‘It Took a Pandemic’: What WeHo’s Barbara Meltzer Is Learning from COVID-19

EDITOR’S NOTE: WEHOville is inviting readers to share, in words and photos, how they are enjoying life (and perhaps breaking through the “social distancing” barrier while maintaining the “physical distancing” requirement) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s post begins with a moving essay by Barbara Meltzer, whose Barbara Meltzer and Associates is a PR and marketing firm and who is known for her service on senior advisory boards and commissions, including that of the City of West Hollywood. Meltzer wrote this essay as part of a homework assignment for the Wallis’ ‘Staged Stories’ writing workshop. Following it are images from West Hollywood residents who are finding ways to connect socially while keeping a safe physical distance.

It Took a Pandemic

•It took a pandemic for me to see how many people truly care about me.

•It took a pandemic to finally understand, and own, that being the quiet one in the room (or on ZOOM) is okay. Those follow-up emails with thoughts and ideas are just fine.

Barbara Meltzer (Photo by Brooke Mason)

•It took a pandemic to make me realize how hard Joe works to clean my apartment. I had to text him to learn which of the products to use for each part of my home.

•It took a pandemic to give me a greater awareness of my age, as I have been placed in the “vulnerable” demographic thereby moved, for the time being, from an active helper to a helpee.

•It took a pandemic to wash that man right out of my hair…. well almost

•It took a pandemic for me to truly understand and take pride in my resourcefulness.

•It took a pandemic for me to also truly understand how important it is for me to learn the intricacies of ZOOM. Resourcefulness requires that.

•It took a pandemic for me to finally believe in my heart and in my soul, that it’s okay to be really good at some things, just okay at others and simply not okay at the rest.

— Barbara Meltzer, April 2020

We will update these photos and stories very few days. As noted earlier, we won’t allow negative comments on them, but readers are free to share their appreciation. When the government lifts (or significantly modifies) the social distancing requirement, we will ask our readers to choose the photo and/or story they liked most. The person who shared the most popular photo or story will get a $200 prize. That’s not a lot, but maybe enough to help pay the rent or buy some groceries for a neighbor in need. That vote will occur no later than June 15, even if the social distancing rules aren’t lifted by then

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Karen Eyres
Karen Eyres
2 months ago

Beautifully written. Barbara!

Leslie K
Leslie K
2 months ago

Love it!

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
2 months ago

Thanks for sharing, Barbara! That’s a beautiful essay.

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