Our COVID Dish Supper

March 17, 2021

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the pandemic shutdown. I’m sure we all remember where we were when the news hit, how surreal it felt, how we were told (and hoped) that it would all be over in two weeks (ha!) The past 12 months have seemed like an eternity, with all our lives affected, if not completely upended. My first thought was to leave observances to the media (some of which have done an amazing job of covering this milestone, with touching tributes to those lost—from the famous, to the every-men-and-women.) And honestly, don’t we just want to move on, as quickly as possible, to a post-coronavirus world?

But Steve had an idea, a suggestion for hitting the one year point: why not invite the family to a Zoom virtual meal together? And of course, being Steve, it had to be a “COVID-dish supper,” with all participants charged with preparing a dish whose name contained the letters in either “mask” “Zoom” “Fauci” or “pandemic.” The gang agreed to this goofy plan, and we had our dinner on Monday night (not the actual date of March 11, but the only night Patrick was off from work, and his girlfriend Ashlyn could join us too).

It ended up being lots of fun, and more meaningful than I was expecting it to be. The food part of the evening was a hoot, with LOTS of cauliflower and kale on the various menus. Ever the overachiever, I made pizza with cauliflower and kale (of course) but also Cheddar, Parmesan and mushrooms…which, if you check, you’ll see that this concoction used the letters in all 4 magic words.

As we ate, we reminisced about where we were when we first heard the news. Evan was in Canada, Patrick had just returned from a business trip to Charlotte. Julie and Gil had just gotten back from a California vacation. Steve and I had tickets to Company on Broadway, and of course all the theaters went dark. Yaj and the boys had only been home from Taiwan a couple of weeks. C and Rob said Hawaii had already shut down, in advance of the mainland.

Then we went around answering the following questions: what was your biggest loss? Biggest win? New skill learned? Skill not used? One thing you’ll keep doing? One thing you’ll never do again? One word to sum up the pandemic, and one word for the future?

While we each answered differently, there were common threads: we missed contact with other people (Rose in particular has been going it alone, living and working in a tiny studio apartment), we all learned some disappointing things about human nature. There were sharpened skills (C painted more, Steve played more guitar, I wrote more) and skills not used (driving, performing, etc.) Our summing up words for pandemic included: inevitable, unprecedented, sad. For the future? Onward. Hope. Connection. Love.

I’m really sick of Zoom, but it was a joy to Zoom together that night.



    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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