DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in New York City in a big apartment complex. Even though I try to stay in my home as much as I can, I do have to go outside to get groceries and sometimes just to get a little fresh air. The problem I’m having -- which is not new -- is that one of my neighbors seems to wait for me to go outside so that he can stalk me. He always seems to be around when I go outside, trying to help me or talk to me. I don’t want him near me -- especially now -- but he doesn’t get the hint. I have been backing off from him for years. What can I say now to get him to stay at a safe distance? -- Back Off
DEAR BACK OFF: Now is not the time for subtlety. You have to be strong, clear and direct with this neighbor. Remind him of the rules of interaction as a result of the new coronavirus. You are supposed to stay a minimum of 6 feet away from anyone you encounter at all times. That includes him. It should even include loved ones, by the way.
If you see him approaching you, put your hands out in the gesture of NO, and state loudly that he should not come any further. Ask him to honor the rules of social distancing. Keep moving. Do not talk to him. If you move with haste, he may get the message.