DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend is extremely upset that I’ve opted out of going to Miami for her birthday. We were set to go at the end of the month, but because of the new COVID variant, I decided to cancel my flight. We’ve had these plans for months, but I don’t want to get sick. My friend thinks that I’m using COVID as an excuse to flake on her. What should I do? -- Canceling Plans
DEAR CANCELING PLANS: COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s life in one way or another. Like your friend, I believe we all thought we would have this disease and its side effects in the rearview mirror by now. Sadly, that is far from the truth. I spoke to a doctor who said that we are all going to have to figure out how to live with the disease, meaning we must take COVID-19 into account in every decision we make. This is an individual choice that should be rooted in the facts.
As of this printing, the state of Florida was facing an increase of more than 900% in COVID-19 outbreaks. Thousands of flights have been canceled, and there is no clear sense of when the numbers will drop significantly. This surely is a good reason to give you pause before jumping on a plane to go to Miami. I am not saying, “Don’t go.” I am saying, "Make smart choices for yourself and stick by them."
While you cannot predict what the numbers will be in a couple of weeks, you do know that the outbreak will still be pervasive. Talk to your best friend. Let her know how much you want to spend time with her around her birthday, but you have to make a decision based on your health and your research.