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Aunt is devastated when private letter is read – Chicago Tribune

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Dear Amy: In 2020, my nephew, “TJ,” graduated from high school.

My husband and I are especially close to him. Due to COVID there was no graduation party for him.

During lockdown, I sent TJ a card and enclosed money.

Later, I sent a personal, heartfelt letter to TJ, wanting him to know how much I enjoyed seeing him grow, recounting memories we shared, giving him unsolicited advice about college (that he could take or leave), etc.

TJ called to thank me for the gift and the letter.

Months later my sister-in-law “Teri” mentioned to me that she was in TJ’s room and a letter was open on his nightstand. She said she saw it was from me and read it.

She said she thought it was so nice and that it made her cry.

I was speechless!

The issue for me is I feel the letter was private between TJ and myself.

I was raised in a household where we never opened mail that was not addressed to us because the contents of any mail was considered the private information of the recipient.

Now, two years later, TJ’s brother is graduating from high school and I had planned to write a similar letter for him, but now I feel constrained on how much of my personal feelings I want to put into the letter.

Truth be told, the joy of doing another letter is gone for me since I know it may be read by others.

I want to get your thoughts on whether I am overreacting.

– Upset Aunt

Dear Upset: Yes, you are overreacting. By a mile-and-a-half.

When people receive letters and cards of congratulation to mark a happy occasion, they often leave the cards and letters out and share the content of these with family members (unless the recipient is explicitly asked not to).

According to your account, this letter was lying open in your nephew’s room. It was not sealed, and your sister-in-law did not “open” it. She merely read it, as I maintain just about anyone would do. (You obviously wouldn’t, but I believe that most people would.)

My overall point is that when a letter leaves the writer’s heart, mind, pen and home – it becomes the physical property of the person who receives it, and that person can leave it lying out for others to see, put it into a scrapbook, post a photo of it on social media, sell it at an auction, or throw it away.

It is best to enter a correspondence assuming that others may see what you write, and to choose your words carefully.

Your sister-in-law was moved by the contents of this letter to the point of tears. She was thoughtful enough to tell you so, and your response is to consider denying your other nephew this gift of your time and wisdom.

This seems an extremely unkind reaction.

If you choose to write to your younger nephew, you should ask him to keep the contents of your letter private.

Dear Amy: I am beginning to think that I’m in violation of some unwritten social code with respect to gift giving.

After a very acrimonious divorce, we experienced the typical “siding off” of our mutual acquaintances.

This is understandable, as divorce puts friends in awkward positions.

Anyway, I have continued to send gifts as children of “our” friends marry, despite not being an invited guest.

These gifts are not being acknowledged.

I’m trying to figure out if I just hit a streak of ungrateful young people or if my giving is so grossly out of place that it is just being ignored. Any guidance is really appreciated.

– Bewildered Giver

Dear Bewildered: All gifts should be acknowledged, even if the gift bewilders the recipient.

You do not need to receive a wedding invitation in order to send a gift, but if you have never met the couple – or haven’t seen the marrying person in many years – you might want to switch your generosity to a warmly-worded card.

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Dear Amy: I appreciated your response to “Torn,” the older man who wanted to announce his long-ago sexually exploitive relationship with his sister-in-law at the woman’s funeral.

Yes, I agree that what happened to him when he was a teenager was abusive. And yes, I also agree that a funeral is NOT the time to disclose it.

– Fan

Dear Fan: My heart fairly broke for this man, who had been struggling with the impact of this abusive sexual relationship. I hope he gets help.

Got a question for Amy? Enter it here and we’ll send it to her.

Sign up here to receive the Ask Amy newsletter to get advice e-mailed to your inbox every morning, and for a limited time — get the book “Ask Amy: Essential Wisdom from America’s Favorite Advice Columnist” for $5.

©2021 Amy Dickinson.

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Kevin Lankinen, Predators take down Islanders 4-1

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Kevin Lankinen made a career-high 48 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the New York Islanders 4-1 on Friday night for their seventh victory in nine games.

Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi scored and Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund added empty-net goals. The Predators have won nine straight games against the Islanders, the longest active streak against a single opponent. The Predators are 11-1-1 in their last 13 overall against the Islanders.

“Lanky knew what he was doing. We had great goaltending,’’ Forsberg said. “The reason we are happy is the play of our goaltender.”

Mathew Barzal scored for New York midway through the third period.

“That’s a good hockey team over there,’’ Barzal said of the Predators, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine games. “They are heavy and strong with good D. It could have gone either way.”

The Predators were coming off 4-3 comeback win at New Jersey on Thursday night in which they scored with nine seconds left in the third period and won 33 seconds into overtime.

“We played two solid games against two very good teams,″ said Duchene, whose goal was the 300th of his career. “The Islanders threw the kitchen sink at us in the third.”

Forsberg opened the scoring on a power play with 5:42 left in the first with his eighth goal of the season. Duchene and Josi assisted.

Josi, the Predators captain, made it 2-0 on a power play at 8:22 of the second. Forsberg and Duchene assisted.

Josi has 10 points in his last seven games against the Islanders, including four assists in Nashville’s 5-4 home Nov. 17. The Swiss-born defenseman is four points from tying David Legwand for most points (566) in Predators history.

Lankinen made nine saves in the first, 18 in the second and 21 more in the third. The 27-year-old Finnish goaltender played the previous two seasons with Chicago.

