LIFE DURING THE PANDEMIC: Observations by Mimi Levitan

June 18, 2020


Editor's Note: This column is a new feature for the Chapter newsletter, to share experiences from our members as they cope with work and life during the Pandemic. If you'd like to share your own experience, email


ATTENTION, K-MART SHOPPERS! OK, probably not too many in this group, but now that I have your attention, let’s discuss.... 


Where to start? First, certainly hoping that all of you out there in Covid-Land remain healthy, or at least have recovered from this dreaded virus. I sadly “know too many people who know people,” as I suspect that many of us do. Stay positive, my friends (not that kind of positive). This too shall pass, and as we gratefully find ourselves in this new normal, we will march on. We will move forward with more positivity, inner strength, and a stronger sense of what is important. 


The daily reality of our present state has been interesting, to say the least. My daughter, age 27, has been with me for over 3 months. Although she could go back to her place, she is not working and prefers my company. A blessing and a curse? I need a medal. I love her, and will probably love her more when I “shoo” her goodbye. One of us is OCD, the other, not so much. (I’m being kind.) One of us talks a lot, the other has been summoned to listen. All the time. I know, most of you are shocked that I am not the one doing all of the talking. I cannot be alone, a parent who became an empty nester many moons ago? It’s exhausting when they return home. Dare I discuss the mess in the kitchen??? Small NYC kitchens get very messy very quickly. I am cooking more (aren’t we all?) and getting healthy by not inviting pizza and ice cream into my home (to dare to dream). This constant cooking only strengthens my desire for take-out, and the anticipation of the outside dining 6 feet apart experience. Note...While viewing our dear Kent B’s FB food posts, I drool and will hold him hostage when we are out of this quarantine, to plump me up with one of his creations. I digress.... I am thankful. For my daughter (my son is in SF at the present time), good health, and the good fortune to have been holed up in 850 SF. Which has a crack in the bathroom ceiling (since when?) quite a few floorboards that are loose (really?) a slipcovered sofa (white) that now hosts several shades of food groups. Along with numerous other casualties that I have previously dared to live with and tried not to notice pre-Covid. I sense I need to hire a designer to take care of this nonsense. Oh, right, that might be me. I am starting to get a bit busy with projects, but curious as to why it now takes 8 hours to accomplish something that normally takes only 2. Luxury of time or minimal motivation. It won’t be easy getting back into the swing of things. I know that I am fortunate, and continue to remind myself that I work best with too much to do, in an organized yet frenzied fashion 

My sense of humor is not lost during this time (seems we need it most right now), but I really am enjoying this opportunity to regroup. I oddly and honestly look at this as a gift (a strange one, to say the least). Finally got my website updated. Not without a few choice words at the computer ...couldn’t be me, right? Speaking more on the phone with old friends, and other phone calls that nurture my newer friendships are extremely gratifying. Zooming or Facetiming with some that I might not ever. Passover Seder, though seemingly so long ago, was interesting and wonderful, all rolled into one. How fortunate that we can do this? And how fortunate that 27-year-old noted above helps her mother with technology (eye-ball roll included). 


We continue to look forward to both the little things and the big things. Manicure (I’ve managed). Pedicure. Help. Hair? Call of the Wild (though I am scheduled for this week...take pity on my hairdresser). I miss and look forward to lunch with my friends, a meeting with a contractor and a client. I oddly look forward to spending the day with the fresh paint on my shirt because I don’t pay attention even when told to do so. Construction dust on everything I own. Travel with friends, near and far (we are already daydreaming, passport up for renewal, and I have been told the car will be gassed up and ready to go). Missing the delightful smells of the city (sarcasm intended) mixed with the fresh smells of Spring from daily extended walks that don’t always happen often enough. I love the 7 pm sounds of clanging pots and honking of horns and clapping and woo-hooing from my neighborhood streets and windows. Though the noise is less than several months ago, it is still something I look forward to, and am very thankful to all of those that have sacrificed to keep the rest of us comfortable. I have made a new “friend,” the lady across the street in a second-floor apartment. We wave each day, we “thumbs up” as a signal that everything will be alright. 

It is close to 7 pm as I close this commentary. I am ready to start clapping at my window. I leave you with the anticipation that we will all see one another soon, that we will be deliriously happy to be reunited and filled with stories describing this time that we all a distance in miles, but always close at heart. Stay safe, and countdown knowing we will be together again, very soon. Miss you, my friends! 



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