Garden City Telegram

Dear Readers: People, by our very nature, are social. We visit friends and neighbors, go to parties, go out to eat and to the theater, and wander the mall or the shops downtown for healthy and fun contact with friends, family and meeting new people. But then, here comes COVID-19. 

Full stop on calling on our neighbors. Restaurants closed. And those bastions of social interaction and news of the neighborhood, beauty parlors and barber shops? Also closed.

What if you're not handling it well? What if you're lonely? Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CDC.gov) agree; loneliness (a feeling of bleakness, sadness and desolation caused by being by yourself) is as much a health risk as smoking, being overweight, depression and a sedentary lifestyle. A greater risk of dementia, heart disease and stroke are also fueled by social seclusion.

But don't despair. Help is available by reaching out to your family doctor. He or she can connect you to outlets in your community that can help. Your doctor can advise you on how to stay active and vital. There also might be pharmacological solutions (mild antidepressants) that can assist you in feeling better. 

Agencies online can help too - chief among them, the AARP (www.AARP.org). 

Things are slowly beginning to improve. Many restaurants and salons have reopened with safety protocols in place. A vaccine was approved with lightning speed. We are learning how to cope with this new normal.

Being alone sometimes is fine and healthy, but if this isolation due to the COVID pandemic is causing you emotional distress, tell your doctor and get some help. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: For people who sell online, their reputations are critical. Most online selling platforms allow potential new buyers to review buyers' recollections of a seller's shipping speed and price, their communication with previous buyers, the quality of the merchandise, and the online description of the item compared to what the buyer actually got.

If a buyer has a problem with an item or with a seller, I strongly recommend they reach out to the seller and ask for help. The seller will, nine times out of 10, work hard to make things right for the buyer so the buyer will be satisfied and happy.

Let us support small businesses! - Michael T. in Ohio


Dear Heloise: Executive fidget toys are all the rage! (They're called "executive" because adults are using them, although they are great for kids, too.) My favorites are modeling dough or play clay, fidget spinners and tiny round magnets.

Playing with these articles relieves anxiety and releases nervous energy, clears my head of busy thoughts, and helps me focus. - Becky G. in Texas


Dear Heloise: I use a nail art brush to apply eye shadow and eye liner. The brush is fine enough to make sharp and clean lines. Great for high definition video calls! - Hayden P. in Illinois

Send a money-saving or time saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.