Has it really only been a month since this “new normal” of staying at home has been in effect? In a way it feels like a lot longer but, on the other hand, it also feels as though it was only yesterday when we were out to dinner with friends. I think about that night now (March 10. Madeo in Beverly Hills) and realize that was the last time we’ll be able to say we were at a restaurant without really worrying about waiters getting too close or kids sneezing a few tables away. There were no masks or gloves or anxiety about getting sick. In a way it has become like the last time we flew before 9/11, before all the post 9/11 measures were put into place. Our children will be able to tell their grandchildren about what life was like before the pandemic of 2020. They’ll recall times when they could hang out with friends in big groups or go to packed food courts at the mall. They’ll remember with fondness how fun Dodgers Stadium was on Opening Day with 55,000 other people clamoring to get in to watch the game. They’ll talk about being in a crowded classroom or bus or all the parties we used to have at the house and no one was in a mask unless it was Halloween. Not sure when or if life will return to what we knew pre pandemic days or how indelible an imprint the memories from these weeks/months in quarantine will make. Yes, there are plenty of moments when we get on each other’s nerves. There are times we each need to retreat to separate, private areas of the house just to catch a glorious moment of quiet. We worry about too much screen time for the youngest one, wondering if his brilliant little mind is slowly just eroding away. But then we rationalize that playing a game keeps him a) safe and b) engaged with so many friends he misses. We worry about getting sick while missing our parents and siblings and friends we can only interact with through Zoom. I’m missing Open Houses and showings and shaking hands with clients. And, of course, there is the underlying concern about the real estate market in general. Obviously now is a tense time; but once the stay-at-home orders get lifted and the economy reopens, I’m confident buyers and sellers will resume healthy transactions. I’m projecting about a month from now is when the best deals are to be had. For all the negatives swirling around us right now, there are plenty of positives to this quarantine, too. My 15 year old is learning how to drive with virtually no traffic. There is virtually no traffic! The air quality is impeccable. We haven’t had to set an alarm clock in months. There is no arguing over who has to pick up which kid from which practice at whatever terrible rush hour time of day. There is no rush hour time of day! We’ve labored over puzzles and laughed hysterically trying to make sense of them. Every late afternoon we head up to our upstairs balcony and chat with neighbors and friends walking by below. We’ve been given the gift of extra time with our boys who will one day leave home. We are living through history unfolding before our eyes. And despite all the things we are currently doing without, the one thing we do have besides our health (knock wood) is our neighborhood. Just knowing that we are going through it together as a community helps ease the tensions just a little bit. I wish I could give credit to the neighbors who put up the message we are using for our cover photo this month but I don’t know who is responsible. I do hope you are reading this so you know it is very much appreciated. Not only is it beautiful, heartfelt and true but it is also a great reminder that we are indeed lucky to have each other and yes, we will get through it together. Thank you for doing it and I hope you, your loved ones and all of our shared community continues to stay safe and healthy. Be well!