Pi Day – Not!


One year ago on the day before Pi Day, I read an online column in which I saw the “flatten the curve” phrase for the first time. Even though only one person had told me that they were going to skip the Pi Day party due to covid-19.  But after reading that column, I realized that I needed to get onboard immediately and I started calling and texting people, letting them know I was cancelling.

Like everyone else, I was thinking that we’d have a couple of bad months and then get back on track, so I kept all my Pi Day organizational materials: the list of ingredients that I had bought (and hopefully wlll need to buy again), my timing spreadsheet with what time various pies have to go in the oven and what temperature they need (sorted by temperature, of course) and the little placecards with all the pie names.  All these items are in the drawer in the living room and I see them occasionally and sigh.  And now it’s been a second Pi Day with no festivities in the house. 

Not entertaining has been a huge hit for me during pandemic.  I entertain a lot and I miss it a lot.  You all know that I try to keep my expectations low, so I’m hoping that I’ll eventually be able to have Pi Day fun at my place, but I’m not making plans.  And that’s made me think about other changes that I’ve made that may or may not be permanent. 

I am spending WAY more time texting and emailing than I used to.  I’m spending way too much time farting around on my phone.  I’m doing my Italian lesson (also on my phone) every day – I’m on a 310 day streak and I doubled my lesson time about 4 months back.  For the first time in decades I am hitting the gym more than 12 times a month (masked, sanitized and socially distant).  Pre-pandemic I used to follow several blogs, a couple of chefs, several science sites, husky dogs; I’ve quit following all of them and only occasionally check them out – usually if they pop up in my feed.  Last summer I sent thank you cards to people with great gardens that I encountered while walking the dog.  I’ve started sending birthday cards to people on a Facebook group of stampers – complete strangers and I increased the cards that I made for charity.  Way more gardening and more jigsaw puzzles.

I don’t which of these habits will continue if and when we get past pandemic.  I hope to keep all the good changes (reaching out)  and jettison the bad ones (phone games) and I hope like heck that I eventually get to celebrate Pi Day with my friends and loved ones.  Maybe Pi and a Half Day? 

How has pandemic changed you?  Do you think some of your changes will continue?

42 thoughts on “Pi Day – Not!”

  1. I was one of those who recommended this topic, so now I’m stuck trying to answer the question. My problem is that the pandemic is one big factor in my life happening while other factors are also affecting me. What are they? Moving to a senior community, poverty, Trump and the ageing process. Frankly, all those influences have had more impact than the pandemic, especially Trump (by moving into my head and then by leaving it).

    The first impact of the pandemic was the discovery–the shock, if you will–of learning how little face-to-face contact I need with others. I used to think I’m an introvert. Turns out I’m a raging introvert.

    Like vs, I’m making up for the loss of society by jacking up my use of the internet, YouTube, email and the telephone. I basically hate the telephone, but during the pandemic I’ve almost made my peace with phones. Email friends and this group are much more important now.

    I’m more emotionally fragile. I’ve become addicted to happy endings and sure things. I used to watch sports for recreation. Now my dread of a bad result is so strong I mostly avoid sports until I can watch reruns of games that turned out well. Movies and novels that present stress are now so frightening I mostly avoid them. I cry more frequently and can be triggered by sillier events than before.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I hadn’t thought about the wanting more happy endings. But I think that’s a little true of me as well. In fact this morning I was listening to a book on tape and I had known through the whole book that this scene was coming but I didn’t like it and I didn’t want it and I thought about fast forwarding through that section. Turned out to be a happier ending than I had expected considering the build up. And wanting happy endings may be why I watched a whole string of hallmark mysteries yesterday and last night.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That isn’t entirely my observation, vs. Time magazine’s film critic (a former Minnesotan) has written about how people are turning to Rom-coms and even Hallmark Hall movies. I’m proud to note I haven’t sunk to that yet, but I’ve been tempted. In one sense, the pandemic hit at a bad time. My football team had a season that ranged from pathetic to effin’ awful. Yesterday the Timberwolves broke a nasty string of home court losses. I’ll watch film of that game today, confident it will turn out well!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. This year has been so full of changes for me at work-new building, new Regional Director, new treatment philosophy, new electronic record system-all those changes will remain after the pandemic is over.

    I, too, have trouble with movies and fiction and I need happy endings. We bake more now. We never went out to eat much before the pandemic, and I doubt we will very much after it is over. We rarely travel, except to see our children. I hope we can safely fly to Tacoma this summer. We shall see. Fargo used to be our go-to place for exotic food stuffs, but no more. Now I order far more on-line.

