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home : columns : dear harriette November 26, 2020

10/28/2020 8:02:00 AM
Student wants friends to skip spring break

DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to go on spring break with my friends, but I told them this year I won't because of the pandemic. They are all convinced that by spring break 2021, the virus will be gone and things will be back to normal. The whole country assumed back in March that it would be over by the summer, but now we are going into winter and the virus is still here.

I have been reading and researching, and I am trying to share my thoughts with them to convince them to not go, but they will not listen. Our college student conduct board could suspend them from campus if it learns they left the country, and I don't think risking our futures on spring break is worth it. What else can I do to convince them to stay? -- Stop the Spread

DEAR STOP THE SPREAD: Calm down and do some research. Look at infection rates in the places you are considering visiting. If your friends' idea is to go to a popular spring break spot where many young people gather, definitely discourage that. Show them statistics on infection rates after large gatherings. Go to the Centers for Disease Control website to learn as much as you can about the virus and track its spread: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. One strong suggestion is not to travel unnecessarily until there is a vaccine. By most indications, one will not be widely available by spring 2021. Tell your friends what you learn, and make your own decision. They will have to make theirs.

DEAR HARRIETTE: This month, I moved across the country for a new job. I work for a nonprofit organization where we focus on rebuilding communities. This is my third placement; I typically live in an area for two years on each job. I work with my team to engage with the community and help the town create and offer better living conditions and support for its people.

The latest town has really taken a toll on me. I think for once I finally understand what it is like to live in a broken community. I have had so many issues with my living situation that I am ready to move a few towns over and commute to work. But the whole point of my position is to engage and relate to the locals, and I can't do that if I'm not a part of the community. They will just see me as another outsider trying to come in and treat them as charity work, and I do not want that. Do I, as a professional, forgo basic personal luxuries for a job? That's my role and what I have been doing for years in different places, but this time it's so much harder. I just need some help staying focused and motivated on our goal, and letting go of my superficial wants. -- Lifting Our People Up

DEAR LIFTING OUR PEOPLE UP: Maybe what you need is a break. Can you take a vacation and go visit family or friends where you can enjoy some creature comforts? Tending to yourself is important so that you can maintain the energy to do this important work. Talk to your organization's leadership for advice. I'm sure this has happened to others before. Seek their guidance. If that still doesn't work, you may need to move.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.





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