Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: How Has a Difference in Approaching Quarantine Affected Your Relationships?

Over in the Dear Prudence advice column, there was a question the other day from someone related to tensions arising between her and her friend over how they are approaching sheltering in place. She wrote: “Long story short, she felt like I was shaming her for not being as strict with quarantine as I am. I told her that I was not judging her in any way and honestly felt a little hurt that she would think that. She hasn’t spoken to me since and is steadfastly ignoring any communications on my end.” It made me think of other conversations and comments I’ve heard around tensions and shaming regarding differences in how friends and family and neighbors approach quarantine. As restrictions around the country begin to lift – prematurely, a lot of us believe – I suspect tensions will grow even deeper. I’m curious: Have you experienced any issues in your relationships around personal habits as they relate to slowing the spread of the virus? I’m also curious: If you live in areas where restrictions are beginning to lift, how will that affect your own personal habits? What will you change – either by choice or lack of choice (like if your unemployment will be cut off, forcing you to go to work) in the immediate future?

Here in NYC, where we’ve had 20,000 deaths to coronavirus and also the steepest decline in cases, hospitalizations, and daily deaths, the end of sheltering in place is nowhere in sight. My guess is it will be many months before we’re back to any semblance of normal though maybe by July non-essential businesses like hair salons and retail stores will begin re-opening. I will take a wait and see approach to everything. I miss so much about my normal life, but what I miss the most is spending time with friends, so more than getting a haircut or dining out or going shopping, what I am most excited about is socializing again, and that will be the first thing I start doing when it’s deemed safe. I will probably wait longer than others for personal grooming and self-care activities. But ask me again when I go another month without a professional haircut…

So, how about you? Are there people in your life who are making you nervous with their current personal habits? Are you feeling shamed by others for yours? What will be the first changes you make as restrictions begin to ease?

P.S. If you have a pressing issue around this topic that you want advice on, email me at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kbean May 12, 2020, 8:47 am

    I am having issues with my mil. My family is mostly self isolating. Having food delivered and washing groceries ect. My parents will stop by, drop some stuff off and keep a 10 ft distance for a chat. My in laws stop by and she can’t keep her hands off my children, who are 3 and 4. It makes me so upset. The kids understand more about staying apart than she does. I have only had minor issues before in 15 years. This blows my mind. I have lost so much respect for her and I don’t like the feeling. My in laws are still working and seeing friends.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 May 12, 2020, 9:49 am

    I have a friend who is having a very rough time. She’s in a southern state that’s had many more cases than my semi rural Missouri area. She was set to be married this Friday and they postponed for a year. For whatever reason she feels they cannot be married even just at the courthouse on their original date. Most of you know my “wedding” was cancelled three days prior but we still got married on our original date and plan to hold a reception this fall if things continue to go well in our area.

    My friend is barely speaking to me, and I have to initiate all the conversations. She did not want to see my ceremony photos and I barely got a congrats out of her. Originally she was one of my biggest wedding cheerleaders and was going to fly from NC to be at the wedding. I don’t know if it’s coming from a place of resentment or jealousy or sadness, but I miss our daily chats. I never bring up the weddings anymore. I have flowers set to be delivered to her on Friday and I know this is hard but I miss talking to my friend. And I hate feeling guilty for having the tiny wedding we did have – with 10 people, hand sanitizer flowing and not nearly as many hugs as we wanted. We did NOT get the wedding we wanted but we did get married – and I think she thought we shouldn’t have had even the tiny ceremony we did. She’s afraid to leave her house and hasn’t left for weeks – meanwhile I’m considered essential and have been at the office the entire time. I don’t know how to make this better and I miss her friendship.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse May 12, 2020, 10:04 am

      Your friend sounds like a real piece of work. I’m sorry, Veritek. She doesn’t sound like a good friend to me at all.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 12, 2020, 10:59 am

      Yeah, I agree. Honestly, your friend sounds as bad as your SIL in this case. Not sure I’d give her too many more chances to grow the fuck up. Sorry you have to deal with her childish behaviors.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 May 12, 2020, 11:58 am

        It’s just so weird because before all this – she was awesome. She was more excited about my wedding than I was! But she’s hit a serious roadblock and I think her depression has snuck up on her again. I just want her to be well.

        The sister in law held a “funeral” for her wedding because she’s just decided it’s never going to happen and keeps saying “if we get married….” so that’s a whole other ball of worms.