    I heard this weekend from my best friend in Howard Lake that her only sister died from Covid last Friday. That was a shock, and a stark reminder this isn’t over yet.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. farm is quite a metropolis compared when i was born there
        everything from my childoood is still exactly as i remember it but the main town now is the ring of sprawl since
        west acres was new stuff and the pete dye golf course (oxbow) couldn’t get anyone to come out because it was so far out
        now it’s in town


  3. The two big hits for me were the loss of music activities and travel. Up until mid-March of last year I was rehearsing with middle school choirs four to five times a week for several hours at a time. Add in a Monday early evening children’s choir rehearsal along with Thursday night church choir rehearsal and my calendar was quite full. I spent lots of time at the piano. I also had two domestic and two international trips planned for 2020. I did get to take the trip to Tucson in February but since then have only been out of the Cities briefly three times. I will resume travel once it is safe enough. So far one of the trips has been rescheduled for December of this year. And the trip originally planned for April of 2020 will be re-scheduled, hopefully for March or April 2022. My sister and I still have airplane credit for a trip to visit our sister and niece in the DC area. We’d like to do that trip sometime this summer (before the credit expires) but we’ll see how the vaccination effort is playing out and how the pandemic numbers look. Music-wise, I will most likely not return to the middle school choir program. There is a different teacher now and she has her own accompanist. And really, after 17 years of volunteering countless hours, I am ready to step back. One surprising thing was that I thought I would still sit at the piano and re-learn much of the classical repertoire I had been taught in lessons during my school days and also play popular music just for fun. That never happened – instead I read a ton of books, went for a ton of walks, and did numerous jigsaw puzzles. I do need to get back to the piano before I forget how to play! I will continue to read (it’s one of my great passions) and enjoy the outdoors but the puzzles are going to be stored away until next winter.

    One pleasant result of the pandemic has been greatly increased social time with a group of people who have been friends since our college days. We kept in touch and gathered intermittently while pursuing our careers, raising kids, vacationing, etc. Then about 12 years ago we made an effort to get together at least once or twice a year. During this pandemic, we have been getting together either distanced outside or via Zoom at least twice a month – currently weekly on Zoom. That has turned out to be quite a blessing.

    What I am most eager to resume is going inside my sister’s house – has been a whole year now. We have done walks or been in her yard but I really miss playing and cuddling with her 3 cats. Hopefully they haven’t forgotten me by now.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. K— I’m sure you’re all over this but as someone who works in the travel industry, please be careful about those airline credits. The airlines are making changes every day right now and a lot of them are jumping on the hopeful bandwagon as fast as they can and I’m expecting going forward that they’re going to start being a lot less flexible than they have been the last year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. VS – in addition to Delta, I have travel credit with Jet Blue. I am very aware of the potential to lose them or at least to be less flexible in using them so this week I am checking on the status of both of them.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. We have 6-8 choir members at church who sing while socially distanced and masked. The choir used to have about 20 members. Yesterday we sang Poor Man Lazarus, which is a fun acapella song. We have continued our bell choir while playing masked in the balcony instead at the front of the church. None of us have become ill. We have a sizable congregation, and we have had maybe one covid related funeral in the past year. On the Wednesday of Holy week we are singing a contemporary Easter cantata by Pepper Choplin with members of the community, mainly from the LDS Church. We rehearse socially distanced and masked. Music is one thing that hasn’t gone away for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, the covid disaster has affected me. Substitute “year” for “week”.
    Looks like I picked the wrong year to retire. All dressed up with no place i can go.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That’s me and my earring problem. No place to go but in the last 12 months I have acquired and/or made at least eight pairs of earrings. Why?

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m more stressed than at any time in my life other than my last few years of teaching back in the early 80s. Aging is also eating more at me either as I struggle to simply maintain what abilities I have (fighting the losing battle against eventually growing old and dying).

    My writing has suffered (slowed down) since the fun began last year. My wife’s stressing over politics and Covid and everything else added to my stress because I want to shake some sense into her and tell her to turn off the damn TV and get a life. Actually thought about taking a baseball bat to the damn set more than once.

    And thanks to the added stress, I’m getting frequent headaches from jaw clenching and teeth grinding, and my tinnitus has notched up a level to quite distracting during most of the day. THAT starts a spiral downward of stress aggravation symptoms; increasing stress; further aggravating symptoms, etc, etc.

    But golf season is just around the corner! 🙂 OH wait, no never mind, forgot, It’s March in MN. Expecting 5-6 inches of snow today.

    . . . .

    Serenity now, serenity now. 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    (and I started seriously planning my first BWCAW trip of the year last night. Ahhhh, relief.)

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I knew I would have a hard time pulling back from all the people contact, and it was hard at first, but I’ve gotten surprisingly used to being home more, and I kind of like it. Husband and I have been more compatible than I expected, even sometimes working jigsaw puzzles together rather than one at a time! : )

    I really missed personal contact with my mom those first few months before she died; that was probably the hardest part for me. That gave us a “job” and temporary focus for a while, as did our friend W’s recent move to a nursing home setting.

