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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: It’s taking a pandemic for Angelenos to learn how to live locally

Children during the coronavirus pandemic
Children wearing face masks play in the streets of Redondo Beach during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In the days after California’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 19, we started taking walks around the neighborhood to get a reprieve from the house and the headlines. At first the neighborhood seemed no different than when we had walked around pre-pandemic. (“California won’t be lifting coronavirus stay-at-home rules anytime soon. Here’s why,” April 8)

As the days progressed, we started seeing more people — not just the usual dog walkers, but entire families. Then came the chalk. Every block started to proliferate with sidewalk chalk art in front of the houses where children lived.

We had no idea there were so many families in our own neighborhood. We now see more fathers walking with their children during the day, and it is clear that the dads taking a break from work to stroll around the neighborhood are enjoying themselves just as much as the their kids are. Pre-pandemic, these families were no doubt busy shuttling kids from one event to the other.

Something good must ameliorate the pain of this pandemic. Perhaps more people are learning to live locally and celebrate the greatness that exists within the neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

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Soon we will be back to crisscrossing the region for our jobs and events. When that time happily returns, hopefully we will not forget how to live locally, enjoying our neighborhoods and the neighbors who live in them, with us.

Nancy and Ryan Aubry, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Every Tuesday morning, a familiar sound is heard in the background: click, dump, bang.

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Essential workers rolling their trucks along the streets collecting trash. Click, dump, bang.

Maestros perched high in city vehicles, restoring order. Click, dump, bang.

Music to my ears.

Jann Jaskol, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: As Southern Californians struggle with COVID-19 and also gray skies and frequent rains (which we need, of course), depression and “cabin fever” may be settling within.

Well, I’ve found an antidote: jumping jacks.

They’re not to hard to do. They won’t take up too much of your time. Do them inside. Do them outside. Do them in the backyard. With your kids. Do them “singing in the rain.”

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It’s fun. It’s healthful (with a cleansing daily shower included).

Norman Zangl, Burbank

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To the editor: We’ve been here before, with America living through days of grief and fear as a vicious epidemic rages through our land.

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Before we called it polio, and we watched as beloved friends and family members were entombed in iron lungs. Too many never emerged from them.

Today, right now, we still have “miles to go before we sleep.” But America has been here before, and as then, we’ll come back again determined and strong.

Jacqueline Kerr, Los Feliz

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To the editor: I’ve just reread Albert Camus’ “The Plague” (I know, I’m a masochist), which I first read in college but did not fully appreciate.

Camus’ work offers strikingly prescient analyses of not only the past and current pandemics, but a future of repeated similar events that, unfortunately, will occur so long as we inhabit the planet. Camus identifies the stages that humankind undergoes during the onslaught — denial, fear, reckoning, acceptance and, at long last, hope. His prediction of repeated pandemics is chilling.

The real question I have is whether we, as a society, will learn from the tragedy. Based on current events, I have my doubts.

Elliott Mercer, Newport Beach


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