Life Advice



Ask Amy: COVID-panicked neighbor might get a moonrise

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I need advice on how to handle a neighbor situation. The elderly lady across the street, who has always been a little crotchety, has now utterly lost it. She prowls the neighborhood, looking for “COVID violations.”

Two neighbors talking from opposite sides of the street get 10 minutes of screaming profanities because, in her mind, social distancing means not socializing at all.

She has called the police on another neighbor so many times that she’s forbidden to do it again. The reason? There were three cars parked in his driveway. He has his daughter’s family staying with him, which she considers “a party.”

My parents came over for my father’s birthday and she called the police on us, reporting an “unsafe large gathering spreading the virus.”

The four of us, all healthy, were sitting inside eating cake. (And anyway, in our area, gatherings of 10 or less are considered fine.) She has also called the police on lone joggers without a mask and gloves, even though she herself doesn’t wear them.

She has now set up video cameras conspicuously around her lawn, one of which is pointing directly at our house. She has commented that she can see in our windows and has berated us for not wearing a mask and gloves… in our own home!


My husband has suggested that we start mooning out the window. I would prefer a solution that doesn’t involve her having photos of our naked backsides. I also don’t want to be forced to keep the curtains closed.

How can we reason with the unreasonable?

COVID Fishbowl

Dear Fishbowl: The answer is: You cannot reason with the unreasonable. So don’t try. You might be able to get that camera off of your house, however.


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