Life Advice



Ask Amy: Pandemic places extra stress on holiday visits

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Struggling: I don’t have the right – or the medical expertise — to assess your specific health risk regarding visiting with this family member under the circumstances you describe.

You seem confident in your own protection from the COVID-19 virus (and obviously, any emerging variants will affect your risk assessment and behavior).

If you don’t want to visit this elderly family member, you could explain to them that you won’t be visiting because they aren’t vaccinated, and you don’t want to risk exposing them to the virus. (If this person has actually had the illness, they would have reason to believe that they carry some immunity.)

Or you could tell them the truth: “I’m so upset with you for not getting vaccinated. I’m very disappointed, and it makes me not want to visit with you right now. This is a consequence of your choice, and I’m very sorry.”

Practice that a few times and see how it feels.

Dear Amy: I’ve known “Christopher” since 2008.


We dated for about a year, and broke up after a big fight, but we’ve stayed in touch on and off over the years.

Christopher is a retired, disabled veteran of the Iraq War.

After our breakup in 2009, he called me from a counseling session, to share with me that he had severe PTSD, and he shared the very traumatic event that contributed to his PTSD.

I was floored, and heartbroken.


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