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May 13, 2020

The great thing about having a small house is that it’s easy to clean top to bottom and we don’t need a lot of furniture. Our just-over-1,000-square-foot three-bedroom wood-framed California Bungalow built in 1906 is, in a word, a powerhouse. Tightly constructed with termite-resistant redwood, it has withstood (knock on wood) several earthquakes. I dreaded the day the bathroom was gutted for a remodel, afraid to see rotted wood. Instead, the gorgeous wood (it’s really red) was absolutely pristine.

But the drawback of our cottage of a house is limited storage and closet space. That’s why I subscribe to the “If you haven’t worn it in a year, give it away” club. The clothes in Louie’s closet and mine would fill one rack of the average walk-in closet. And Jacqueline would make Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo proud as she spends safer at home time getting rid of unused items if they “don’t bring us joy,” one of Ms. Kondo’s mantras. Now I know how happy my mother must have been when I used to completely organize her kitchen cupboards making sure every item was neatly lined up with labels facing forward – like grocery store shelves. The apple never falls far from the tree, right?

Now that the initial shock of Covid-19 is behind us, I am hoping that people will accept that, until a vaccine is found, the coronavirus will be around for a while. And for those griping about face masks, demanding that life return to normal and screaming that their personal freedoms have been taken away, they really need to take their complaints to the Covid stalkers.

We will have to make the most of, well, everything. Hat racks will have to make room for masks. Grocery shopping is less stressful as we now let non-perishable items from the market sit outside for a few days to let virus cooties die on their own before bringing them into the house. And when we step outside our front gate, we automatically don our face masks. Most of all, we stay close to home and take healthy walks every day (one of the best exercises ever, according to a recent Harvard study).

Here in Los Angeles, coronavirus numbers are dictating that we might have to brace for an extended stay-at-home order – through August. Sadly, L.A. is a persistent hotspot and I’m glad Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is putting the people’s health first.

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