Don’t let covid kill my mom. I will do that.

Dear Gabby,

I’ve been to a lot of weddings this summer. At the last two, both held outdoors, the bride and groom both tested positive within three days of the event. After a wedding, a quarter of the guests tested positive. So what are the host’s obligations to disclose this information? How should this be done while keeping medical information private? And why don’t these hosts ask guests to test first?

I think I’ll answer “No” and send a toaster

Dear I think,

I’m no Emily Post, but of course I like to give my opinion whenever I get the chance! Coming from a wedding myself (hundreds of people inside, I wore a double mask), I thought about this. I believe if you are going to host an event in the age of Covid, you are obligated to do certain things.

First, you should ask people, at the very least, to get tested on the day of the event and stay home if the results come back positive or they feel unwell. Second, you need to provide hand sanitizer and masks (and maybe tests) at the event. Third, all guests should be notified of any guests who test positive in the days immediately following the event. You can do this without naming names, but if you get permission from those who are HIV positive, I would use names so people nearby can be extra vigilant.

For many people, Covid has turned into a big yawn. But many people are still vulnerable. For example, my mother is 93 and I personally don’t want to be responsible for her death…even though that’s exactly what I wanted to do in my teens.


Dear Gabby,

My roommate really likes to party and drink (too much, IMO). I think it’s dangerous for her to get into an Uber or a taxi when she’s incapacitated. So if I know she’s going out, I feel compelled to pick her up and our other friends all over town, since I have a car.

I’m starting to resent our friendship because I don’t want to drive all over town, but the thought of something happening that I could have prevented is driving me crazy. Also, I’m a little worried about his drug addiction. How can I tell her that she needs to make safer choices?

Always worried

Dear always,

First of all, let me say that even if you can feel responsible for your roommate when she goes out and abuses you are not. I guess she’s an adult making adult decisions, even if you think she’s ill-advised. She does not get behind the wheel of a car and has already done some pre-planning, but uses a ride-sharing service. You cannot solve his problems.

Also, many people resent being offered unsolicited advice. However, said with empathy and concern, you might make an inroad, explaining that you are concerned about his party. It’s entirely possible that she’ll push you away, and after you say it once, that’s all you can do.

Don’t give up on your plans just to be available to be her savior. Go out, live your life and have a good time. Not too good a time!


Dear Gabby,

A friend of mine is taking courses to become a certified caregiver. She told me that the program has (really) mean instructors who insult and shame students, and the place where they do their internship (with elderly patients) is filthy and poorly managed.

But she also said that if a student posts reviews of the program on her site, the student does not graduate! And if a student waits until they get certified to post negative stuff, they somehow manage to delete it. Any ideas on what she can do to bring attention to this issue?

The AIIC concerned

Dear concerned,

I’m so glad you wrote, because it sounds like a terrible situation all around. Once your friend is certified, she must file a formal complaint with the city where this program is located. She can also call the Better Business Bureau, the local chamber of commerce, the school’s accrediting body, the parent organization (if there is one) of the senior center – the list goes on.

These problems are unacceptable, especially with a vulnerable population. So I say try by all possible means to involve the authorities. And if she suspects elder abuse, she should call the city and/or the police.

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