Jim and Mike are proud guncles of nephews, nieces, younger cousins and furry cats and they’re here to answer your life questions each month, big and small.
Q: Dear Guncles,
My 75 year old uncle doesn’t want to get the Covid vaccine. But I don’t want him near my elderly dad (his older brother) who has health issues and hasn’t been able to get the shot yet. It’s been hard to get an appointment. Should I block my uncle from seeing my elderly dad? Can I force my uncle to get the vaccine? — Jab Away
A: Dear Jab Away,
Unfortunately, we don’t think you can force anyone to get the vaccine even though they should and scientific studies prove vaccinations work.
What we have seen is many elderly don’t want to get the vaccine because they are frustrated and confused about the sign-up process. It’s a mess with many places requiring to sign up online when many elderly don’t have online access or feel comfortable using a computer.
This is where younger family members and neighbors have been helping set up the appointments. Some are called “Vaccination Sherpas”, those who help even strangers navigate the system, find vaccination locations, and sign people up for appointments.
So maybe your uncle just needs help with scheduling a shot. Ask him if he’d get it if you could schedule it for him and take him there.
If your uncle still chooses not to get a vaccination and put people at risk, then it’s your right to block him from seeing you and any family members.
Covid Cutback Conversation
Q: Dear Guncles,
A coworker was let go last month due to downsizing since the Covid lock down. Since we’re not at work and everyone’s working from home, I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I want to let her know I know but I don’t want to embarrass her. Should I reach out? — Workplace Shame
A: Dear Workplace Shame:
Yes! Reach out! There is no shame in being let go from work due to layoffs over the pandemic. Nor is there shame being let go due to downsizing regardless of whether it’s due to the recession we are in.
Most people, when let go, appreciate others reaching out. It takes away the sting and stigma away from the layoff.
It’s all about how you approach your former coworker. Simply let them know you heard the sad news, say how you enjoyed working with them, and that you are thinking of them. Depending on your relationship with them, possibly offer to say you’re willing to help them network to find that next job, or that you’re there to talk if they want to speak further.
Q: Dear Guncles,
My old college roommate is such a hound when it comes to chasing “tail”.
I’m sick of hearing him always talking about how he wants a boyfriend, but then he has guys in different cities he constantly hooks up with. The catch is that he is in his 40s, never been in a relationship, and wants me to introduce him to my single friends. I don’t think he has the capability of having a long term relationship.
Can you teach an old dog how to date or will he be only up for tricks? — Muzzle and Leash
A: Dear Muzzle and Leash,
It’s “ruff” out there in the dating world. Dear Guncles believes you can teach an old dog new tricks. But in this instance, if your friend has never been in a relationship and doesn’t show any behavioral signs that he wants to settle down, we advise against introducing your friends who are looking for a long-term relationships with him. Let him continue prowling and growling through Grindr, and not through your personal contacts.