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home : columns : dear harriette March 1, 2021

1/8/2021 9:02:00 AM
Friends upset that reader won't attend party

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a group of friends who have been my close buddies for years. They recently decided that they have had enough of COVID-19 and they are going to throw a party. They want to get together after months of isolation, and they decided to go for it. I'm usually the one to throw the biggest parties; I have never let a birthday or holiday or just-because event go by without gathering a huge group of people to eat, drink and dance. But I think this idea is crazy. Too many people have died from COVID-19, including my grandfather. I just can't agree to this.

When I said no, my friends got so mad that they aren't speaking to me now. That seems crazy to me. Do you think I'm being too strict? They have an invite list of like 100 people. I don't want to be the bad guy, but I don't want to risk it. -- Odd Man Out

DEAR ODD MAN OUT: I like to throw parties, just like you. But you are absolutely right to put on the brakes now. It simply is not party time -- certainly not for a crowd as big as 100 guests. If you listen to any of the medical experts, they are recommending that you limit your exposure to a handful of people who are part of your daily inner circle. Period. Because there is an upsurge in new cases of COVID-19 across the United States, which will result in a subsequent spike in deaths, hovering around 3,000 daily as I write this, this is no joke.

You are right to be cautious, and you should encourage your friends to be the same. Be patient. This period of some measure of quarantine has lasted far too long for anyone's comfort, but we must continue to follow the rules if we hope to survive this pandemic.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been cleaning house, and I came across a bunch of old photos of me and my friends over the past 10 years or so. I have enjoyed recalling the different experiences, but I am also mortified looking at myself. I have been working like mad and doing little else, and now I look like I've been sitting on my butt for 10 years. I must have gained 50 pounds. How could I not have noticed that? I recall friends inviting me to go on walks with them or to join them on some weight-loss program or another, but honestly, it never occurred to me that the invitation was more for me than for them. I am so embarrassed that I have gotten to be this big. I need to turn my life around, but I'm worried that it's too late. I'm already in my 50s. Can a middle-aged person shed 50 pounds in real life? -- No TV Movie

DEAR NO TV MOVIE: It is not just in the world of TV or fantasy that people shed significant weight. It is possible with exercise, healthy eating habits and discipline. Nobody said it would be easy, by the way, but many before you have successfully shed unwanted pounds -- and kept them off.

Go to your internist. Get a complete physical and guidance on how to start your weight-loss program. Enlist your friends to be cheerleaders, and follow a daily plan that will set you on your course. Two popular programs to consider are WW (formerly Weight Watchers),, and Whole30, Good luck!.

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