Two years ago tonight in New York City, a strange blue light filled the sky. We stood at our windows, spellbound by an eerie neon glow that looked like something from science fiction. It was the fallout from an explosion at a power plant in Queens. But for three or four minutes, something otherworldly seemed possible. (And now I know that when the rapture comes or aliens descend, I’ll pace the room for a few minutes, finish my coffee, and check the internet.)

I often think about the hum in my nerves that night, the flush of excitement when it looked like something unthinkable was happening, that the world might change completely. Be careful of what you wish for. Now I’m in Ohio, sheltering-in-place aside from trips to the grocery store. Tonight at the supermarket, I watched two shoppers get into an argument in front of the deli meat because one of them was wearing her mask below her nose.