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    • avatar

      Olive Love May 12, 2020, 12:33 pm

      Another reader who had to cancel their wedding here. While I think your friend is definitely being a jerk about it, I would like to gently push back on your line “For whatever reason she feels they cannot be married even just at the courthouse on their original date.” We also postponed and will not be getting married on our original date, because we’re in a metro hotspot in the northeast and all the courthouses are closed. That said, even if one were open, we would still hold off, because we are extremely close with our siblings and parents, who are all in at-risk groups and who all live several states away. We don’t need a big event, as much as we would love our friends and extended family to be there. But we don’t want to get married without our parents, and I don’t think there’s anything selfish or weird about that. Obviously you only ever need the couple to get married, but part of what makes it meaningful for us is the support of the people who raised us. Otherwise, we would’ve just gone down to City Hall, signed papers, and avoided a wedding entirely. I think many people who are postponing are in the same boat.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 May 12, 2020, 3:46 pm

        @Olivelove I didn’t mean for that to come across poorly. They’ve been together for 9 years and her parents have passed and he doesn’t have much family so I just wasn’t sure why they decided not to do a small ceremony this year. I asked why they couldn’t do a small thing on their date or this year and she just said “we just can’t.” So I worded it that way because she didn’t give a reason – and she certainly doesn’t have to give me a reason. Just whatever reason it is, she hasn’t shared with me. The weddings are hard and I want to support her but I don’t’ know how.

        And I do think her mental health is suffering @Copa. I’ve reached out to just see how she’s doing because she was a person who would text me all day every day and now it will go a week without hearing from her and it just concerns me. I worry about her.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 May 12, 2020, 3:48 pm

        I also didn’t get my grandparents or my best friend at the ceremony, which broke my heart, but the day and marrying him were important to me so I guess we all have reasons for why we conduct our weddings the way we do.

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    • Copa

      Copa May 12, 2020, 1:41 pm

      Eh, I’d probably cut her some slack. It sucks, and you’re being a more generous friend than I think I’d be under the circumstances, but it may have less to do with your choices than you suspect (your wedding followed the guidelines that were in place for your area at the time). A lot of people are struggling with their mental health right now or simply aren’t the best versions of themselves. I’ve had two friends tell me via text that they were about to go dark, that they needed to be more disconnected, so not to be alarmed if I text and don’t hear back. A friend I Zoomed with over the weekend mentioned one of her friends, who had moved to a new country a month or so before COVID got serious there, takes dayssss to respond to her wellbeing texts. Anyway, your friend might just need some time to work through whatever she’s feeling… and it’s probably not just one emotion over one thing.

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2020, 2:57 pm

        This is real, @Copa. I just read an article about how people who are introverts get more withdrawn and extroverts of course go nuts because they need to socialize. I’ve gotten so I can barely even text with anyone, and if someone mildly bugs me, I don’t want to talk to them at all, whereas in normal times I’d meet up for a drink.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse May 12, 2020, 10:02 am

    None of my husband’s family are following shelter in place or social distancing. One of my SILs has gone on two weekend getaways since mid March. We had a family Zoom meeting a week ago and one person was clearly at a friend’s house for purely social reasons. It’s put us in a weird spot. It’s mostly a political thing for them. It’s very disappointing. There is a lot of tension. I’m mostly annoyed because now we, including my kids, are being left out and ignored by aunts, uncles, grandparents. That’s the part that really hurts my feelings.

    Surprisingly, my fairly conservative side of the family have been following orders. My parents were supposed to have moved out to AZ to retire in March. They postponed the move at first but are currently driving down to their new house now. It was sad because they couldn’t really have a going away party or say goodbye to many of their friends. They’ve lived in the same place for over 30 years.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse May 12, 2020, 10:05 am

    Loss of respect seems to be a big part of these issues!

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  • avatar

    Kate May 12, 2020, 10:24 am

    I’m not finding out anything new about anyone, except my parents are taking this a lot more seriously than I would have expected.

    People who were conspiracy theorists and “truthers” still are, and people who were on their high horse still are.

