Miss Manners: Unvaccinated in-laws can’t visit our baby in the hospital

Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I are expecting our second child. When I delivered our son, before the pandemic, there were no restrictions on visitors at our hospital, and any required and routine vaccinations were not an issue, despite known political differences among our family members.

Now, things have changed. My husband’s father, sister and her entire family refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, despite several cases in the family — including our son, who was too young to be vaccinated and ended up at the hospital via ambulance.

My husband and I are both very confrontation-averse, but we are not comfortable having anyone who is not fully vaccinated at the hospital. I thought to send a full-family message, so no one will be singled out, stating that we would be happy to see them in person if they have received their Tdap and coronavirus vaccines, in line with hospital regulations.

I want to pair the vaccines in the message, because I know they all have their Tdap shots up to date, and it might soften the politics associated with the newer vaccine. Is there a polite way to set these boundaries?

Companies promulgate policies because they know it is harder to argue with an intangible policy than with a living person. It is even harder to argue with a policy that is set by a large corporation you do not control. (In this case, the hospital.)

The message to the family is: “The hospital will not admit unvaccinated visitors, and we do not want to cause trouble. We are happy to do virtual visits — or you can meet Harper after we bring her home.” Miss Manners omits “from college” on the assumption that you can find reasons to delay at-home visits as long as you feel is necessary.

[Find the latest coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.]

Dear Miss Manners: I work a job where I often have to staple both portrait and landscape pages together. How do I orient the landscape pages in relation to the portrait ones?

Dear Miss Manners: I am a healthy, very thin woman and always have been. It is just the way I am. I would like to know what to say when someone makes a comment such as, “Wow, you are so skinny!” or, “You must never eat to be so thin.”

I find these comments hurtful and embarrassing. Why are these comments deemed okay, but if I said to someone, “My goodness, you are so fat! You must eat a lot,” I would undoubtedly be seen as rude? (I have been tempted to say this.)

What can I say to these people, so they know this is not okay?

Your assumption that people are not called fat every day would be charmingly naive were it not so terribly wrong. Something hurtful can be said about anyone, and too often is — a fact that Miss Manners wishes everyone to remember before speaking.

On the receiving end, the proper response is a cold disdain that conveys offense taken without actually starting a fight. Or, if you have time to spare and a strong stomach, you could pretend not to understand, so they are forced to keep explaining themselves until they fall into the hole they have dug.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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