DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a youth-based industry even though I am not young. I keep up my style, so I look fairly young, all things considered. People always tell me I look young for my age. But that all falls away whenever technology comes into play. I know how to use Word, but that's about the extent of it. When my company introduces a new app or other tool to make life easier, I struggle to figure out how to install it, let alone use it.
I worry that if I tell anybody how hard it is for me that I run the risk of being considered obsolete. It has only gotten worse since we have been at home, because I don't have a colleague nearby to ask a simple question. What can I do? I need my job. -- Luddite
DEAR LUDDITE: Now is the time to call upon your youthful nature. Go online during your off hours and get tutored on how to use whatever technology is in question. Go to YouTube.com for starters. There are video tutorials about virtually everything, which will walk you through how to use and master the technology that is baffling you. You have to be proactive now. The best part is that you can do it in private.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been very active in my church for years. That's why it has been extra-hard to stay away all these weeks recently. But I get it. Now that our city is opening up, our minister is eager to start services again that everyone can attend, but I haven't heard anything about setting up social distancing measures. He has called me many times to ask me to come in and lead Sunday school for the children and basically get things moving again. When I asked about safeguards because of the coronavirus, he shrugged it off. He said, “God will provide.”
When I look at the news, I see that many people who have gone to church across our country have gotten sick and died. As much as I love my church, I don't want to risk my life if my pastor isn't taking the rules seriously. I don't think that we can leave this up to God. I also don't want to be called out as a nonbeliever. What should I do? -- Back to Church
DEAR BACK TO CHURCH: Do not succumb to peer pressure. You are right. Outbreaks from congregations gathering at spiritual centers are up. It is not worth it to go and sit too close to parishioners, sing, cry, touch -- it's just too much right now. This is especially true in a house of worship that is not taking this virus seriously.
I say this knowing that there are strong opinions against my position. I go with the science. It has been proven unequivocally that people who gather together too closely often get sick, especially at church.
So don't give in. Tell your pastor you will do anything he needs from the safety of your home. If he rejects you, find a new house of worship -- starting with those who have online services. I know this is hard to swallow, but it's smarter than going to church and dying.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)