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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

3/4/2021 7:38:00 AM
Family feels like the only people quarantining

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm beginning to think that my family is the only one left who is doing any form of quarantining. My other friends seem to have stopped being strict about what they or their kids do. When I talk to them, they are headed for a road trip or to a family gathering. They are out and about. My kids are mad at me and my husband because we will not let them hang out with friends. Even though it looks like the numbers are going down on COVID-19 spread, they are still pretty high, and most people don't have the vaccine yet. Am I being too strict to keep my family mostly at home? My husband and I both have preexisting conditions. I don't want any of us to become a statistic because we were impatient. -- When To Go Out

DEAR WHEN TO GO OUT: People are venturing out more these days. One doctor told me that the reality is that we are all going to have to learn how to protect ourselves and live our lives, as it will still take a long time before most people are protected from this deadly virus. Does that mean you should act like business as usual? Absolutely not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that when you go out to wear a mask -- two even these days -- and stay at least six feet away from others, wash your hands regularly and limit any close interaction with others to less than 15 minutes whenever possible. People are doing this AND spending a bit more time in the company of other people, preferably outside.

When exposed to the virus, people are asked to quarantine for 10 to 14 days. When they contract the virus, they are asked to isolate for a similar period of time. The goal is to contain the spread of the virus as vigorously as possible -- and to live our lives. For more CDC wisdom, go to:

DEAR HARRIETTE: Whatever I say to my husband these days, he shuts down. I feel like I could say the sky is blue on a sunny day, and he would immediately say that it's obviously about to rain. I don't get it. He always has to be right, and it seems like he just wants me to be quiet.     It has gotten worse over the past year. He lost his job because the place where he worked shut down due to the pandemic. I'm the one working, but we are all pitching in. It's just that he seems to have a chip on his shoulder, and everything is directed at me. I'm exhausted by it. I feel the pressure of having to bring in all of the money in order to pay our bills. I don't appreciate being second-guessed and doubted and yelled at constantly over nothing -- on top of the other stress. I get that men can take it extra hard when they lose work, but I can't keep giving him a pass. What can I do? -- Off the Rails

DEAR OFF THE RAILS: Sit down with your husband, and clearly ask him to be kinder to you. Tell him you know how tough this period has been for him and the family -- and that includes you. Don't state the obvious about how you are financially carrying the family. That will only hurt more. Point out that he has been extremely critical of you, and it hurts your feelings. Firmly invite him to be more thoughtful and supportive of you when you interact. Keep giving him examples if he needs to see what you are talking about.

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