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Dear Annie

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: My aunt “Amy” has been using Facebook and Instagram to post political memes, status updates and articles that reflect a viewpoint very different from my own. The posts are negative and sometimes contain offensive language, and they are upsetting to me. Most end with something like, “If you don’t agree, you’re an idiot” or worse.

Recently, I unfriended her as I did not want to continue to read her rhetoric, get upset and think ill of her. Now, her immediate family refuses to speak to me. My cousin (her son) said to me, “When you unfriend a person on Facebook, it means that you never want to speak to them again.” Is this true? I certainly did not mean to convey that message. Is there any way I can fix when my calls and texts remain unanswered by her family? — Stumped

Dear Stumped: It’s ridiculous to say that removing someone from your social media account means that you never want to talk to them again, especially when you are clearly reiterating that that was not your intention. If they won’t hear you out on that front, then it sounds to me as though they were looking for a fight.

Still, that doesn’t mean that now you have to give it to them. Continue standing your ground that you meant no ill will and still love her and care for her. Hopefully, they will come around in time.

For future reference, you can “Unfollow” them on Facebook without unfriending. The exact way to do so depends on which version of Facebook you’re using, but look for an arrow or small icon of a little head and shoulders on a friend’s profile (aka “Timeline”). Clicking that should display relevant options.

Dear Annie: In our attempt to stop this pandemic, many people refuse to do their share by the simple act of wearing a mask.

Initially, there was an uncertainty of whether masks would do any good, so the public was told not to use them yet, because the health care and other frontline workers needed to be the first priority.

Soon, after further research, it was determined that the main method of transmission of the virus was by the tiny respiratory droplets of spittle or spit that comes out of our mouth when we talk, sing, sneeze or even breathe.

When this was discovered, scientists and medical experts changed direction and suggested that everyone should wear a mask. This was several months ago, and this advice has not changed. Two people wearing masks six feet apart are very unlikely to infect each other.

In theory, if everyone in the country wore a mask, the pandemic would be over in a couple months. This virus, which requires a human host, would die out without any place to go, just like smallpox, and this pandemic would be over.

Wearing a mask is not an attempt by the government to limit your freedoms or tell you what to do, as some claim. It is an effort to save lives and bring an end to the pandemic as soon as possible so more people don’t die. Do your part. — Ohio Masked Man

Dear Ohio: It’s such a small thing that can make such a big difference. Please, wear masks and keep six feet away from other people. It’s an inconvenience but a temporary one.

We will beat this pandemic eventually. But we will never be able to bring back the dead.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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