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hmmmmmm's avatar

Any recommendations for places the immune-deficient can visit?

Asked by hmmmmmm (6865points) August 25th, 2020

My sister is wrestling with some serious health issues, which in turn have hit her emotional/mental health hard.

She has MS, and was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the apocalypse pandemic. She is on a bunch of medications, and she is terrified of coming in even the most remote contact with people due to Covid. Along with her husband and 7-year-old daughter, she has been locked inside since March – except for hospital trips.

Recently, she reached out to a small local farm that has goats and small walking trails. She left them a voicemail asking if it would ok to come by when they are officially closed just for a few minutes. The person who runs the farm immediately called her back and told her that she is very welcome to come during unofficial hours. In fact, the farm has apparently done the same for others during the pandemic.

The experience was a very positive one – and one that was a healthy break for all, including my niece.

I’m now scrambling to try to find other opportunities for her to do something similar. My creative juices are not flowing, however, and I’m looking for suggestions.

tldr – I want to help my sister and niece get out and experience some sense of normalcy by finding unique places that will allow her to be alone with her family outside the house. Local trails and parks, etc have proven to cause her to lose it, as there are people not wearing masks.

Any thoughts?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You don’t say where your sister is, so it’s hard to be specific with a recommendation.

But we have gone to some remote beaches that end up with very few people and we can remain distant. We also went to a lake in the Gold Country and found a spot that allowed us some isolation.

Good luck this is one of the challenges with so much closed and everyone wanting to do anything to divert from the boredom.

hmmmmmm's avatar

She is in Massachusetts (20 minutes from Boston).

@zenvelo – Yeah, it’s tough. Most of the walks/hikes I have been taking for years have gone from empty to almost crowded.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Car rides seem to help my mom a lot, also immuno-compromised from breast cancer.

We’ve also had small family social distance lunches, but I’ve been home a long time , so I’m free to handle her take-out food and then go back my six feet in the yard for visits.

janbb's avatar

A ride to a beach and then take out seafood in the car while looking at the ocean?

Walden Pond on a weekday?

longgone's avatar

I’m really sorry about your sister and wish her the best [hugs].

How about a family boat ride? Maybe they could call ahead to make extra clear that they need to get into the boat without being approached.

We’ve gone to a couple of pick-your-own flower fields. They’re often based on the honour system (you drop some cash in a metal box), so no interaction at all. That sort of thing is difficult to find online, but you could give them the idea to look out for it on drives.

Maybe there’s a deserted campus somewhere? I walked around on one the other day and felt very alone. And there must be drive-in events such as movies, music, and comedy. An early morning (4am) hike is also a good idea when you’re trying to avoid people, and could be a cool way for the kid to experience a unique atmosphere. A large field would be ideal. That way any people can be spotted (and avoided) from a distance.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Thanks everyone! Some great suggestions.

gorillapaws's avatar

She could go to the mall. If she’s looking for solitude, it’s a good option.

canidmajor's avatar

I have an app called AllTrails, there are a number of places near me I didn’t know about until I got this, there may be some little known areas near you.

canidmajor's avatar

@hmmmmmm How’s she doing? Was she able to get out? I hope so, this is such a fraught time.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Thanks to lots of good suggestions, and some continued brainstorming, I have been sending her lots of suggestions. She’s been out a couple of times at some very small local walks, but hasn’t tried some of my more “daring” suggestions yet. She also has been heading into Boston for treatment again, but I’m hoping that ends soon.

She’s very anxious about her health, which I cannot blame her for. But it’s way beyond reason – or even something I can truly understand. All I can do is listen. I wish there was more I could do. But she won’t even see us – even very distanced across a yard wearing masks. :( Nobody should have to fight cancer. But christ – having to fight cancer at 42 years old with MS during a pandemic is cruel.

janbb's avatar

@hmmmmmm Caring thoughts your and her way!

canidmajor's avatar

My heart goes out to her. About every twenty years I go through a major medical thing that leaves permanent, somewhat debilitating damage. The thought of yet another, different, set of permanent damages to live with is frightening. Listen to her with love and understanding, and remember that “beyond reason” may not actually be “beyond reason”. I have been told that I am over-reacting, but as I live alone, I need more human contact.

You are a good brother to care so much, I hope she comes through this OK.

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