    My thing is, unless you’re Dr. Fauci or the governor of Massachusetts, I don’t want to hear from you. I live in the state with the third largest number of cases. I consume news from multiple legitimate sources all day long. I don’t go anywhere except walking the dog. I don’t see anyone. I follow all the rules. I’m not interested in your opinion about what i should do or think unless you’re a doctor, epidemiologist, or lawmaker. I’m also not telling anyone else what to do. It’s not my business, nor would anyone’s mind be changed.

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    • avatar

      Kate May 12, 2020, 10:31 am

      When things open back up, I’m sure we’ll go out to eat a lot less. Maybe stick to outdoor places. I will absolutely get my hair cut. I’ve known the salon owner for 20 years and know she’ll follow all best practices. I’ll probably get my nails done too even though I can do them myself, because those women need to eat.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster May 12, 2020, 11:45 am

        Oh yeah I didn’t mean to imply your parents are the conspiracy nuts, only that I’ve seen the opposite in some instances. But as Wendy pointed out: it’s definitely ironic how ppl who are usually full of conspiracy theories wise right up when it comes to their own safety. And of course I’ve seen plenty of looney opinions on FB from ppl who DO believe this is all a big hoax designed to tear Trump down and take away their freedom. [insert eyeroll here]

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster May 12, 2020, 11:29 am

      “People who were conspiracy theorists and “truthers” still are, and people who were on their high horse still are.”

      My dad is a Trump supporting conspiracy theorist. I was so worried about him being an idiot at the beginning of this bc he and my stepmom are both high risk, but he has absolutely astonished me by following all the social distancing rules and guidelines and taking it all very seriously. He still says some ridiculous shit, but as long as he’s careful and conscientious I can tune that out. It’s kind of mind boggling though.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 12, 2020, 11:31 am

        It’s amazing how the Trumpers can make smart decisions and practice good judgment when their own well-being is personally at risk as opposed to being concerned about other people’s well-being, isn’t it? I have noticed this in my own life too.

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2020, 11:35 am

        To be clear, my parents are extreme liberals, but they’ve always been kind of careless about health stuff. They 100% always wear masks outside and love hand sanitizer. I gave them both bottles of Purell we had from before the pandemic.

        The person I know who’s a conspiracy theorist truther wants everything to open up and no masks.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 12, 2020, 11:40 am

        Some people – like anti-vaxxers (I was FB friends with one before I blocked her last week) – think masks are actually harmful. Of course, they think vaccines are harmful too and that the best way to prevent coronavirus is by eating weeds and going for (maskless) walks in the sunshine.

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      • avatar

        Kate May 12, 2020, 11:43 am

        Yeah, I have read some articles about what these people believe, and the quacks they listen to who are pushing “natural” “cures,” and it’s wild!

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      • Cleopatra_30

        Cleopatra_30 May 12, 2020, 1:25 pm

        Even up here in Canada (PNW/BC) we have had people out blocking hospital routes in front of the buildings, and general protesting that this is all a conspiracy. The only light from this was a post recently of a Simpsons (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLNReEgyuec) episode which pretty much predicted this exact situation. Had a good laugh and then sat back down and had a big WTF moment.

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    • avatar

      ktfran May 12, 2020, 8:28 pm

      We took over third from MA yesterday by a little. We clinched it today with a record high of 4K+. Lucky us.

      And thank you IL, I hope you’re having your fun prolonging this indefinitely. You’re doing a bang up job.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl May 12, 2020, 9:25 pm

        They did test a record number today. 13% positivity rate compared to yesterday’s 10%. I just don’t understand why. Most people I know are following the rules!

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl May 12, 2020, 11:00 am

    My parents are pretty conservative, but I’ve been surprised at how they had been mostly following the orders. Sure, a few trips to the store and talks with neighbors in the driveway. I think my mom did go to Bible study at a friends house with two other people (distanced), which.. I wouldn’t have done, but they are in a state and area that has very very limited cases. Church over the internet. They go to parks and fishing and other allowed outdoor activities, but wear masks when shopping. They even made my SIL and brother masks. They are hosting one of my sibling’s families in a few weeks but the family has been locked down so discussion of risks was had and determined to be minimal or livable. We’ve talked about going up, but we have more contact with people as our jobs are essential (and its a long drive with necessary bathroom stops). Most likely going to put it off to give things a chance to calm down further/therapies to improve. Better for us to go on a hike or something instead

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  • Copa

    Copa May 12, 2020, 11:22 am

    Early on — before the closure of so many businesses and before we were asked to stay home — my boyfriend and I disagreed with how we as individuals should respond. We came home from our trip to Hawaii early March, during which I was aware of what was happening in Italy and the spread starting in Seattle, and I think he was surprised that I elected to hunker down before it was mandated as soon as we got home. We actually bickered about it a bit for about a week because I’d ask him to reconsider plans he had and he’d think I was overreacting. We’re fine now, though, on the same page and both following the rules. I’ve seen my sister a couple times and he’s seen his brother once, and though we’ve kept things socially distant and outdoors in those instances, I imagine some people would frown upon that.

