I’ve never considered doing this before, but I’m inclined to now, after having lunch with my friend.
She and I have had a wonderful 15-year friendship but since this pandemic started, we’ve had a major difference of opinion.
She seems to have accepted the “myth” (in my view) that COVID-19 is just a form of flu. She believes that it’s a major conspiracy to control our lives.
She doesn’t believe in social distancing nor wearing a face mask, which I feel is necessary.
She’s shown me and forwarded to me various links, messages and posts outlining that this pandemic is just a ruse to take over our civil rights and liberties.
And to keep us from questioning the medical advice we’ve received from the government and health departments, newspapers and many medical professionals.
I’ve not agreed nor disagreed with what she says/believes. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t want to ruin the friendship.
But I’m increasingly uncomfortable hearing, what I consider, the misinformation that she believes.
Should I keep holding my tongue or speak out, try to change her mind and jeopardize our friendship?
In many other areas of topics and life, we have very much in common.
Deeply Confused and Distressed
Vote with your feet and walk away.
When there was no pandemic to discuss and debate, you both had similar, or at the least, non-confrontational views of the things you experienced and discussed.
That’s changed and there’s a new element in your now markedly-different views: Risk. She rejects that it exists, while you take it seriously.
You’re aware of health risk to yourself and loved ones if you were to follow her example and dismiss COVID-19 as a mild illness.
So, why would you still be in her company, hearing opinions you can’t respect, and feeling uncomfortable?
You can’t even “agree to disagree” because you need to be wearing a mask and sitting socially distanced from her, while she may lean into your face and speak forcefully (potentially spreading coronavirus droplets) to make her point.
There’s no good reason to be “uncomfortable” and still get together, nor even try to have an online conversation on this topic or anything close to it.
Not now, not while people are still dying from Covid.
Walk away from the old friendship, for now. In the hopes that you both survive the pandemic, tell her that you enjoyed the common interests and discussions of the past.
But you’ll now stay distanced in beliefs and contact until the coronavirus has been conquered.
FEEDBACK Regarding your statement that when older parents’ re-partner, their adult children should “embrace” these changes (August 12):
Reader – “There are parents willing to destroy their children's inheritance as a result of involvement with new partners.
“The situation isn’t simple. Particularly today where there’s a housing crisis, rampant precarious work, increasing prices.
“Many people depend on their inheritance as protection from poverty.
“I’m a third wife with hostile stepchildren now adults. At 61, I now appreciate the lifetime of financial challenges that came to them as a result of their parents' divorce. It's not a simple issue.”
Ellie - Agreed. But it won’t be solved by nastiness by the adult children.
While it can take time to build sincere, positive relationships with step-children, decent people work hard to make it happen.
And re-partnered seniors are usually thoughtful, if they have resources beyond their main needs, to define inheritance through legal wills, but not by being pressured.
FEEDBACK Regarding the new husband who, after moving in with the bride’s parents, felt they’re sabotaging the couple’s marriage (August 14):
Reader – “I see two things his wife has not understood so far:
1- She and he should have strategized to make the parents understand to not meddle in their relationship. Instead, she told her parents they’ll move in without consulting her husband.
2- She should STOP any meddling from her parents. It’s her job to do that. It’s also his job to stop his side of parents from meddling (if that also happens).
“Their marriage is being sabotaged by selfish parents (I’m assuming they’re not that old to need constant physical help, and that that is a lie).
“It's unfortunate that some parents take advantage of their kids in this way. They should provide a calm and pleasing environment for them instead of meddling in their lives.”
Tip of the day:
When strongly opposing views on the pandemic’s life-or-death risks become distressing, take a break from contact and discussion.