COVID-19 has taken its toll. Now, people are getting back to some familiar routines from working to dining out. But new opening-up regulations don’t compel us to do so. Witness my haircut.

I, too, was getting scraggly. I had my last haircut on March 12. My particularly oily hair badly needed trimming. I can’t see my stylist, Regina, yet. But I have a pretty good substitute at home.

Monday, Carolyn cut my hair. Two weeks earlier, I’d ordered clippers with guides. Watched videos. (What isn’t on YouTube?) I relayed what I learned to Carolyn. She was a natural.

Okay, I prefer Regina cutting my hair. Pre-COVID, I visited her salon every four weeks. Looked great and maintained neat hair until next time. But during a pandemic, the “other woman” is your wife.

We set up in our bathroom. I covered myself with an old poncho. The fun began.

No, not that kind.

I attached the adjustable guide and set it to #10, the longest, to avoid mistakes. Then I started trimming the sides of my head to show Carolyn how the clippers work. Bingo, she was on it. Finished the sides and went to the back. Then the top. Fine-tuned with scissors. Used the clippers to clean my neck.

I admired her handiwork. Then I used the clippers to touch up a spot. Naturally, I cut a bit of a hole in my right side. Doesn’t look bad. Not too. No more of that. Why cut your own hair when you have a talented semi-pro at home?

Don’t think our relationship—in September we’ll be married 51 years—is a one-way street. Despite movie, TV and commercial production being shut down until today, June 12, Carolyn’s had more—I repeat, more—auditions than ever. All self-videoed or self-recorded. Audio, Carolyn handles in a studio set up in our guest room closet. A small closet. I put in the sound-dampening panels.

For videos, I usually get cinematography credit. Using Carolyn’s iPhone, I frame the shots, move the camera when needed and, on most occasions, feed her the other characters’ lines. I also offer tips on reads and pieces of business. Why not? I wrote, produced and/or directed a lot of radio and TV commercials in my day. Disclosure: That day is long past.

Another disclosure: Carolyn and I are not rushing into San Francisco’s reopening. I’ll be 76 in a month. My health is great, and I’m uncommonly fit for my age. But as a physician wrote a few months ago, organs that have been around for 76 years are 76 years old. Now, reports have emerged of a correlation between type A blood and higher COVID-19 death rates. No, correlation is not causation. Yes, I’m type A.

Fortunately, our lives are comfortable. I write. Carolyn takes online acting and singing classes, does auditions. We both watch TV and read. We also walk in nearby parks, take in fabulous views of the Pacific and Golden Gate. Mountain Lake is two blocks away. And we bring in meals from a great Turkish restaurant, Lokma, Clement and 19th Avenue.

If we’re cautious, you can understand. I’d like to be 77 in a year. Hopefully, I’ll celebrate with my favorite chocolate cake and a haircut outside the house.

To respond, click on “comments” to the right just below the title of this post. Then go to the response space at the bottom of the post.


  1. David Newman on June 12, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    The grim reality of Covid-19 is that little has changed since early Spring. Relatively few people have actually been infected, which means that the rest of us are still vulnerable. A vaccine is months or years away, and herd immunity will require at least ten times as many infections as have already happened. For those of us in the older cohort — with or without other factors — the risk calculation remains pretty much unchanged: necessary marketing, walks and curbside pickups are OK. Backyard meetups with a friend or two maybe. Larger groups, restaurant dining and recreational shopping — not so much. Sadly that means that in-person religious services are probably not on the near horizon. Thanks to Zoom for providing a decent substitute for congregating.

    I’m grateful for the freedom to choose exactly how to confront the pandemic. I’m retired and secure in every meaningful way. And I feel for those who don’t have that freedom. If, as Heschel says, some are guilty, but all are responsible, my responsibility is to share my good fortune with others. For us, that means, at a minimum, writing checks to food banks and other organizations that are helping people survive the pandemic.

    Finally, thanks again to the multi-talented Carolyn for her amazing masks. They are a critical part of our public-facing life and still get compliments from passers-by.

    • David on June 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      You have it just right, David.

  2. Jesse Fink on June 12, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Roberta cut my hair a month ago…no You Tube tutorial and it came out fine one day we can compare after the hair cuts have grown in. Here’s to our wives cutting our hair on our 77 & 78 th…..


    • David on June 12, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Jesse, I’m truly hoping Carolyn won’t be cutting my hair in a year. Wish I could predict that will happen. How fortunate we are to have wives who can handle the job.

  3. Ellen Newman on June 12, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    We asked our stylist if she’d give me a Zoom tutorial in real time, but both Kathy and David declined. So no craft project happening on Wawona. But I do have an appointment for the first day she’s back at work!

    • David on June 12, 2020 at 8:36 pm

      I believe salons open on July 13, Ellen. Glad you have an appointment.

  4. tracy on June 12, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    I was fortunate enough yesterday to be shorn by a professional in our home. MBZ finds the new ‘do excellent and she’s allowing me to keep the beard…for now.

    I agree with David, some are guilty but all are responsible. I am also giving to organizations who assist those who cannot help themselves. #blessed

    Gut Shabbos,


    • David on June 12, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Glad the haircut worked out, Tracy. I’m hoping that there’s a new awakening in this country.

    • David Newman on June 13, 2020 at 12:46 am

      Tracy, I wish I could take credit for something Heschel said. Actually, I wish I could take credit for anything Heschel said.

  5. Zoe Harris on June 13, 2020 at 4:02 am

    I really enjoyed this. Sounds like you and Carolyn are doing well in this crazy time. Love, Zoe

    • David on June 13, 2020 at 4:06 am

      We’re fortunate to be fine, Zoe. Hope you are, too.

  6. Marty on June 14, 2020 at 1:38 am

    Dear David,
    Really enjoyed your comments on”sheltering. Our situation is similar
    I wish I had the courage to do my own haircut. One of these days!!

    • David on June 14, 2020 at 4:43 am

      Well, Marty, I really didn’t do my own since I had Carolyn. Otherwise, I was prepared to cut it all off and let it grow back. As to back to “normal,” the new normal may last a while for us. Be well.

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