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Dec 18, 2008 01:02 PM

Would you cancel if sick?

Got some friends who've been planning a Christmas party (this weekend) at a private club since October. This party will be 6 couples for a sit down dinner (in addition to hosting couple). Found out today that wife of hosting couple is very sick, potentially with sinus infection. She's already said herself that she anticipates coughing and hacking throughout the evening. She is a mess right now. Husband has been 'living' for this party for months.
A pure hypothetical: What would you do in this situation if you were hosts? What about if you were guests?
Some guests have arranged for overnight hotels, some just driving in for the evening. Personally, I know the hosts WILL NOT cancel- husband is beside himself with excitement for this party. I know that if I get sick from this weekend's events, I will be unable to host my own family gathering this Xmas eve and Xmas day.... (I'm responsible for cooking, and hosting elderly family at Xmas.)

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  1. In your situation with an upcoming party and the holidays, I'd cancel. That's just the right timing for you to come down with something to ruin your Christmas and you can't expose the elderly if you can help it.

    Yeah, yeah to all those who go "what the hell", you can't live in a bubble, but you can avoid situations.

    Hopefully, your spouse feels the same as you do.

    2 Replies
    1. re: anni

      I would go (conditionally). How many times have you been around sick people with no ill effects? This is (supposedly), a sinus infection, not flu. Why don't you find out whether what she has is contageous?
      If there is nothing conclusive, why don't you suggest that for the sake of all restaurant patrons that she stay home! At the least, she will make everyone in the restaurant uncomfortable if she is there, coughing and hacking. I think this would be her obligation, She should set aside her desires and consider others.

      1. re: Scargod

        I am in the Scargod camp. Go if she is not contageous and insists on going, I would send my regrets with a note about grannies and cooking and wishes for better health and include a really really nice get well soon gift. There is no chance they can reschedule? it does not hurt to suggest. Perhaps if the other invitees felt the same and another convenient date could be arranged then all would be dandy again!

        That IS unfortunate.

    2. Were I the host couple, I'd not consider canceling the event though if I or my wife were ill in the way you describe the hostess being ill then that one of us would sit the dinner out. There's no way that could be pleasant for anyone, the ill person included.

      As a guest, if I felt like it would actually be a situation which might make me ill, I'd cancel as early as possible such they could invite someone in my stead if they so chose. Keep in mind that if it is a simple sinus infection, she's not likely to be contagious after 2 or 3 days from when she first had symptoms. Not that that would make the environment during the party more comfortable, but it might help in thinking through what to do.

      Are the hosts preparing the food? That would certainly increase the odds that you'd get sick. (I should also note, by way of partial explanation of my perspective, that I have a serious lung disease and have to be very careful about such things. That doesn't make me an expert on this, but it makes me far more cautious than others might be.)

      1. I would cancel. I know it's frustrating, but your health is more important than any party. Parties can be rescheduled.

        1. If I were the host couple, I would have the husband go but leave the wife at home. Doesn't sound like she's anticipating having any fun anyway. If I were you, I would go. I don't think you'll get sick.

          1. I would go, and sit at the opposite end of the table and maybe substitute my customary silk handkerchief in my blazer pocket, with a folded surgical mask.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Veggo

              And you could ask that your food be pureed, so you could suck you food, in a sealed cup, through a straw,