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“Kevin was great. He was really good down the stretch,’’ Predators coach John Hynes said. “It’s great to see him get rewarded.”

Islanders Lane Lambert said he was pleased with the Islanders’ offense which generated a season-high 49 shots. But Lankinen was there to stop all but one as the Islanders lost for only the fourth time in 12 home games.

“We did a good job at times,’’ Lambert said. “It was just one of those nights.”

Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh left the game nine minutes into the third period after he was struck in the nose on a shot by Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov. McDonagh, the former Rangers captain, wears a face shield.

The Islanders scratched forward Kyle Palmieri, who was placed on injured reserve on Thursday retroactive to Nov. 21 … The Islanders also scratched forwards Cal Clutterbuck (day-to-day with an undisclosed injury) Ross Johnston and Hudson Fasching, who was recalled from AHL Bridgeport on Thursday along with Cole Bardreau who skated in Clutterbuck’s spot on a line with Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin … The Predators scratched forwards Eeli Tolvanen and Cody Glass.

Islanders: Host Chicago on Sunday night,

Predators: At Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

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WHO estimates 90% of world have some resistance to Covid | Coronavirus

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The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of the world population now has some resistance to Covid-19, but warned that a troubling new variant could still emerge.

Gaps in vigilance were leaving the door open for a new virus variant to appear and overtake the globally dominant Omicron, the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.

“WHO estimates that at least 90% of the world’s population now has some level of immunity to Sars-CoV-2, due to prior infection or vaccination,” said Tedros, referring to the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease.

“We are much closer to being able to say that the emergency phase of the pandemic is over – but we’re not there yet,” he told reporters.

“Gaps in surveillance, testing, sequencing and vaccination are continuing to create the perfect conditions for a new variant of concern to emerge that could cause significant mortality.”

Last weekend marked one year since the organisation announced Omicron as a new variant of concern in the Covid-19 pandemic, Tedros noted.

It has since swept round the world, proving significantly more transmissible than its predecessor, Delta.

Last week, the latest real-world study of updated Covid boosters showed that new vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are likely to provide better protection compared with the original shots.

The study of more than 360,000 people indicated that the boosters offer increased protection against new variants in people who have previously received up to four doses of the older vaccine.

Since their introduction to the US in September, the vaccine boosters, which contain both original and Omicron BA.4/5 coronavirus strain, provided greater benefit to younger adults aged 18-49 years that those in the older age group.

Tedros said there were now more than 500 highly transmissible Omicron sub-lineages circulating – all able to get around built-up immunity more easily, even if they tended to be less severe than previous variants.

Around the world, 6.6 million Covid deaths have been reported to the WHO, from nearly 640 million registered cases. But the UN health agency says this will be a massive undercount and unreflective of the true toll.

Tedros said more than 8,500 people were recorded as having lost their lives to Covid last week, “which is not acceptable three years into the pandemic, when we have so many tools to prevent infections and save lives”.

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Kevin Durant, Nets beat Raptors to tally fourth win in a row

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Make it four in a row and seven of their last nine.

The Nets are one of the hottest teams in basketball and moved two games above .500 with a 114-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in front of a sellout 17,732 fans at Barclays Center on Friday night.

They led by as many as 36 points before letting the Raptors creep back into the game late in the fourth quarter.

After digging a 2-6 hole to start the season, the Nets (13-11) have pulled a complete 180. They are inching closer toward contender status, though they still have tremendous ground to cover separating themselves from the cream of the NBA crop.

And it both looks and feels different when the Nets aren’t leaning too heavily on Kevin Durant — or Kyrie Irving, as they did for unending stretches last season.

Durant’s minutes have become a point of contention in Brooklyn, as they were last year. He entered Friday’s matchup as the league’s leader in minutes, points and field goals. At age 34 and in year 15, the Nets star is averaging 37 minutes per game for the second consecutive season.

“We’ve had to play Kevin more minutes than we’ve wanted to,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said ahead of tipoff. “That’s just kind of where we are. He understands that.”

It hits different, though, when Durant has help, and it reflects on the scoreboard.

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Sharpshooter Joe Harris got hot early, scoring 11 points in the first quarter alone. After breaking out of his shooting slump to hit four out of six threes in Wednesday’s win over the Washington Wizards, Harris, who is starting in place of the injured Ben Simmons (calf strain), hit another five threes for 17 points against the Raptors on Friday.

Royce O’Neale hit a trio of timely threes, and Kyrie Irving shouldered a large chunk of the scoring load, scoring 27 points on 17 shot attempts. Veteran forward TJ Warren, in his Nets debut after missing two-plus seasons with consecutive stress fractures in his left foot, scored 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting off the bench.

And Nic Claxton added 15 points and nine rebounds, sealing the game with a putback dunk, then offensive rebound and finish that extended the Nets’ lead back to 16.

He forced Raptors coach Nick Nurse to call his second to last timeout with four minutes left in the fourth.

It was Durant’s lightest workload of the season. He still played 38 minutes but they were low impact. He only took 10 shots and finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

The Nets built a lead as large as 36 and watched the Raptors whittle the deficit down to as little as seven in the final minute of the fourth quarter. It wasn’t a pretty finish but nothing has come easy for the Nets this season.

They have a chance to make it five in a row on Sunday, though they’ll have to go through last year’s Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics to get there.

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