What If Someone Stands Too Close?

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
The other day I ran into a friend at the grocery store. She has always been the type to get into your personal space when she speaks to you. When I see her, I am not surprised how close she stands to me when she is speaking. Even though we both had on masks, I still was uncomfortable with it. Not only that we could get one another sick if we have Coronavirus, but people are so judgmental these days, that I did not want anyone to stare me down. How do you politely tell someone that they are standing too close to you?

Dear K.B.,
There are and always will be people who get into other people’s personal space. Sometimes it is a cultural practice, or just how that person is socially. Whichever the case, during this time of Coronavirus we all have been told to social distance. If someone is standing too close to you, I would back up and say in a light-hearted voice something such as, “I would hate to give you the virus if I have it, so I am going to back up so we are six-feet apart. So I hope you hear me while I am way back here.” If you say it in a tone of voice that it not serious, I am sure the person will not take offense, but will get the message. If the person inches back towards you, say that you enjoyed seeing them, and you will call them to catch-up some more.