As many of us prepare for gatherings with family and friends, there’s much to think about. It seems like we’re on our way out of the pandemic that changed everything last year, but each friend and family member has their own level of comfort with what activities they feel safe resuming, and how those activities can safely be resumed.

For many, being vaccinated is what makes people confident enough to attend gatherings. Close to 9 out of 10 adults in Maryland had received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccination by late October, according to CDC statistics, but that means more than 1 out of 10 adults in Maryland aren’t vaccinated, for various reasons. Families with young children may be hesitant to gather until their children are vaccinated. The amount of distance between people, the availability of ventilation and whether to require masks are also worth thinking about as gatherings are planned.

I don’t have any answers on how to keep everyone happy, but I do have a thought about how to cope with disagreements about the safety of gathering.

Remember why you love your family and friends. Remember that we love these people because they are who they are. If they have arrived at a different decision about what activities are safe for themselves and others, resolve to continue to love them. Even better, resolve together to continue to love each other, and not to make your love or friendship conditional on agreement on this issue.

You’ve put a lot of time into your relationships, and time is short. Let’s do all we can to keep things positive. It can take years to build a bridge that can be burned in an instant.

There are some interesting developments at OutLook by the Bay.

The address of our website is outlookbythebay.com. That’s twenty whole keystrokes, which can be exhausting to type, especially if you’re using a device. To save you some time, I’ve set up a shorter address that redirects to the longer one. It’s called obtb.me and it’s only seven keystrokes, so you can type it in less time.

There are a few ads in this magazine that invite you to go to an address at obtb.me for more information or to start a free trial. Those ads also have special bar codes, called QR codes, on them. If you point your phone or tablet’s camera at the bar code, you can go to the website without typing at all. But if you prefer to use the web on a computer, it’s probably best to just type the shortened address in there.

You can even try out the bar code right now, if you’d like. This barcode, which has a picture of the beach chair that also appears on our website, will take you to the
outlookbythebay.com website.

There’s also a new OutLook by the Bay shop, accessible by clicking “shop” from obtb.me, or by typing obtb.me/shop. If you’ve still got gifts to buy, please visit the shop. Purchases (including subscriptions) you make there help support OutLook by the Bay.

Remember, if you or a friend has a story that our readers should know about, please let me know by emailing editor@whongobtb.wpengine.com. Your tales are what keep me going! Subscriptions help, too!

Be well, and have great holidays,

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