COVID questions: a) housekeeper and b) dine together

Here’s a two-for-one question, since both have to do with COVID:

A) The homeowner for a sit coming up next week told me that her housekeeper will likely come to clean while I’m there. I don’t want to get into whether or not the housekeeper will be wearing a mask and don’t feel like I could tell the housekeeper to wear one while I’m there since she’s not MY housekeeper. Is this within the 3rd party rule? Would it be OK to ask her to NOT let anyone come to the house while I’m there?

B) I have a 2nd stay with a couple who have invited me to come the night before and have dinner with them again. We did this last time I sat in October, as they needed to leave at 4:00 am to start their drive. We’re all vaccinated/boosted but apparently, omicron doesn’t care about any of that… and I’m really afraid to get covid and lose my taste/smell (as I’m a chef). Would it be weird to ask to skip dinner with them the night before they leave? I can keep my mask on & stay in my room while they’re still home, but I don’t want to eat mask-off with anyone.

FWIW, I haven’t left the house without an N95, and even then, only for picking up groceries or essential medical appointments. To say I’m overly paranoid would be …well, accurate!


We have had many handovers, handshakes, hugs & dinners with home owners, but this is only because we feel comfortable enough.

If you don’t feel comfortable with any of it, then that’s fine. Just communicate that it has nothing to do with them, but as you say, you’re a chef & don’t want to run any risk. Sensible people understand sensible arguments. As for the cleaner, you can maybe suggest that you’ll do the cleaning during that period?


Do not hesitate to verbalize anything that makes you uncomfortable because those are things that manage to come back to take a bite if you will.
My HOs use only vaccinated housekeepers, when they come we practice social distancing. Sometimes I will step out and do things outside and not be in the way.
When invited out, I often will suggest to dine in.

Be bold @MissChef! Bon appétit!


I’ve been wearing an N95 everywhere too. Pretty unpleasant, isn’t it? You have a very valid reason for not wanting to take any chances and I feel sure your HOs will understand and respect your requests. (An aside here, @MissChef , I have really enjoyed and appreciated the tips you have posted on the forum) I agree with @Els . You can ask the first HO if they would mind skipping the cleaner’s visit while you are there and you can do an extra thorough cleaning yourself, or you could arrange to be out of the house while the cleaners are there. With omicron, though, they’re saying it lingers on non-porous surfaces like plastic and stainless steel longer than the other variants, so you might have more peace of mind if they just don’t come at all.

I bet your second HO will be very happy to comply with your request to skip dinner too. They already know and like you. I had the same situation, a second sit with a HO who invited me to dinner— this was before omicron. Since their young daughter had not been immunized I took a rain check on dinner and arrived after she was asleep.


Well, @MissChef, you’ve had excellent feedback from our forum community so far. I disagree with your view that you are ‘overly paranoid’, especially given your profession. I tell people that I do a self-enforced lockdown most of the time, and in my case it’s primarily because I do not have any family. Yes, I have wonderful friends, but I don’t want to impose my care on them. Besides, I don’t want to take the chance that I will be one of the long-haulers, even if I get a mild case of anything. I have every right to take that position, regardless of what others think.

A - I would ask that the housekeeper not come while you are there, and assure the homeowner that you will do the same cleaning, whatever that is.

B - I would be up front and honest with them. If you’ve established a good relationship with them, which is my guess, given it’s a return sit, then they should be understanding.


Gosh I wish there were more like you!
I wouldn’t say it’s a problem to go the night before staynin your room. I’d be perfectly understandable with that.
Also regards the housekeeper, either agree you don’t need them.or stay out of their way.


That’s sweet of you to say :smiley: I know I overthink stuff sometimes, but I hope people realize my heart is in the right place.


Well, yeah, this. :arrow_up: I don’t want them to think I’m backing out of the sit, but I hope they both respond with a note accepting what I suggested (no housekeeper / no dinner respectively.) Thanks for the encouragement.


SO over it. like I said above, I keep forgetting to not put on lipstick, then I have to wipe it off to avoid having clown-mouth :clown_face: My eyeshadow game is on point now tho! :laughing:

Aww, thanks for saying so! I always try to be helpful if it’s something I actually know something about, I’m glad to share!!


I’m hoping everyone will be sensible :heavy_heart_exclamation: Thanks for the reply. I have to say I don’t feel comfortable with a whole lot right now. I’ve heard of too many breakthrough cases, people triple-vaxxed like me, but maybe they just quit wearing masks? I did for two weeks… then got back into it. (Took me another two weeks to remember to stop putting on lipstick!!) :kiss: :lipstick: :kiss:


Yeah, just feels weird to have to say it out loud. I don’t want to have anyone feel like I don’t trust them :face_holding_back_tears:


How you feel matters. You want your experience to be just as good as theirs.
Being open and sincere in communication is highly valued and I think they will trust you more.
Keep us posted. These are great examples of real life pet sitting.
all the best.


it’s awful!! I was also hardcore lipstick wearer but now it’s lip balm and I love it! :upside_down_face:

Ha! My masks with light cloth inside have all kinds of makeup residue (Yes I wash them).

Good for you for keeping safe.
I definitely won’t eat indoors with others during a covid surge, but I would happily have dinner with HOs on a patio! (weather permitting)

1 Like

We all have to continue to do what we feel comfortable with and I am sure that neither of your requests of not having a cleaner and not sharing a meal will be seen as unreasonable.


@MissChef during the last 2 years, I stopped wearing lipstick for the most part, but instead invested in some high quality colorless lip balm. Keeps my lips moisturized and I’m not changing my routine too much :wink:


@MissChef hi there, I’m a HO and we have a cleaner who comes in once a week, but I always ask sitters if they’re happy for her to come while they’re sitting, either while they’re in the house or out, she has access to a key… If they would rather she not come it is no problem, she is very flexible and will come an extra day before or after the sit instead.
As to the dinner question, I firmly believe that with the strange times we are living in we are all flexible and are happy to accommodate whatever others are happy with, if a sitter coming to me would rather not eat with us I wouldn’t have a problem with it.


Hi, so far this year I have stayed the night before sharing meals, and chatting with family members at dinner. I have had cleaners in and potential buyers viewing houses. I have also had to take delivery of large items and seen builders in, whilst renovations going on. Have had a couple of owneres wearing a mask when doing a changhe over, when not staying overnight but only indoors and not when showing me around outside. So far have not become ill in any way and have not heard of anybody I have been in contact with becoming ill. At the moment I feel that you cannot hide away forever and Omicrom if caught is very mild, as contains much of the common cold virus. I eat a very healthy diet, plenty of fruit, nuts, fish, fresh vegetable, salads etc. and am confident that I would not be badly effected as am rarely ever ill with anything. But do what you feel comfortable with. I just feel one has to get back to normality and there has been far too much scaremongering.


My concern is that Covid would interfere with my plans—- I don’t want to have to cancel any sits, and I don’t want to pass it on to someone who is at high risk for serious disease. A woman I know who had autoimmune disease caught omicron and died of it 1.5 weeks ago.

Our local hospital has 451 beds. It’s now filled to capacity; 142 of those are occupied by Covid patients. And we still don’t know what’s coming down the pike with re. to the next variant. But like you, I am so over this.