Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Teen Needs New Friend To Hang Out With

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.

Read more in: Covid 19

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have terrible acne, and my mom promised to take me to the dermatologist, but since it is considered a nonessential medical service, we can't go right now. I have tried all kinds of over-the-counter treatments that really don't work. I'm trying to convince my mom to let me do the virtual doctor's appointment so that at least I could get a consultation. She thinks that's a waste of money. I need to do something. What do you recommend? -- Dermatologist

DEAR DERMATOLOGIST: Do some more research. Find out if your insurance company covers telehealth visits for dermatologists. If so, find one in your plan. Call to find out if the doctor is having office hours, and present the details to your mother. Check too to see if that doctor is allowing in-person visits. Now that things are opening up a bit, there's a chance that you may be able to get an appointment.

Shy of that, become more vigilant with your self-care. Eliminate sugary drinks from your diet. Drink plenty of water. The one natural remedy that many espouse for acne treatment is apple cider vinegar -- applied topically and ingested, it seems to cut down on acne as well as other ailments. For ways to use it, go to

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Read more in: Teens