Dear Amy: I live in an area with high COVID infection. We are about to shut down for the second time. I will try my best to stay at home and limit the people I see.
Our apartment building has signed a contract, requiring everyone to wear a mask and allowing one person/party to ride the elevator at a time.
From leaving the house to entering the house, I wear a mask.
The biggest problem I face is the elevator: people who are not wearing masks push up the elevator with me (for example: the door is closing and they stretch their hands open).
If I see them waiting, I will try to back up and say: “I will catch the next one.”
Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with it politely?
I have been trying to climb stairs, but there I also met people without masks!
We have reached the point of a pandemic that I cannot imagine anyone still not wearing a mask, but I don’t want conflicts or escalation. I just want to stay safe!
Dear Blues: The research I have seen on the risk of COVID-19 virus spreading on elevators includes many variables: the size of the elevator interior, how often the door is opened, the time the door remains open, and the time the door remains open.Elevators, ventilation systems used in elevators, etc.
The overall conclusion seems to be that because you take the elevator for a short time, you are unlikely to face any major virus risk, especially if you are masked. Transmission occurs through longer exposures than most elevators can withstand, and your mask can really help protect you (and others).
Unless the person riding with you has COVID and coughs or sneezes when entering the carriage with you, your risk may be small. When you re-enter the apartment, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.
I can imagine that climbing stairs with people who are not wearing masks also brings risks, because they (and you) are probably breathing up the stairs.
It’s not a good idea to meet people who don’t wear a mask, mainly because they have access to the same health and safety information as you. It is hard to imagine that anything you say or do will inspire them to behave differently.
If a maskless person pushed onto the elevator at the last minute, you might want to quickly press the button on the next floor and exit from there.
(The temptation may be to press all other buttons on the elevator when you go out, but I would definitely not recommend this!)
Dear Amy: Many of the questions in your column involve family members (usually siblings) who are locked in their own drama or alienated from each other. As you have already pointed out, these estrangements often last for generations.
My family also has sibling dramas.
When my children were very young, my husband and I began to tell them that we spend more time with each other than anyone else in the world, so they need to love each other and become good friends.
We have said countless times, when they were still children, teenagers and so on. They are now adults and have a healthy sibling relationship.
Dear He Yu: I am grateful for the way you recognize the unhealthy patterns in your family, so you very deliberately decided to show the different patterns to the children. Their good relationship will provide great help and comfort to your entire family’s life.
Dear Amy: “I’m not a lunatic” reported that her people laughed at the military psychiatric hospital guarded by her grandfather after World War II, calling it a “lunatic box.”
I hope her grandfather looks more sympathetic than her parents and aunt.
Didn’t they realize that soldiers in the psychiatric ward of a hospital during the war are very likely to suffer from PTSD and witness things that the rest of us would not have seen?
Many people are still young and have never been a monk before.
I also hope that your writer has a better support system than his family.
Anger and sadness
Dear anger and sadness: “I’m not a lunatic” recounted her own struggles, including staying in a mental hospital. Her family’s choice is to never mention it.
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