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Teen daughter depressed by COVID-19

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DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel so uncomfortable all over again. We have spent what felt like nearly two years homebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic. My family and I followed all of the protocols recommended. We were strict with our children. Now, it seems all for naught. My daughter caught COVID-19, not because she broke any rules, but because she ate lunch with other students at her school. Apparently one of them had COVID but didn't know it. Almost all of the kids got it.

My daughter spent her time off during the holidays sick in bed. Now she is afraid to go anywhere near her friends. I don't know how to support my daughter through this. She got pretty depressed in 2020 when she felt trapped in her room. And now this resurgence. What can we do? -- COVID-19 Round Two

DEAR COVID-19 ROUND TWO: This is a harrowing time for all of us. This latest variant seems to be whipping through many communities and knocking people down. As the disease is constantly changing, so, too, are the isolation requirements. Be sure to follow the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for quarantine and masking.

The CDC guidelines do not require that anyone stay home indefinitely. If you and your family are vaccinated, you can continue to be out among others, preferably wearing a mask. If you have tested negative and are asymptomatic, you do not have to stay at home, at least for now. 

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am good friends with a girl that my older brother started dating casually. The two of them stopped speaking because she found out that he is seeing other people. She is mad at me for not telling her, but I didn't think that things were serious enough between them that they were dating exclusively. I feel that she should leave me out it. What should I do? -- Brother Vs. Friend

DEAR BROTHER VS. FRIEND: Tell your friend that you stopped getting involved in your brother's business long ago. The two of you are friends, but you do not accept the responsibility of reporting his behavior to anyone. 

You can add that you did not know that their relationship had transformed into something more serious than casual dating, but still, make it clear that you cannot be your brother's warden. Add that you had hoped that your friendship with her was independent of her relationship with him. You love her and appreciate her. You also love your brother. You hope that you can be friends with her independent of him. What you cannot and will not do is be a go-between in their relationship.

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