• Jody Kussin

#55 Family Matters Phase Two

In These Times by Dr. Jody Kussin, May 8, 2020

Life in the nest. Feeling smaller and smaller. More and more confined. From sweet cozy spot to overcrowded falling apart at the seams site. We are purportedly coming toward some changes, so let’s help everyone survive until then. Grownups – focus – kids are ALMOST done with school. Do NOT overwhelm them now with tasks outside ‘finish the semester/term.’ No studying for SAT and ACT. No practicing for the Olympics games. No new diet, exercise regime, required hour a day facetiming with grandma. Let’s just help them get it done. (We’ll likely have a long summer for all those other tasks – don’t worry – time is still going to be available to us, even in the next phase!)

Probably good we are headed to transitioning – not sure to where – but – the times, they are a changing….

Which makes me wonder, speaking of changes - who was on the committee to choose what opens first? What was that process? It seems like the list publicized is somewhat bizarre and includes a list of fairly obscure establishments in our area.

Bookstores?!! How many bookstores do we even have left? Is that what we’re clamoring for? Toy stores?!? Since the demise of Toys R Us, I’d bet we have fewer toy stores than bookstores.

(I’m surprised they did not include “Jewelry stores carrying only items over $500,000” and perhaps “Pet stores illegally selling tiger cubs rescued from Joe Exotic/Tiger King.” How did those not make the cut?)

I am not a scientist and cannot offer an opinion on our next steps. I can tell you that the patients I see are having a harder and harder time, and their parents are at the brink of snapping or cracking or popping – and not from making their 19th batch of Rice Krispy treats shaped as the virus. I’m not sure being able to pick up shorts curbside at Old Navy will help them. I’m also pretty sure that increasing risk for additional cases and potentially higher numbers of death won’t help anyone either.

I think the re-opening of trails and beaches is a great idea and I’d recommend that every Angeleno get out of the house. Golf courses, meh.

MUSIC STORES?!?! Really!? Is this pertinent or helpful to any one other than our locals like Jackson Browne, Dawes, or the Jonas Brothers? How many people are jonesing for a new guitar? And car dealerships and showrooms? Are we expecting a rush of people purchasing new vehicles right now?!?! Truly? I’ve polled my family and pals to see what they’d like opened and here is their list, IF these things can be classified into the same riskiness as the aforementioned approved sites. The top there are: dog groomers, day care centers, doggy day care centers. The next top three are hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons. Of course, bars are in their own category, despite the entrepreneurs who have started all the mobile alcohol enterprises (ice cream truck + Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville…. yummmmmmmm.)

I’ve also polled ‘my kids.’ The littles want to see grandma and have a hug from their teacher and have playdates with friends. The middles want to be able to hang out without grownups around, scrolling through their social media and saying, ‘can you beLIEVE that s/he said that?!’ The teens want to not have any more projects, essays, tests, APs, finals or poems they are required to memorize. They are tired of ‘make a video tape of you teaching us how to bake, in Spanish, or French, or Japanese, and then play it on our zoom call next week.’

And EVERYONE wants some privacy. Lots and lots of privacy.

Phase Two – here we go. Keep your seat belts buckled. We have a long way to go and traffic is gonna be back before you know it.

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