DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m beginning to think that my family is the only one left who is doing any form of quarantining. My other friends seem to have stopped being strict about what they or their kids do. When I talk to them, they are headed for a road trip or to a family gathering. They are out and about. My kids are mad at me and my husband because we will not let them hang out with friends. Even though it looks like the numbers are going down on COVID-19 spread, they are still pretty high, and most people don’t have the vaccine yet. Am I being too strict to keep my family mostly at home? My husband and I both have preexisting conditions. I don’t want any of us to become a statistic because we were impatient. -- When To Go Out
DEAR WHEN TO GO OUT: People are venturing out more these days. One doctor told me that the reality is that we are all going to have to learn how to protect ourselves and live our lives, as it will still take a long time before most people are protected from this deadly virus. Does that mean you should act like business as usual? Absolutely not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that when you go out to wear a mask -- two even these days -- and stay at least six feet away from others, wash your hands regularly and limit any close interaction with others to less than 15 minutes whenever possible. People are doing this AND spending a bit more time in the company of other people, preferably outside.
When exposed to the virus, people are asked to quarantine for 10 to 14 days. When they contract the virus, they are asked to isolate for a similar period of time. The goal is to contain the spread of the virus as vigorously as possible -- and to live our lives. For more CDC wisdom, go to: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html.