve often done to solve a problem or see a person.  It’s understandably painful and depressing.

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I also think we are killing flies with hammers.  

That about sums it up.  Let’s hope this changes.

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