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home : columns : dear harriette June 25, 2021

4/29/2021 7:49:00 AM
Vaccinated couple wants to plan family visit

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been waiting for months to go visit my family. We live in different states, and the rules have been so strict around COVID-19 that we have not been able to see one another. Now that my husband and I are fully vaccinated, we want to make the trip -- especially because we have elderly family members we haven't seen for far too long. I work from home, so it's no issue for me when we get back. My husband has to go into an office for his job. We just learned that some family members have not been vaccinated yet. How can we be sure that we won't have to quarantine for two weeks when we return? -- Taking a Trip

DEAR TAKING A TRIP: The good news is that many states are beginning to lift their travel restrictions as more and more people get vaccinated. What you must do is check the restrictions that are in place for your state and wherever you are traveling. Also, there may be specific rules for traveling by plane or public transportation versus your own vehicle. This article may help:

Continue to follow CDC health protocols even though you are vaccinated, including wearing a mask when around your family if they haven't been vaccinated. I would wear a mask around your elders, even if they have been vaccinated, out of an abundance of caution; wash your hands constantly; keep your distance. As the experts say, we are not out of the woods yet, so be vigilant. But it's wonderful that you will get to see your family.

DEAR HARRIETTE: So many people have invited me to get together with them. They are calling these gatherings vaccination parties. I totally get it. I want to see my friends, too. But I'm still skittish. I am fully vaccinated now, but I have seen reports of people who are fully vaccinated getting COVID-19. I even heard of a seemingly healthy man who died of it after he got the vaccine. I don't want to risk it. How can I not seem like a scaredy-cat? My friends keep calling. -- Afraid to Party

DEAR AFRAID TO PARTY: Being cautious is smart in my book. But it is also important to stay informed. The rules against being with other people have relaxed significantly since vaccinations have started. Guidelines suggest that you can gather in small groups with other vaccinated people without wearing masks and without being 6 feet apart. But medium and large in-person gatherings are not recommended. Find out how many people are supposed to be part of the gatherings in question. Confirm that only vaccinated people will be in attendance. Make your decision on a case-by-case basis.

Here are the clearly delineated guidelines from the CDC for vaccinated people:

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

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