    My family and friends are all following the rules for their respective areas, though since we’re scattered and there’s been no coherent national response, I’m sometimes surprised at the activities I hear about. Like a friend of mine in Florida is, I believe, high risk (high blood pressure and obese) and she and her husband were barely leaving the house last month because she was so scared. She felt like she couldn’t even walk safely on her street unless it was early, early a.m. But yesterday she texted me from a friend’s birthday party. It was outdoors in what looked like a park, people were keeping their distances, and most were wearing masks, but seemed like a strange move for someone who is literally scared of her own block. She said she’ll start going to the beach outside her condo building now that they’ve reopened beaches there. Which, again, seems strange considering her fear levels. But it’s allowed where she is, so I trust she’s making good decisions for her even though I find them a bit perplexing.

    My birthday is in a few weeks and I’m expecting we’ll still be very limited in what we can do. My boyfriend did ask what I wanted to do and I was like LOLOL. But I hope for some sunshine and a stiff drink I can enjoy in the backyard. And some ice cream.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor May 12, 2020, 11:42 am

    Honestly, I don’t have the emotional energy to devote to what other people are doing. It’s too dispiriting and heartbreaking . My in laws lectured us about how we were being too strict and should socialize with people and visit, less than a month after I lost my mother to this. I can’t talk to them anymore.

    Our lives are going to be drastically curtailed for the next 12-18 months (at the best) and I need to stay sane for myself and my family. Other than keeping track of the cases in my city and health advice I can’t really engage with what other people are doing. It’s too upsetting and will-sapping.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse May 12, 2020, 11:46 am

      Wow, so sorry for your loss, Fyodor.

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    • Copa

      Copa May 12, 2020, 11:46 am

      I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom, @Fyodor.

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      • avatar

        Ange1 May 12, 2020, 8:19 pm

        I’m so sorry to hear that Fyodor, my thoughts are with you

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 12, 2020, 12:03 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

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    • MaterialsGirl

      MaterialsGirl May 12, 2020, 12:24 pm

      @fyodor, what a terrible loss. I’m so sorry.

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    • avatar

      ktfran May 12, 2020, 1:21 pm

      Fyodor, I’m so, so sorry. That really sucks.

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    • avatar

      Part-time Lurker May 12, 2020, 1:37 pm

      I’m so sorry Fyodor

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    • avatar

      Helen May 12, 2020, 3:13 pm

      I’m so sorry for your lose Fyodor. How devastating

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 12, 2020, 3:32 pm

        Thanks, all.

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      • avatar

        Heathley May 12, 2020, 4:49 pm

        Sorry to read this, Fyodor, sending condolences.

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 May 12, 2020, 4:03 pm

      Condolences to you Fyodor <3

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    • avatar

      Phoenix Rising May 12, 2020, 5:17 pm

      I am so sorry, Fyodor. May her memory be a blessing to you and your family.

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    • hfantods

      hfantods May 12, 2020, 6:15 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Fyodor.

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    • avatar

      Bittergaymark May 13, 2020, 2:36 am

      Oh no, Fyodor! Not your mom! How awful. My sincerest and deepest condolences. Wish I had the perfect withering comeback to your insensitive inlaws, but I remain so aghast at their behavior I am just drawing a blank.

      Really sorry to hear about this, Fyodor. Life really just isn’t very fair sometimes. Allow yourself to be angry for a while if that’s what you need. Don’t let people tell you how to feel.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 13, 2020, 9:51 am

        Thank you for your kind condolences. I don’t think that they’re being insensitive as such-I just think that people can’t really internalize that they’re living in a time of profound emergency. There’s a kind of “well you can’t worry about everything-that’s no way to live” that is maybe predicated on the risk/rewards of a normal time, but we’re having a once-in-a-century crisis now and some people don’t really want to accept it.