    During summer, we got pretty busy again because we could gather outside, till the cold weather hit. The exception was singing groups, who were still leery of gathering even outdoors. That is what I will most welcome back when the time comes. There are some gatherings that I would be perfectly happy to continue via Zoom – esp. board meetings – but I don’t know if others will agree. And now I know how to (sort of) see people long distance that I can’t see in person.

    I’ve liked not having to go out at night, and wonder how much I’ll be willing to do that once we start up again. I do look forward having more daytime things to structure my time around.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Because of the factors that make one more susceptible to bad outcomes from Covid-19, I thought it would be a worthy goal to try to get my BMI—body mass index—down to 24.9, at which point I would no longer be overweight. To accomplish that, I just have to get 5 inches taller. So far I haven’t had much success.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Morning-

    boy… so much. I have really enjoyed the slower lifestyle this past year. I’m not sure I’m ready to get back into it all as heavy as I was. And can I avoid that? Not sure yet. I mean *someone* has to do it.

    All in all, last year was a pretty good year. Well, except for (waving hands in the air) all of this. But spring went well, the growing season went well, crops were good, harvest was good, fall fieldwork went well. It was a good year. Well, except for all of this.
    And at the same time, I was more stressed too. Anxiety like I’ve never had before. Maybe just because it was ‘All of this’ at once. I had put up with tRump for 3 years without anxiety. I have put up with bad crop years. I / we have put up with so much before. But now, lump it all into the same year?? And with some of it new and not having any experience with it so we don’t know what to expect and yeah, now I’m having stomach issues and anxieties.
    Glad spring is coming.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I have always detested working from home. I was about the only person I knew in my department who never worked from home if they could avoid it. In fact, last March when our company was talking about people working from home all of the time, my original intention was to keep going into the office. I figured if everyone else was working from home I would be safe in the office. Well that didn’t work out. But now that I’ve been off for so many months and coming back to work just 20 hours a week, I am singing a different tune. If I continue at 20 hours a week I’m going to have to readjust when I actually work in September when my company is saying we should expect to be coming back to the office. Dressing up and then commuting for just a four hour shift doesn’t appeal to me at all

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all wonder which of the changes COVID has wrought will persist. I’m pretty sure the whole go-to-the-office lifestyle will not come back as it once was. Target just released 30% of its dedicated office space downtown. I assume working at home will permanently be part of the working lifestyle now.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This is going to sound rather pathetic but before covid I would shower each day. Of course, my work made me sweat but now retired and mostly homebound, I sometimes skip a day. And shaving once a week seems to work well.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Mayo Clinic has said people can continue working from home on a permanent basis. Kelly just picked up a printer for use at home. (Not that she prints a lot, but they don’t want people using their home printers). She’s getting quite the home office going here.
    We just did a couple zoom meetings together so she could practice some things for a big meeting tomorrow. Daughter thinks it’s the weirdest thing when we zoom sitting in the same room; she can’t understand that.

    I had to run into town earlier. It was slippery out and there was about 4″ wet snow. I have to be in town at 7AM tomorrow so I think I’ll be trying to plow some snow off the road tonight once it quits. Hopefully without scraping too much rock or grass either.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 314 is two of my children’s birthday tara and Spencer so we never get out to a pay day except one year when tara’s anchor and I swim team at a pizza pie fundraiser that we went to 314 and also the birthday of Albert Einstein and Kirby Puckett but one of my daughters discovered it’s also the birthday of Donald Trump so it kind of takes some of the fun out of it like covering Albert Einstein and cow dung if you know what I mean


    1. Well, actually that’s not true. The orange menace was born June 14, 1946. So you can celebrate however much you want without fear of celebrating him.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I try very hard to not think too much about the pandemic and its effects – i don’t have a crystal ball and don’t know how everything will shake out in the end. So far it hasn’t been a bad thing for me. Last year I had some quality time with my old cat, Isabel, who died in june. I would not have been able to spend as much of her final days with her if I had still been working at the flower shop. Now I have another old cat, Sammy, and the options for him have been a little more limited. I’m working from home and I’m not supposed to have him in the room while I’m working. Sometimes I shut him out, and sometimes I let him hang around on my lap and hope that no one notices. The web cam mostly displays the upper part of me. I just need him to stay down and be quiet to escape notice.

    I am hoping for a vaccine soon, like everyone. I am supposedly in the prioritized population, and according to the Washington Post, Minnesota has administered at least one dose to 91.8 percent of the prioritized population. They haven’t gotten to me yet. I do know some people who have gotten the vaccine even though they are not prioritized, and it gets me a little irritated. But I suppose every person who gets vaccinated, prioritized or not, means fewer people to spread the virus.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I, too, haven’t yet been able to access the vaccine. I’m registered several places, but as yet, no luck. So I stay put as much as I possibly can. I see my friend, Philip, once a week. We stay at least eight feet apart, except for the few seconds when I place his dinner in front of him. So far so good. Other than Philip, Anna was the last person who doesn’t belong in his household I’ve seen.


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