Richard Levitt: One Year Later

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It’s been almost a year since the first stay-at-home order, time enough for Richard Levitt to line up what he misses and doesn’t miss.

After nearly a year working at home and living in relative seclusion I’ve discovered something interesting. There are lots of things I do not miss.

More than anything, I do not miss traffic. On a recent Friday around 5 p.m., I drove from Oakland to San Francisco for take-out. Getting across the Bay Bridge took nine minutes. That has to be the least time possible. Legally, at least.

Just think about your last “normal” Friday commute.

I don’t miss glumly watching from an office window as that brief appearance of San Francisco sunshine gets swallowed by cold, wet fog.

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Or for that sake, never knowing whether to wear a T-shirt or parka.

I don’t miss having to be so many places. Offices, meetings, presentations, out for lunch, back from lunch, to the store, the gym, to dinner somewhere by eight.

Now I just hop online — make sure I’m wearing a different shirt than yesterday — and I’m set. None of the getting-there part. It’s liberating.

Or crowds. I don’t miss weaving up congested streets, pushing through packed BART stations or traversing crowded venues.

Well, I do miss the events which draw those crowds, the electric atmosphere. And the giddy excitement of sharing a moment.

I miss the diversions. I miss dropping into a restaurant or bar. The wonderful hubbub around Lake Merritt on a sunny Sunday. Picking out the perfect pair of shoes.

And I miss the people I care about. Clearly, I’m not the only one. A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News said the number-one thing we all miss are people: friends and family, colleagues, our favorite bartenders and shopkeepers.

But I tell you what: We’ll see each other soon. We’ll hang out, share a well-deserved embrace, a good laugh and a lovely meal. We’ll be happy and healthy.

Soon, I hope. Soon.

With a Perspective, I’m Richard Levitt.

Richard Levitt is an East Bay writer who teaches martial arts, yoga and creative problem solving.