Annie's Mailbox: Not feeling well, when skip social events?
Dear Annie: I recently attended a large social event fundraiser with some close friends. We were seated at tables of 10, and finger food was passed around.
One of the women sitting at my table (“Claudia”) said she couldn’t eat much because she hadn’t been feeling well. There were no outward signs of a cold or other communicable disease, so we just assumed she had a mild stomach upset. Two days later, Claudia notified us that she couldn’t make a meeting, because she had become much worse and was extremely sick.
Three days after the social event, five of the 10 women at the table came down with a flu-like illness that included severe chest congestion and coughing. It lasted more than a week and was exhausting.
One of the other women is extremely upset and openly criticized Claudia for attending the event knowing full well that she was sick, and worse, picked up the finger food from a common tray that we all touched. The woman claims Claudia was selfish to attend without regard to the well-being of others. I feel this is a little harsh, since Claudia displayed no obvious signs of illness on the actual day.
When does common sense come into play? As we get older, there are many days when we don’t feel 100 percent. Do we skip all social events because of that? I’d like to hear from others on this. – Recovering at the Lake
Dear Recovering: A lot of folks have an occasional upset stomach and it doesn’t stop them from working or socializing. Unfortunately, there is rarely advance warning that “not feeling well” is going to turn into something serious and contagious.
Had Claudia felt queasy enough to throw up, or had she been coughing and sneezing all over the finger food, she should have excused herself and gone home, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case. And it’s also possible that Claudia wasn’t the source of the illness at all. Perhaps one of the food handlers was sick. These things happen. We think Claudia should be forgiven.
Dear Annie: I’m writing in response to “Want to Know in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania,” who asked what to say to LGBTQIA individuals who decide to come out to their families.
Speaking as someone within this community, I can say with certainty that no matter the personal preference of each individual, the thing we most want to hear is acceptance. It is difficult to tell your family the truth about yourself. The absolute best thing you can do is remind them that you love and accept them, and don’t ask invasive questions unless they tell you it’s OK. If someone is transgender, start using the appropriate pronouns, and introduce them to others using gender-appropriate terms.
There’s no need to walk on eggshells around someone who just came out. Simply treat them as you always have and let them know you accept the new information as part of who they are. – Agender in California
Dear Agender: Thank you for your thoughtful response. We hope family and friends will take it to heart.
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