These days, moments of joy seem to arrive mostly by surprise, offering brief relief from the dull feeling that weeks and months are blurring together. The other night, one came via cheap beer. Two bottles were packed in ice, keeping the beers crisp and cold; my first sip felt like a portal to a former life. In the early months of the pandemic, he helped his mother, who owns a restaurant on Long Island, as she adapted her business. His uncle still needed to pay the rent. The empty kitchen had no oven but plenty of woks and two deep fryers; what if Huang could deliver fried chicken?