x

Cleveland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Cleveland, Oh | WKYC.com

What should I do if a loved one has an opinion about the coronavirus that I don't agree with?

How do you handle this debate? We had an expert weigh in on how to handle differences of opinion as Ohio continues its reopening process.

CLEVELAND — Even though most of Ohio is back open, there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and everyone is handling it differently.

3News’ Hollie Strano talked to clinical health psychologist, Dr. Lori Stevic-Rust, about what to do if a loved one has an opinion about the virus that's different from your own.

Strano asked about what to do when a loved one doesn’t take social distancing seriously.

“I've witnessed where instead of coming closer together, which I think has been a huge blessing of all of this," Strano said. "But then, you get into these little squabbles about who thinks what, and it's tough. So what would you say to families that are struggling?”

Dr. Stevic-Rust says when you have something like a global pandemic happening, it makes people feel as if they need to choose a side.

“Unfortunately, I think the masks in many ways, and the guides that we've been given, have become one more weapon to polarize us in making it political. And the reality is this virus isn't political. The masks are not political. It's entirely back to science and public health.”

Dr. Stevic-Rust also said it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to change someone else’s opinion, whether we’re having a conversation with them, or posting on social media. 

She says one thing we can do is set boundaries with people and stick to them. Dr. Stevic-Rust used an example, of a friend saying they want to visit you in your home.

“If I'm not comfortable with that because I have an 89-year-old high-risk father, the answer is, ‘I would love to see you as my friend, but I'm not willing to take the risk of being a carrier to my father. So I'm sorry but you can't come over.’”

Dr. Stevic-Rust said it’s important to stick to your choices.

For more advice from Dr. Stevic-Rust, you can check out her site here.

RELATED: It's all opening so fast: Expert weighs in on how to cope with anxiety amid coronavirus

RELATED: Watch: Kevin Love appears on Cleveland Clinic's 'Ideas for Tomorrow' series

RELATED: 'Still scared': Health workers feel the toll of virus fight