Etiquette during Covid (Part 2)
The long awaited follow up to Part 1 of our Etiquette during Covid blog is here!
In Part 1 Lisa Orr, an etiquette specialist, helped us through some difficult situations around the holidays. Now she has answers to questions about how to handle mask cynics and newborns!
A good friend of mine just had a baby, but I don't know how to celebrate this. Is it appropriate to just drop something off at her door or should I be doing something else?
First congratulations to your friend for being a superhero delivering a baby during a pandemic. Second, the biggest challenge for new parents that I see during the pandemic is the isolation that they may be experiencing at a time when they may need support. My advice would be to reach out to your friend and ask what they’d like. Let them know you’d love to visit but know that’s a no-no right now so that instead you’d like to drop off a gift. Then you can make sure you’re arranging the right type of gift to be delivered (e.g. something off a registry, groceries, coffee … etc.) and in a way that makes them comfortable. It will also give you a chance to set up some future virtual check-ins or physically distanced visits if it’s appropriate where you live.
How do you tell someone they should be wearing a mask?
The safest way is to model it by wearing a mask yourself. It can be very high risk to confront someone over not wearing a mask. There have been issues with violence when people have asked others to put on their masks and that doesn’t help anyone. Instead, by wearing your mask hopefully they will either realize they should be wearing one and put theirs on or they won’t react at all (or give you a nasty look) at which point you keep your distance and if needed, get out of the situation.
How do you manage a situation when your friend doesn't think this is a big deal and isn't interested in wearing a mask?
Shame is the most effective tool here. Having faced this myself, I explain, “I totally understand your position, there has been lots of misinformation out there, but I wear a mask because it’s something I can do to help keep people safe. I have family and friends who have been severely impacted by this disease, and if by wearing my mask and giving up some of my freedoms I can help make the pandemic a little less terrible then that’s something I’m willing to do. It’s sort of like wearing a seat belt, it’s not the most comfortable thing to do, but we do it to keep everyone safer and once you get used to it’s not that big a deal”. If that doesn’t work then don’t fight about it, but it might be time to take a pause on that friendship. Anyone who isn’t willing to be informed and be a little bit selfless probably isn’t someone you want in your inner circle just now.
Thank you Lisa for your insights and answers to some questions that we have all had to consider during this pandemic.
Stay safe...wear a mask...with a filter!