December 22 Day 654: Not Again


COVID’s pawn,

stops us cold.

can’t be controlled.

spreads like fire.

I am so tired

of not knowing

when it’s going

to end.

Boosters, masks,

health forecasts,


try to forestall

COVID’s spread.

Stay home instead.

Those plans you made

are now delayed

again, my friend.

Yesterday, I learned that the University of Washington will hold its first week of classes online for the Winter quarter. I have almost two weeks notice to make adjustments and that is better than the three days notice we had when this ordeal started 654 days ago.

Today, I learned that the AMS cancelled the in-person Joint Math Meeting in Seattle. They promised a virtual replacement later in the spring. I was so looking forward to seeing mathematical friends in person again. What a difficult decision to have made.

In both cases, I feel great loss. For my students, the first week is critical to building classroom community and setting expectations. Online remote expectations are different than in-person ones. I fear that one remote week will turn into two. And two weeks will turn into more (as happened at the beginning. In Spring 2020.)

For mathematicians, the JMM was supposed to be the return to more normal operations. The first ‘big’ meeting to be held in-person. To have that taken away makes me question what else will be cancelled in 2022.

I hope that this quickly spreading variant is more mild than previous strains and by burning through the population, hastens the end of the pandemic.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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