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    • avatar

      allathian May 22, 2020, 7:01 am

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Your in-laws are really insensitive, and I wouldn’t blame you for limiting contact even after this thing passes.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ May 12, 2020, 12:42 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, @Fyodor. And, I’m also sorry that your in-laws are so insensitive (to put it mildly). Take care of yourself.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ May 12, 2020, 12:58 pm

    My parents are being pretty good about social distancing, though not as good as I’d like. My husband’s parents are babysitting the grandkids because my BIL and SIL are still going to work, even though one of them could easily have taken the FMLA leave since schools are closed. So, yeah. That’s been a source of tension. So, far, everyone is healthy, but if they get sick…

    We had been here for most of the lock down until construction forced us to go back to NOLA for a couple of weeks. When we left, it was mostly quiet. Some people were being stupid, but with things shut down, there weren’t that many people around. Upon returning to FL and even though rentals are supposedly shut down, everywhere is packed. I haven’t been out, but from what I hear, none of the restaurants that were allowed to reopen are bothering with the 25% restrictions on entry, the social distancing mandate and some of them apparently aren’t even bothering with masks for the servers and staff. I’m honestly stunned.

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  • Cleopatra_30

    Cleopatra_30 May 12, 2020, 1:20 pm

    I was supposed to visit my mom as a surprise for her 60th this past week, her birthday is today and I really wish I had been home to help celebrate. My family and I have facetimed, and I think it will be a more regular thing. Even though my siblings were visiting before all this happened, and I would just call, it seems video chats are becoming more popular to make up for the potential case of not seeing these people for many months. The threat and present concerns of this pandemic have really changed how often I talk with my friends and make more of an effort to ‘see’ them over video. I used to do it when I was in University, and it petered out after that. So now it is coming back, and I honestly am a fan. Feels more personable.

    I also started dating again before this happened, around end of January early February. Things were a little iffy in the city, but I was still able to go out on dates. Since then I have resorted to video chats, and just lately due to the improved circumstances in my province, I was able to meet up twice, socially distanced and outside, with one of the guys. So it feels a bit more normal here due to the different circumstances.

    It is just terrible timing with my recent move here, I had a few months to learn and see the city in between school, which really wasn’t much time. And now I barely venture past a 10 km radius of my home. So I feel isolated in that sense.

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  • avatar

    csp May 12, 2020, 2:16 pm

    I think this really is hard depending on where you live too. So we decided to let our son play with a boy on our street. They only play outside in our yards and the parents stand outside and talk. It has been a lifesaver. If someone comes to our driveway, we do “air hugs” with my son and that has been good for him. We also have had “happy hour” with friends where they bring lawn chairs and we are really far apart and sit outside on the driveway. Now we are lucky that the cases in our area are very low but it is a calculated risk we decided to take. But i respect other people who are stricter. I don’t know how the people in NYC are handling it. I am going nuts and I have plenty of space.

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  • avatar

    CanadaGoose May 12, 2020, 3:55 pm

    On a non-COVID front, I wonder if I am the only person who can’t read Dear Prudence anymore. I used to enjoy Emily Yoffe but Daniel Ortberg seems perpetually angry and the advice he gives is sometimes so out of step with what could be helpful, I can’t quite believe he still has the job. He clearly hasn’t spent much, if any, time working in an office and has issued career-damaging advice many times. As well, he’s become very quick to attack anyone whose POV differs at all from his. The last one I read was a mom concerned that her son’s HIV+ BF might endanger his health. She got a strip torn off her with such viciousness, I couldn’t finish reading. Thanks Wendy, for being kind to those really just trying to find their way, even if they are oblivious to the obvious. You rightly call out the asses, but only those.

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    • avatar

      Rangerchic May 12, 2020, 4:20 pm

      Also @CanadaGoose – I do still read DP but not as frequently or religiously as I used to. I do think his advice, there for awhile, got better. But sometimes it does seem like it’s from left field (or from the forest behind the fields?). I just don’t think he’s a good fit for DP.

