How Should I Deal With an Unvaccinated Student?

I am not close with her and was stunned when, in a rare conversation, she divulged what she’d done. Our parents have been diligent about masking, distancing and getting vaccinated. When they believed she’d been vaccinated, they allowed her back into their home, unmasked. They are now making summer vacation plans that include her and involve staying together. My sister’s omission has put me in an awkward position. Covid-19 is a dangerous and deadly disease, especially for people over 60. The vaccines are not 100 percent effective. Our parents have a right to know the vaccination status of those with whom they spend time indoors, unmasked.

What’s the best way for me to approach this? Should I insist my sister tell them the truth and give her a small time frame to do so, before I tell them myself? Name Withheld

It sounds as if your sister, too, has neglected to consider how her decision affects others — unless, of course, she simply doesn’t care. Your parents, given their age, have an increased risk of “breakthrough infections,” and they have let their guard down with your sister because she lied to them. Call your parents now. The only call you should consider making before you do is to your sister, telling her what you’re doing and why.

I live in an apartment, and my next-door neighbor recently died of Covid-19. We shared a patio area with him for five years, and he was friendly when we ran into each other, which wasn’t very often. Most of the time, he was at his partner’s house across town. I found out that my neighbor had died when his children started coming in and out of the apartment. They seemed not very emotional, more focused on divvying up his belongings.

I later found out from the partner that she had been removed from the hospital visitation list by the children and wasn’t allowed to say goodbye during his last days. She asked my husband and me to write a letter verifying their relationship, to use as legal evidence of their domestic partnership. She would like to win back the apartment and possibly some belongings.

I didn’t know much about her or the history of her relationship with our neighbor. I don’t doubt they were committed to each other, but I’m not sure we are the best people to write letters of support. She has been spending time in the apartment, and we hear her crying loudly. Should we write the letter or stay out of it? Name Withheld

I assume you think your neighbor would have wanted some of his possessions to go to his partner, even though he plainly failed to document those intentions. If they were a couple, especially a longstanding one, she has a moral claim to some of the property they shared; a court can decide whether she has a legal one too. Because you seem to have relevant evidence, it would be a good thing to provide it.




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