Neigh­bors’ par­ties put cou­ple at risk

Times Standard (Eureka) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­son. com and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy. Amy Dick­in­son

DEAR AMY » My fi­ance has asthma. I have re­oc­cur­ring bron­chi­tis, due to com­pli­ca­tions from emer­gency lung surgery. We are both in our late-20s. Be­cause of those pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, we have been tak­ing our state’s stayat-home or­der se­ri­ously. We’re not scared — just cau­tious. We wear masks when we go out. Oth­er­wise, we are stay­ing in.

We live in a duplex with a shared front yard. Our neigh­bors are not tak­ing the stay-at-home se­ri­ously (they are in their early 20s).

They are still go­ing to friends’ houses ev­ery week­end, and (early on) they had co-work­ers over ev­ery night.

To­day they threw a party on our front lawn, where peo­ple were stand­ing shoul­der to shoul­der.

I wanted to call the po­lice to break it up but my fi­ance didn’t want to snitch.

I have been try­ing to stay away from them, but we do share a few spa­ces, in­clud­ing the front en­trance and base­ment laun­dry.

The few times we talked early on, I talked about how the city we live in was spik­ing in coro­n­avirus cases, and how the first case was only a few blocks from us, but it fell on deaf ears.

At what point should I ask them to take this se­ri­ously — for our health? — Shel­ter­ing in Wis­con­sin

DEAR SHEL­TER­ING » The point has long passed for you to ask your neigh­bors to take this cri­sis se­ri­ously. Gen­er­ally, it is eas­ier to pre-empt neg­a­tive be­hav­ior be­fore it starts, and harder to roll it back — af­ter the fact.

Now that they are par­ty­ing un­der your nose, you’ll have to give it a try, and hope for the best.

My un­der­stand­ing is that be­cause “stay-ath­ome” or­ders are be­ing han­dled dif­fer­ently in var­i­ous cities and states, the po­lice might not be in­ter­ested (or legally able) to bust up a party on your front lawn.

You should take ra­tio­nal and com­mon­sense pre­cau­tions re­gard­ing these very close neigh­bors. Wipe shared door han­dles and any other com­mon point of con­tact (rail­ings, door frames, and the han­dle of the washer and dryer) with dis­in­fec­tant be­fore you touch them. Wash your hands fre­quently.

Com­mu­ni­cate with your neigh­bors: “Hey, we’re your neigh­bors and have se­ri­ous health con­di­tions that make us vul­ner­a­ble to COVID-19. Could you do us a fa­vor and please be more con­sid­er­ate? As you know, the state is dis­cour­ag­ing large gath­er­ings. Hav­ing peo­ple clus­tered to­gether on the front lawn is too close for our com­fort. We hope you un­der­stand and can re­spect this, un­til we get the all-clear. Af­ter that ... party on!”

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