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    • Lucidity

      Lucidity May 13, 2020, 2:15 pm

      I don’t love Daniel’s advice but I prefer him to Emily Yoffe. She barely gave advice – she was too busy summarizing the LW’s situation using as many bad puns as possible. Not to mention the sexism and victim-blaming, ugh.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse May 13, 2020, 4:35 pm

      I still read DP. IMHO I don’t think Daniel sounds perpetually angry. I have never read the column in that tone at all. The HIV letter, I’m sure the answer could have been more empathetic, but it does sound like the mother was being invasive considering her son was irate at the way she was questioning him. I liked Emily, but she was super snarky and the victim blaming piece really missed the mark.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 13, 2020, 5:05 pm

        I thought that EY was more entertaining to read but DP generally gives better advice.

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        anonymousse May 13, 2020, 7:37 pm

        Yeah, I’d agree with that. I also like how DP admits they gave bad advice when they do.

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      JudgeSheryl May 15, 2020, 1:04 pm

      I agree on DP. I think DO is a horrible replacement for EY. Every single time I read the column there is some piece of advice provided that is completely awful /unreasonable for the real world. I’ve thought a few times of writing to Slate and complaining, but ultimately decided I should probably stop reading.

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  • avatar

    Rangerchic May 12, 2020, 4:19 pm

    So sorry for your loss @Fyodor.

    My MIL and BIL are supposed to visit us in July though I don’t know why they still want to come. A few things are opened here in Colorado but I won’t go out to any trails (too packed) but we occasionally do pick up take-out. Once restaurants open, I won’t go for a very, very long time (to actually eat in one). So essentially, all we will do is stay here at the house and…..?

    Don’t know if y’all heard about Castle Rock? It’s a town about 45 min north of where I live – a restaurant there defied orders to open with seating – even after being ordered to shut down. Apparently the owners think it’s “against their constitutional rights” Some people…. 🙁

    My daughter that lives with us works at HD (Home depot). Anyway, they’ve been swamped the entire time the stay at home orders were in place (by people not purchasing necessities). She also gets calls from wackos who think lines at the stores or stores that aren’t open is against their constitutional rights. She actually had a customer say those exact words. IDK…makes me depressed to know there are people that selfish.

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  • avatar

    Ange1 May 12, 2020, 8:22 pm

    We’re in a very different phase over here where a lightening of restrictions is starting and we have had a significant drop in numbers. My state was the worst hit and it had no new cases yesterday which is great. People seem to be taking the new guidelines very much to heart though and it’s something of a free for all outside at the moment, the shops are absolutely packed. I hope it doesn’t turn out negatively.

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  • Akeath

    Akeath May 13, 2020, 12:05 am

    I’m really lucky in that my husband and I are on the same page about this now. It took him a few more days than me to really get the situation when it first started, but since then we’ve both been isolating as much as we can and taking all of the safety measures we can and have been on the same page about the importance of that. Our state has reopened, but we are still staying home because as far as data on spread and numbers here go we shouldn’t really be open. And our governor is taking the path of “re-open everything with no plan regardless of the risks” instead of being sensible and reopening slowly based on relative risks like the state where my parents live (we live on a state border, so half an hour away geographically is quite different when it comes to Coronavirus policies).

    Being franker than I would be in person, but husband and I are both disabled, and so we know firsthand how illnesses can totally shatter your life, so we take things like pandemics seriously. That said, this is the first time since I’ve become disabled that I’m actually glad for it in a way. Because we can stay home, since we are too disabled to work, and don’t have a boss on our butts telling us to come in even though we feel it isn’t safe. We’ve had to go grocery shopping in person through this whole thing even though I despise doing so, because there are no stores here that take food stamps on delivery orders, and with a house of two disabled people we can not afford groceries without using the food stamps. So I go out with my mask, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes (my Mom sent me some of those things, thankfully) to the least busy grocery store around and do a ballet trying to stay six feet away from everyone. We’re actually also worried about getting the stimulus money we’ve been told we’ll be receiving because, fun story, we aren’t allowed to have nearly that much money and if we have it in savings we will lose our Medicaid and no longer be able to get the treatments we both need for our disabilities. At the same time we absolutely can’t spend it frivolously. I wish we could just wait to spend it until we actually felt safe going out. Sometimes the way different government branches counteract each other is silly. We’re going to try to find a way to spend it online if we can and have things delivered, but there are some things that we want like a gift card to our genius of a vet for future care of our cats that we won’t be able to do that with.

