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Ask Amy: A former work friend breaks into a dark COVID rabbit hole

Ask Amy: A former work friend breaks into a dark COVID rabbit hole

Dear Amy, I am really concerned about a former co-worker.

When we were on the same project team, I met Gerry.

Gerry was a funny person, and has always been very open about her mental health issues.

After the project finished, we re-engaged in our own ways, but we continued to follow each other on Instagram.

When the pandemic began, Gerry would discuss how tough the lockdowns were, and we would share different recipes. Now with the growing Omicron variant, I believe that she has completely spiraled into a dark rabbit hole.

Due of restrictions, she would constantly post pictures and link the names of local politicians.

I reached out to Gerry to see if she needed someone to talk to, but I was chewed out and called a "privileged b***h." There was also an onslaught of words that I will not repeat here.

It has been a few weeks since she was posted on her Instagram account, and she has stopped following her. However, a friend of mine said that Gerry's posts are getting worse, as well as that she was written up at work for a particularly bad one.

I am not sure if I should reach out again and give her a friendly shoulder to cry on, or if I should reduce my losses and let her sit in the mess she is creating for herself.

Your advice?


Dear Torn, I think you should reach out once more, in a neutral and beneficial way, along the lines of: Hi, Im checking in. Ive been wondering how youre doing lately.

If she answers with a toxic multi-directional rant, you might respond, I realize this is tough; Im sorry.

If she responds with a personal attack on you, you should not respond, back away, and be done with your personal involvement.

If a mutual acquaintance contacts you with concerns about her, you might suggest that the person contact you directly to "Gerry," rather than involving you.

Is dating/going out with more than one person at a time passe?

Are there relationships between the two individuals possible without feeling guilty?

Perhaps it was the times I grew up in, the 50s and 60s, but there was certainly no problem on either side, if I and/or the girls I was dating each saw more than one person.

At times I was going out with three or four girls simultaneously.

I dont think I was alone in this.


Dear Wondering: If you are interested in or attracted to someone who you know is in a long-term monogamous relationship with someone else, respecting that person's other commitment is the most ethical thing to do, even if it goes against your own self-interest.

It's also an extremely effective way to behave.

It has been ever since.

Concerns about the danger of contracting STDs have made it important for people to be transparent about their dating and sex lives (even though they often are not).

This being said, seeing more than one person at a time is not acceptable.

The idea of playing the field is the reason why the internet has been created.

Dear Amy, I love your suggestion to place a book on every bed.

I do not know how many books I give my great-nieces and nephew (my surrogate grandchildren) they are not read.

They dont believe their parents placed their attention on reading.

Their tablets appear to be preferable.

They are 8-year-old twin girls and a 9-year-old boy.

Is there any way for me to encourage their reading from a distance, as I do not live nearby? Or is it appropriate to give them books the best I can to do?

I do not want to take lightly re-examined and age-appropriate titles.

Loving Aunt

Dear Aunt: You might start a virtual book club with these kids, allowing them to select a book from their collection, then you might start a Zoom or FaceTime session where you read together and "review" your selections.

Keep your sessions brief, fun, and understand that it might become zany.

You can send an email to Amy Dickinson at or post a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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