Dear Jido,

My wife came down with COVID and has been having a hard time getting over it. When she first started showing the symptoms, the test results were negative. A couple of days later, I carpooled with a friend to another friend’s house where seven other friends had gathered where we all wore masks (except to eat). Several days later, when my wife still wasn’t improving, I took her to an ER where they did another COVID test that came out positive. I thought I owed it to whomever I was around at the get-together to tell them about my wife. It has been more than 14 days since my wife got sick, and although she is not yet over the virus, I haven’t come down with it.

I thought my friends would be supportive of me and what my wife is going through. However, I learned from one of these “friends” of more than 15 years that they formed a private group chat to discuss how each one has been doing on a daily basis and I was not invited to participate. I feel betrayed by these paranoid friends. At this point, I don’t think I can ever look at any of them the same way. I have been contemplating ending my friendship with all of them. What do you think?

Signed,

Snubbed

Dear Snubbed,

You bring out three very important questions with your question.

First – is it okay to hold a grudge?  I think you know the answer to that.  It’s no. That’s in fact what you would be doing if you cut off relations with them.

Number two – do I have to give them the benefit of the doubt? I think you know the answer to that one, too.  The answer is yes. Could it be nothing more than an oversight on their part?  They didn’t think you would mind?  They thought perhaps you had your own chat with others who DID get sick?  After 120 cumulative years of friendship, it makes sense to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Those are the easy questions. Now comes the hard one. What should you do about it? You’re not going to like it – but this is what you should do.

The next time you see one of them, put your arms out and give him a hug. Tell him, “Joey, I missed you so much, how the heck are you?  How are the boys? I haven’t seen you all in such a long time.” Hug him so hard that you put all the broken pieces back together again.

Make like nothing happened. And if you do, it will be like nothing happened. They probably never gave this a second thought.  It’s up to you to let it pass.

BTW – I would be remiss if I didn’t ask – how’s your wife feeling? Better, I hope.

Jido