    Sorry for the rant. Back to the question, my husband and me being on the same page and being able to rant and rave to each other about the coronavirus has been really comforting. I shudder to think of the state my mental health would be in if we fought about it. My Mom’s being careful about it too and since she workers in a cancer center (from home for now) she’s talking regularly with medical professionals about this situation and is well educated. She is a 69 year old with severe diabetes, heart problems, and high cholesterol so her taking her own safety seriously is paramount to me right now. My sister has been…fervent about cleanliness since she had her daughter 12 years ago, and she lives with my parents but I think she will only keep things safer. I hear that she is militant about sanitizing door handles, and when Dad was still going to the school to work she even blocked herself and my niece off from the rest of the house. She’s mellowed as the weeks have passed, though. She’s talking to my parents from the same floor again instead of shouting down from the catwalk. My biggest fear is my Mom and Dad dying from this. We’re very close, and I don’t know what I would do if I lost them.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 13, 2020, 2:31 am

    I STILL have work people that think we can still start shooting a movie June 1st. Even though LA pretty much just officially stated today that our shelter in place orders will last through July.

    WTF?!? Honestly? I don’t see how I can do what I do safely in the middle of a God Damn pandemic. Frankly, I’m getting peeved that this is even an issue. How are people this reckless? Just delay the fucking movie a few months.

    At any rate, they’ll probably flip out and blame me for now saying no. But I only said “yes maybe” as I thought that things would either be better by June or they’d simply come to their senses.

    NEWSFLASH: I’m not going to risk my health for 13 days of pay. No way. No day. Really pretty damn frustrated that I even have to deal with this headache.

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  • avatar

    Sara May 13, 2020, 10:21 am

    My SO and I are both following quarantine orders but I feel like they would be more careless if I didn’t constantly remind them of best practices.

    I’m so tired of the politics, I thought that in this time of need our country would come together. But I have just been seeing more decisiveness than ever. For example, the Blue Angels flew over our area and I saw comments on how it was a waste of money and not a good way to honor our essential workers. This is even after it was pointed out that the money was in a different budget and the pilots need to have a certain number of flying hours. It turned into a blame game.

    I can’t take the people protesting how being told to wear a mask is against their constitutional rights. In the words of Phil de Franco (whom by the way does an extremely good job of recapping current events on YouTube) Don’t be stupid Stupid!

    . Thank you for letting me vent.

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  • avatar

    Alex May 13, 2020, 11:21 am

    I’m exhausted. I live in Michigan and while the majority of my friends, neighbors and coworkers are sane and understand how serious this is, there are folks like my dad and his fiancee who are enjoying picking fights with almost everyone and calling us sheep. So. The relationship I had with him that was barely hanging on by a thread is effectively dead in my opinion. He wasn’t around when I was a kid and perhaps it should’ve stayed that way because he’s batshit. I will not be surprised if he’s at the next protest this week with all his guns… protecting his rights.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse May 13, 2020, 4:38 pm

      I feel you. I have a tenuous relationship with my sperm donor. I had the virus, and he was so empathetic and suggested I try the drugs DT was pushing, and also posting memes about the virus just being another democratic hoax cooked up by Nancy Pelosi.

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  • Lucidity

    Lucidity May 13, 2020, 2:35 pm

    I’m really disappointed with my in-laws. My FIL is high risk so we’ve been dropping off groceries and chatting outdoors, staying 3 meters apart. They have masks and gloves and claimed to be following guidelines. Then we showed up to surprise them for Mother’s Day and found my SIL’s family was there, inside the house, having dinner. Worse, two of her family members walked up as we were arriving, coming back from getting their hair cut down the street in some lady’s house. Neither of them had worn any PPE. We were shocked, and my MIL just kind of shrugged it off. Turns out they’ve all been seeing each other pretty regularly, without taking precautions. I was feeling bad that my in-laws can’t touch their grandchild and was thinking of letting them hold our baby soon if they wear masks and gloves, but that’s definitely not happening now.

    I’m in Ontario (Cananda), where non-essential businesses have just been allowed to open for curbside pickup only, and will soon allow a limited numbers of customers inside – with PPE and social distancing in place, of course. The government is floating the idea of opening schools on June 1st, but making in-person attedance optional, but it seems unlikely they’ll open before September.

    My husband and I are on the same page about being extremely cautious and will continue to follow guidelines as long as they’re in place. We’ll avoid stores unless absolutely necessary, continue getting groceries delivered, and even once salons open, I’m going to hold off on a haircut for awhile, despite desperately needing one.

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