Household Services during Covid

Parent Q&A

Exercise options Nov 5, 2020 (10 responses below)
Haircutter that comes to home Jul 26, 2020 (6 responses below)
Photographer for Porch Session May 28, 2020 (6 responses below)
Veterinarian that does home visits Apr 10, 2020 (2 responses below)
Virtual interior design Apr 2, 2020 (1 responses below)
House cleaner and COVID-19 Mar 15, 2020 (29 responses below)
  • Exercise options

    (10 replies)

    I have previously been a very active member of the Berkeley Y and have loved their in person zumba and spin classes. Since March I've been taking long walks in the  hills for exercise.  But, now that the days are getting shorter, I'm afraid that's not going to be an option.  I'm wondering what other people in the Berkeley area are doing.  Unfortunately I have RA, which results in my not being able to run.  I tried an outdoor spin class at a local spin studio wasn't for me.  I am open to outdoor exercise classes that don't have too much running, etc.  Weights are also probably not that great for me.  I looked at the Berkeley pools but it seems that it's very competitive to schedule time in a lane. I thought about getting an exercise bike and doing spin classes from my phone but we are very limited on space, which also makes it difficult for me to do zoom exercise classes.  I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions?

    RE: Exercise options ()

    I love my personal rebounder (trampoline). It's quiet, inexpensive, can be stored against the wall behind the couch, and provides as much or as little of a workout as you want. 

    RE: Exercise options ()

    I've really enjoyed doing the BollyX dance workouts available on YouTube during these past 6 months - I only have about a 5x6' space to work in, but it's enough. I love that their instructors have a variety of body types and an apparent sense of humor, and there's almost always a low-impact option shown. Plus the music and dance moves are a lot of fun!

    RE: Exercise options ()

    Carah, the excellent zumba instructor from the Y, offers zoom classes on this platform - I also have a small space and I am able to do it.  Bonus if you were a regular Y goer you will see many familiar faces!  Another option is to get a trainer for your bike rather than a whole separate spin bike - this is what my husband does on days he can't bike outside.  Best of luck - I miss the Y too!

  • Haircutter that comes to home

    (6 replies)

    I really messed up my 10 yr old son's fade. The guard fell off the clippers while I was cutting his hair and now there's a white spot on his head. Whoops! Needless to say my son will not let me near his hair now. Does anyone know of an experienced hair stylist who does at-home hair appointments? I AM DESPERATE.

    RE: Haircutter that comes to home ()

    Perhaps this is the time to let him pick out whatever cap or hat he’s been dreaming about while the hair grows back. 

    RE: Haircutter that comes to home ()

    My hairdresser lives in Oakland and I live in Berkeley, not far from the salon where he works, though it's closed. About a month ago I arranged for him to come and give me a cut and color in the back yard, and to make it worth his while I arranged for three friends/neighbors to get haircuts as well. He's very good, not cheap at $65 for a cut and no discounts for kids. If you're interested I'll put you in touch. 

    RE: Haircutter that comes to home ()

    Hi. We love our hairdresser, April Antz. She will come to you. She has been our family’s hairdresser for 15 years. Miracle worker. 
    510-384-9613. Give her a call!

    April’s salon, Bias is her own Black owned business. 

  • Photographer for Porch Session

    (6 replies)

    Seeking recommendations for a local photographer who is currently doing "porch sessions" (family stands on the front porch; photographer takes photos from >6ft away). Preferably someone in the Easy Bay (Berk/Albany/EC).


    RE: Photographer for Porch Session ()

    Check out Rhea at Halona Photography ( She's an amazing photographer that did our newborn photos for our third kid and they came out beautifully. She isn't formally offering porch sessions though we were just emailing about it this week. She is Oakland based but works in the greater East Bay, I believe.

    RE: Photographer for Porch Session ()

    Yes! We recently did that. His name is Rhett Jones and he is fantastic! He is from Oakland and you will not be disappointed. Here is his information:

    Good luck-

    RE: Photographer for Porch Session ()

    Celia Catalano is great and has started doing porch sessions. We've done 3 or 4 minj sessions with her over the last couple years and have gotten some treasured images.

  • Veterinarian that does home visits

    (2 replies)

    I'm looking for a vet that can visit my home in Berkeley and check on my cat and give vaccinations. Thanks.

    Hi there, I doubt that vets will be making home visits during this shelter-in-place order, unless it's an emergency. But if you are concerned about going to the vet's office, they are considered essential and most are open and taking appropriate precautions. I took my cat to Berkeley Cat & Dog for tests a couple weeks ago and the way they do it is the masked & gloved technician comes out and gets your pet from you (you stay in your car), and takes it in to the vet. Then the vet calls you on your cell to discuss things while he or she is examining. Any vaccinations or tests are performed and the office staff calls to go over the bill and takes payment info from you. Finally your pet is brought back out to you. It worked well for me and my cat. Good luck with yours!

    I think the vets are mostly still open.  We had a dog emergency last week where our young dog suddenly started limping and we called the vet (VCA on Shattuck in Oakland) and they had us come on in. They came out to the car to get the dog while we waited in the parking lot. The dog was x-rayed, got some cortisone and pain meds, and everything worked out fine!

  • Virtual interior design

    (1 reply)

    My parents are hoping to redesign their living room around a few anchor pieces (family art and a grand piano). I’m looking for a designer who would work with them to design the space according to their specifications (eg price, ease of cleaning furniture since they have very young grandkids). Any suggestions for local people who are affordable and talented at designing attractive spaces that are pleasant to actually live in (not just photograph!)? Any experiences with national services like Modsy?

    RE: Virtual interior design ()

    I highly recommend Dee Cherix at Bleu Leman design. She is very talented, easy to work with, and reasonably priced. Her work has made a huge difference in my house! (making sheltering in place much more pleasant than it would have otherwise been!)

  • House cleaner and COVID-19

    (29 replies)

    With social distancing, we are realizing we need to tell the cleaning lady not to come. 

    We are wondering what other people are doing in terms of their pay.

    I feel bad that they aren’t earning wages but with no end in sight and our business’ revenue being severely impacted, we can’t afford to keep paying the lady while she does not perform work. 

    I was thinking of letting her know that I will pay her   for one week and let her know that we will pause until the authorities state it is safe to engage in social interaction again.

     Looking forward to hearing how others are handling this. 

    RE: House cleaner and COVID-19 ()

    I intend to keep paying my housekeeper every week even though she is now prevented from leaving her home to work at my home.  My husband and I are both being paid while we work at home, and it doesn't seem fair to take away the housekeeper's pay when she has no other recourse.  She has bills to pay too. What is she going to do?

    I think all of us who can afford in-home services like housekeepers and nannies have a duty to keep paying them, especially if we ourselves are still being paid by our employers. If the fairness argument doesn't work for you, consider that a good housekeeper is hard to find, and if you cut her off now, you might not get her back after this is all over.

    RE: House cleaner and COVID-19 ()

    We’re cutting other more “frivolous” expenses before we get to the housekeeper. We’re going to pay her and not have her come for at least a month. After that we will revisit the decision but will try to continue paying her as long as we’re not going into debt.

    As much as this could hit our finances, we have an emergency fund and can “afford” it. Our housekeeper is a low wage gig worker who will be hurting much more than us without the income.

    RE: House cleaner and COVID-19 ()

    I am the original poster writing to clarify that I am self-employed and currently experiencing dramatic reduction in revenue and faced with the grim reality of running out of rainy day fund in 3 months and not being able to make mortgage payment. 

    I am kicking myself for deciding to start a business recently. I wish I had the protection of continued payment from an employer or unemployment benefits.