Annie Reneau


It's time to stop asking folks: 'How are you doing?'

Try saying something like this instead.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Woman wears a mandated mask during the COVID pandemic.

A friend stops by and rings our doorbell. I hop off the couch, put on my mask, and open the door to greet her. She has set a bag of goodies just outside the door and is standing back several feet. "Just dropping these off," she says through her own mask before adding, "How are you?"

I stare for a brief moment at my dear friend and take stock of the scene. This is someone I'd normally greet with a great big hug. Pre-pandemic, we'd visit in-person several times a week. Our families were used to having potlucks and playing games and watching movies together regularly before the pandemic hit. That personal closeness is still there, so the physical distance hits hard. This scene sucks. How do I even answer the question?

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