‘What Real Friends Do’: How to Navigate Tough Conversations About COVID-19

As it gets colder, and harder to gather outdoors, some of Kenzie Billings’ conversations with her loved ones are feeling a bit more fraught. “It’s felt frustrating at times. You know, you can feel energy from people in terms of wanting to be together,” the 29-year-old from Portland, Ore., says. Her sister, who is pregnant, has been taking social distancing rules very seriously , she says, but others in the family are more eager to get together indoors. And she has found it especially hard to navigate these negotiations without being face-to-face. “So there’s a lot of push and pull there in terms of, ‘OK, where are my boundaries?’ And then exerting those boundaries is actually really hard, with the people that you love,” Billings says. Hospitals in many parts of the country are reporting another surge in coronavirus patients. That follows the Thanksgiving holiday when many families gathered despite public health recommendations. The spike in COVID-19 numbers, coinciding with the

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