How do you celebrate a “milestone birthday” while the world burns?

Streets fill with protests demanding recognition that black lives matter, while a government that feeds off division is determined to neither listen nor lead. Voices raise to demand an end to police brutality, which becomes an excuse for further police brutality. Millions are jobless while thousands die weekly from a pandemic that is still not under control.

A year ago, I expected my 40th birthday to be filled with some level of existential dread, but also a welcome chance to reflect on my peculiar life. As I emptied my tank over the last three months focused on COVID-19 at work, I planned a week off knowing that even if I wouldn’t be able to travel or even get out of the apartment much, perhaps I could recharge.

The world had other plans. I’ve spent the week like so many of you: listening, watching, learning, giving, amplifying.

So here I am at 40: broken hearted at the state of the world, yet hopeful for a better tomorrow.

Eternally grateful for my incredible circle of friends and my supportive family, yet feeling isolated because I miss everyone tremendously.

Trying to document how I feel, yet being anxious about every word I write because it all feels really self-indulgent.

Struggling with the dark, and responding to the light.


I wish I could find constant motivation to write something of substance that isn’t a eulogy. Alas, today is not the day.

Floyd Cardoz passed away Tuesday due to COVID-19.

I cannot begin to describe how bizarre it is to link to a NYT obituary for someone I know.

How strange it is to have someone you can refer to as a friend, someone you’ve shared a meal with, be taken from the world like this.

How weird it is to think about the times we’ve shared. To think back to the last time I saw Floyd – and how, even though it had been a few years at the time, he spoiled us with food and still treated us like family.

I’m excising the usual shower of anecdotes and tangents from this post. (Dave Chang did it better than I ever could.) I’m just going to skip to the end and leave this post with this:

If you don’t think COVID-19 is serious – that it’s “just a flu”, that it won’t take people from your life – it’s time to wake up.