This week the world shut down, and a robin nested in our garden.
A planet of open borders closed them, while my son sat playing with his Rubik's Cube at the kitchen table. Pubs shut and airlines grounded planes. My daughter learned her first chords on the guitar.
The coronavirus felt at once far away, and yet so insidious and close that it could be lurking up our noses, among supermarket shelves or on our smudgy smartphone screens. Every tweet or email seemed to bring stop-the-press news. But I still needed to shave, and cook, and give hugs.
"The sun shone, having no alternative," as Beckett said.
Suddenly, everything I took for granted about travel has been upended. Tourism is on pause. Industries are scrambling for life support.
Holidays of course take second place to health, but the slow removal of connectivity, and the growing sense of what exactly that may mean in the weeks and months ahead, is bringing home to me just how important the relatively unimportant things really are.
Travel is crucial for business, for the movement of people and goods. It can simply be about visiting family or lying on a beach, too.
For me, it's also an escape, a thrill, a visceral way to pry open my mind by tasting other people's food, stepping into their spaces, wondering what makes them laugh, discovering their culture and landscapes.
It's about going with a plan and seeing where you end up.
Doing that, I've seen that no matter how different, we are basically the same. We all eat, breathe and go to the loo.
In a perverse way, Covid-19 teaches us this too. It doesn't see race, or borders, or religion. But by putting a planet on lockdown, it could also push us towards a new insularity and distrust of the foreign. That's the opposite of travel.
Travel has its issues (a month ago, sustainability seemed like our most pressing problem). But it also reminds us that we're in this together, that we all need love and respect, not division and war. I'm really going to miss it.
What we are going through right now is a trauma. A gut punch. We don't know for how long, or what tourism and aviation will look like when it's done.
But I hope we can keep the spirit of travel with us under lockdown. I hope we can keep looking out, as well as in. That we can keep learning, empathising, coming together.
I know that when this passes - and it will pass - borders will re-open.
Planes will take off. That robin's chicks will have flown, my son's Rubik's Cube will be left on the kitchen table, and my family will be back outside exploring the earth, and the greatest little island on it.