Today is March 14, “Pi day”. I think of this same day 10 years prior. We were returning to Boston from a friend’s wedding in San Antonio and routed through O’Hare on a then-cancelled flight. With a free night in the Chicago area, we took the Blue line into the city to meet a couple friends in their drafty old house for a wide variety of homemade pie: savory veggie quiche with a parmesan crust, blueberry crumble, apple lattice crust pie, maybe a beer to wash it all down. We laughed at the circumstances that brought us together before an even later-night trip back towards the airport and an early flight back to Boston (routed through Indianapolis where I almost missed the flight due to a security checkpoint issue, but that’s another story). Social spontaneity.
Now, March 14, 2020. There’s a virus, COVID-19, spreading globally that the medical community is beginning to research more. A relative returning from vacation is in questionable quarantine at Travis AFB. We’re all staying home to prevent the spread of illness and working remotely if possible. Social interactions today have been over text, WhatsApp calls, and literal cheers across fire escapes. Church will be over Zoom videoconferencing. Theaters, the Opera, the Symphony are closed. Trader Joe’s is low on food staples. We’re thinking about what to do with a trip to Australia in 6 weeks. I miss the spontaneous gathering 10 years back but hope we can return the favor to friends who came to our rescue with a rescheduled Pi day dinner in our kitchen.