by Tricia D’Onofrio
- Be honest with your parents about the world. Remind them that they actually are indeed old, and therefore high risk. You see, they view themselves as older, not old. In their eyes, they’re still a peppy, bright-eyed young whippersnapper, so gently pop that delusional bubble.
- Set clear boundaries. Now they may not like it, but be clear about what activities are off-limits. Your mom may sneak off to an indoor church service. That’s a no-no! Swiftly redirect her to a virtual service that she can attend while she works on her puzzle whilst drinking a mimosa.
- Hold them accountable. Going out is a privilege, so if they aren’t being responsible and putting themselves at risk, you may need to ground them. If they can’t act responsibly, consider using delivery services to eliminate their need to run their risky little errands.
- Watch their media intake and screen time. Sit down and watch what they put on with a critical lens. Take care to block any news programs that spew propaganda and misinformation. Boomers love their news, even when it’s problematic. Just tell them you don’t get those channels any longer.
- Don’t let them guilt-trip you. Sure, their friend Herb gets to go to choir practice, but Herb is not your boomer. Herb’s children really ought to be more strict with him. He’s got diabetes, so they should really know better. Stand firm because at the end of the day, keeping your boomers safe is top priority.
- Don’t talk AT them. Instead, try to use their interests, like vests or Ronald Reagan, as a jumping-off point to talk about the virus. For example, a mask keeps you safe the way a vest cuts the chill, but won’t overheat you when you get a hot flash.
- Get to know their friends. Sure, Margie from church seems like a nice girl, but try to pin down her values. One easy way to do this is to check her Facebook page. If she posts anti-science or bigoted viewpoints, she’s not going to be a good influence on your boomers. If she’s posting a lot on her town Facebook page, yikes!
- Prepare them for peer pressure. Your boomers may feel a little ‘silly’ wearing their mask among people who aren’t. Almost like they’re a goody-two-shoes! You won’t always be around to help your parents make the right choice, so help them by practicing their responses to the anti-science crowd. If that doesn’t work, try cutting out photos of people on ventilators and tape them to the inside of your medicine cabinet.
- Be a role model. Model wearing your mask when in public and making it part of your new look. Keep hand sanitizer on deck, because all the cool kids are staying clean and disease-free!