The Positives and Negatives of Being Stuck at Home in LA

Michael Reagan, What’s the use of living in sunny L.A.?

It’s bad enough that it has been raining for what seems like months.

Now I have a mayor, Eric Garcetti, telling me I’m not even allowed to go out of my house on Easter weekend.

Garcetti has been holding daily press conferences to update the local battle with the coronavirus and to scare us into obeying his stricter mitigation edicts like we’re his misbehaving children.

He’s just told me if I go grocery shopping this weekend, I’m going to die.

If I go to a park this weekend, I’m going to die.

If I go out of my house this weekend, I’m going to die.

And if I don’t follow the city’s “guidelines” and wear a mask or a bandana when I shop, I’m going to kill people.

Give me a break.

Just about everything that makes life worth living is already closed. Now Garcetti has ordered grocery stores and everything else that’s still open to close Easter Saturday and Sunday.

I understand we have to keep our social distance, wash our hands and do the right things to stop the spread.

But Garcetti’s press conferences are so negative they make me want to climb up on my roof and jump.

Already I can’t see my grandkids except on Facetime. I can’t get a haircut. I can’t play golf. I can’t get a massage. I can’t go to church – even on Easter Sunday.

What’s worse is that everyone in authority is so negative. It’s all pain and sacrifice and what you can’t do, not what you can do.

The only glimmer of hope I found this week that had anything to do with the coronavirus was contained in what my daughter Ashley wrote on my Facebook page.

Ashley is a kindergarten teacher in the San Fernando Valley. Also speaking for some of her fellow teachers, she thinks that young children whose formal classroom educations have been disrupted by the virus might be able to learn some valuable life lessons while they are stuck at home.

Here’s what she wrote:

“What if???” by Ashley Reagan

If school reopens May 1, students would have been out for over six weeks.

If school doesn’t resume until fall, they would have missed two and a half months of classroom education.

Many parents and educators are rightly concerned about students falling behind if they have to stay home during the coronavirus crisis.

But what if …

What if instead of falling “behind,” these kids are ADVANCED because of their long break from school?

What if they learn to have more empathy, enjoy their family connections more and be more creative?

What if they learn to entertain themselves and learn to love reading and expressing themselves in writing?

What if they learn to enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet?

What if they notice birds building their nests, the dates when different flowers emerge and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?

What if they learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry and keep a well-run home?

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live better with less – the practical economic education that is so lacking in the U.S.?

What if they learn to plan shopping trips and eat healthy meals at home?

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?

What if they are the generation who learn to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians and health care workers and their supporting staff?

What if among these children whose education has been disrupted, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?

What if when they return to school they are, in reality, AHEAD?

Happy Easter.