How to Tell Your Parents You Have Coronavirus
The worst has come to pass. You have a confirmed case of coronavirus. After taking the necessary medical precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 to anyone else, you’ll have to start sharing the news with your nearest and dearest. Delivering bad news to your parents is always difficult, but we’re going to make it easier on you by breaking down this daunting task into 10 easy steps. Keep calm, have the tough conversation, and hopefully, your parents will wow you a loving, supportive reaction.
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Arrange a virtual meeting.
Your parents will be tickled pink that you want to talk -- then they'll be suspicious about what you want to tell them. You probably shouldn't do this in person, though, since you're contagious, so use FaceTime or Skype.
Broach the subject of coronavirus.
You'll need to ease the 'rents into the conversation, so start by asking them how they're doing and how they're coping with the COVID-19 outbreak. Take the temperature of their preparedness. Have they stockpiled food? Are they doing the social distancing? Has your dad finally realized how important hand-washing is?
State the facts.
Before you drop the bomb, give them some context. Cite the current number of coronavirus infections -- worldwide, nationally, and in your state. Throw in some stats about how the flu is still more widespread than COVID-19 (that the latter is more fatal is something you might want to keep to yourself). Try to normalize this abnormal situation as much as possible.
It's time to let the feral cat that is coronavirus out of the bag. "Mom and Dad, I have something to tell you. I have coronavirus. My symptoms are mild, but I’ll be in isolation for the foreseeable future."
Enumerate your symptoms.
Your parents might not believe you at first -- or they'll freak out. Either way, give as much information about your condition as possible so they understand what you're experiencing.
Tell them your action plan.
If you've been diagnosed, you probably have a treatment plan from your doctor (at least, we hope there's a plan). Let your parents know what steps you're taking to mitigate the effects of coronavirus.
Ask for support.
By which we mean: money. This is one problem that really isn't going to be solved with your mom's casserole or your dad's offer to shoot the shit over a couple of beers. You need money -- for medication, for food delivery, to supplement your lost wages. The least they can do for you in your time of need is open up their wallets.
Let them vent.
Your parents will probably be distraught, even angry, when they hear the news. Let them emote as much as they need to.
Emphasis the bright side.
There has to be a silver lining to this shitty situation. Find it. Maybe your coronavirus isolation will allow you to finish writing that novel you've abandoned more than once. Maybe the disease has put things in perspective for you and you realize how grateful you are for your family. Maybe you've decided that you need to quit your mind-numbing office job and pursue your passion instead. Tell your parents what good things you think might come of this so that everyone doesn't start planning your funeral.
You family may not be big on those three little words, but now is the time to tell your parents you love them. Don't be afraid to cry. And as soon as you sign off, sanitize that filthy computer or cellphone!
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