{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I am so conflicted about socializing during COVID. My friend invited me to a dinner with two new people (who work at the big 4) at an outdoor restaurant. Where I live, the COVID rate is ~3%. My friend invited the group chat and the two other girls shamed my friend for socializing in a small group during COVID. My friend group won’t agree to be in a pod and won’t meet unless everyone is 6 feet apart. It’s going to get cold soon and I feel like I’m going to be lonely if I don’t make new friends ☹️", "post_id": "5fa6274fb755cf0025bb50ef", "reply_count": 6, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

I am so conflicted about socializing during COVID. My friend invited me to a dinner with two new people (who work at the big 4) at an outdoor restaurant. Where I live, the COVID rate is ~3%. My friend invited the group chat and the two other girls shamed my friend for socializing in a small group during COVID. My friend group won’t agree to be in a pod and won’t meet unless everyone is 6 feet apart. It’s going to get cold soon and I feel like I’m going to be lonely if I don’t make new friends ☹️

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Take the risks you’re comfortable with for yourself. Comply with all local regulations. Do as much as possible to avoid exposing others, especially folks who are being more careful than you are. If you live with other people, make sure they are comfortable with any risks you take. What else can you do? Your mental health matters too. If there were a concerted public health effort - lockdown followed by contact tracing say - then your responsibility would be to adhere to that plan. But there’s no plan. We’re all making up our own rules. Shame vigilantism is not a public health strategy.

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Just go

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Just go you’ll be just fine!!

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My mom got a moderate case of COVID that lasted several weeks. It was very scary and we don't know how she got it. Since then my risk tolerance has declined substantially. I'm not saying this to pressure you or scare you, but I think we all have to figure out what we're willing to risk and tolerate, and for me, a dinner with people I don't know is not worth the risk.

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Why aren’t you in a social pod with people in your friend group that do not meet others (obviously without that one friend who invited you to dinner)? Even if ~3% looks small, actions like your friend can balloon this number quite quickly (unknowingly). Isn’t that what we learned about COVID for the past year? My question to you is why would you be this reckless with your health? You trust these new girls so much to risk your physical well-being with 14 days of symptoms (+more unknown long term -possibly lifelong - issues)? Do you think people who got/died of COVID thought they would be the statistic? How do you know that somebody from a “hot zone” hasn’t recently come to your area and become a super spreader in your area? Especially with the holidays coming up, are you not going to see older family members? What if you are asymptomatic and give it to them and they get COVID and die? Now what? I’m really not trying to instill fear, but these are valid events that have already happened. Nobody is special enough to be exempt from getting COVID.

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Seems like your uncomfortable with meeting me people closely / adding ppl to your circle, so I suggest - if your old or new group of friends decide to only hang out with each other, it should be fairly safe. Like a family unit. You can also suggest safer options like playing frisbee if you're concerned about distancing

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