One of the toughest things for parents over the past year was the lack of freedom. Working from home, no breaks from the kids. No grandparents or babysitters to pop over to give you a night of blessed alone time. But now that things are slowly reopening now and more people are getting vaccinated against Covid-19, some parents are able to get outside help. That is, of course, if they’re comfortable. As two parents recently experienced, their beloved babysitter of two years has not been vaccinated and, despite the fact that she was so great with their kids, they had to make the difficult decision to let her go.
Reddit user u/babysitterpost, a parent of a 3-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, recently took to the sub-Reddit forum “Am I The Buttface” to get some guidance on the unfortunate situation. As they explained, they were excited to bring their preferred babysitter of two years, a 17-year-old girl named Elena, back into the house so they could get a bit of a break.
“We haven’t had her come over in a while because my husband and I are still working from home and my kids’ daycare is in person and we don’t go anywhere but we decided we wanted to start going on weekly date nights again,” the Reddit user explained. “Last time we had her come over, vaccines were not available to the general public yet but we always assumed that when vaccines were available, she’d get vaccinated.” Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The babysitter’s father has apparently told her she cannot get vaccinated and “won’t let anyone in the family get vaccinated,” the parent explained. They tried to work with the situation by asking her to wear a mask indoors, but ultimately decided against it. “We eventually decided that we don’t want her working with our kids until either she gets vaccinated or they do,” they wrote. While Elena understood, the parents were upset that they had to fire her for something that was beyond her control.
Folks on Reddit really felt for everyone in the tough situation as well. “I feel for your former babysitter, my 16yo niece is in a similar position because my brother is an idiot,” Reddit user u/CrepuscularCorvid commented. Reddit user u/Not-Mom15 felt the only people in the wrong were Elena’s parents, “Well, I'd argue that Elena's parents are the arsebats in this situation, because they are impacting Elena's income unfairly, and endangering Elena's future employment prospects by refusing to allow her to become vaccinated.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for kids under the age of 18, with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson approved for adults in the United States. Parental consent for the Covid-19 vaccine is required in 41 states for anyone under the age of 18, according to the Kaiser Health Foundation, which means this situation could crop up as the country continues to reopen. Parents might find themselves forced to make a similar choice with unvaccinated babysitters: run the risk of their own children contracting Covid-19 or having to let go a well-liked caregiver.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.