Seek advice regarding how to tell someone something
I have an ex-coworker who wants to have a picnic with me in the park. She has chosen to not receive the Covid-19 vaccine. I don't feel safe being around her because of this. How can I decline the picnic invitation without offending her?
You can’t offend her. You are discriminating against her. Only fair thing to do is know that she doesn’t have the virus before you see her. The vaccine doesn’t stop you getting the virus
There is a very coordinated and concise effort against vaccines, and those people want to amplify breakthrough infections as a reason not to get vaccinated. But the safety and benefit of getting vaccinated is very, very strong. Vaccination is critical for your safety and for the safety of those around you.
Again, how can I decline the invitation without offending my friend?
You could say to her that you both (clearly) have different opinions about the vaccine. You’re both entitled to your opinions, and for now, you don’t feel comfortable meeting up for a picnic. If you use I statements, as in you own what you say and how you feel, then she cant really take it personally because you wouldn’t of made it personal. Don’t even enter a debate if she tries and if she pushes you into it (if she’s a good friend she shouldn’t really) the. Do the broken record, which is your not comfortable at the moment.
Your chances of contracting COVID outside are miniscule,(probably that's why she suggested a picnic) but you're entitled to make choices for your own safety.
A couple months ago, my brother invited my consort and I to Thanksgiving dinner. He wasn't preachy, judgmental or have a superior attitude, but told us that only vaccinated people would be welcome. We're vaccinated - but Consort came down with Covid anyway. You would be well served to come across as apologetic and humble, not superior and snobby. If you have risk factors that make you particularly vulnerable, maybe mention that you're just limiting your socializing in general. And you described her as an ex-coworker, not a friend - interesting. *I* wouldn't have a problem with a picnic, per se. But I'd wonder what an ex-colleague had to convey that was so important. Is he/she really friend material, trying to network, just gossiping? If a genuine friend asked, my answer would be different than if asked by someone I used to work with.