I think we’ve all experienced this.

I call it pandemic incompatibility.

For the vigilant: you might have a friend or relative that doesn’t seem to care that we are in a pandemic. They might be having parties, or not wearing a mask when they can’t stay 6 feet away from people. They might criticize you or poke fun at you for following the guidelines and get on your case when you decline group gatherings.

If you’re not too concerned about the pandemic (or maybe think it’s a hoax), you have probably encountered the opposite problem. They might refuse to see you, constantly wear a mask, sanitize every few seconds, and get on your case for not complying with their restrictions!

A psychologist in Montreal named Miriam Kirmayer has heard stories like this all too often from her clients this year. Conclusion? COVID-19 has driven a wedge between even the closest of people.

What is important is that we recognize that what others do is beyond our control.

You can’t force someone to feel comfortable with relaxing the measures that they want to take to feel safe from a disease that has killed a million people this year.

You also can’t make someone wear a mask and stay apart from people if they don’t want to.

Both ends of the spectrum are emotion-based decisions, and these are the hardest to change.

In the end, safety is the root of this disagreement.

Those who don’t distance or wear a mask feel that getting sick is not a big enough risk to change how they live their life. They may also not feel safe in giving up some of their personal freedoms.

Those who do distance and wear a mask don’t feel safe when there is a possibility that they or their loved ones may get seriously ill – possibly losing their life. They’ve weighed ‘freedom’ vs ‘public safety’ and decided to make the recommended changes to their lifestyles.

Whatever end of the spectrum you and those you know fall into, we must practice patience and kindness in this scary time. Forcing our opinions and feelings on others doesn’t benefit anyone, and will only hurt your relationships over the long term.

There isn’t one right way to live through a pandemic, and this too shall pass.

Your financial future is also waiting for you on the other side of COVID-19, and we’re in your corner. Give us a call at 513-563-PLAN (7526) or go online and book a chat with us to keep building your legacy today.

Nikki Earley, CFP®