DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and I have been spending a lot of time together lately. Because we live near each other, our parents have allowed us to visit only each other during quarantine. But now my friend is going to her country house with her family, and I will be left here. I am so sad. I am an only child, and it meant so much to me to have one real contact outside of my family. I know this may sound melodramatic, but I'm a teenager and I need to see my friends. What can I do? Should I try to convince my mom to let someone else become my hangout friend? -- Lonely
DEAR LONELY: It can be hard to see a friend go away even if it's not the age of the coronavirus. Your situation is extra sad because you are so limited in your interactions with others. The best thing that could happen is for people to be able to be tested before they enter each other's company. Until there's a vaccine, that's the only way you can be sure that the person you introduce into your space will be safe.
That said, states are beginning to open up, and people are venturing out a little bit. Your mom and the parents of whomever you want to be your new hangout friend should talk. Learn what the revised safety guidelines on social engagement will be. For now, if you can adhere strictly to the rules that you ALWAYS stay at least 6 feet apart, that you ALWAYS wear a mask except when you are eating, that you resist touching your face and that you wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, your mother might lighten up and let you see someone else. It will be on you to be vigilant. No matter how much you want to hug someone, don't do it. If you make smart choices, you will be able to keep yourself as safe as possible as we begin to venture out.