How Coronavirus Is Ruining Pi Day

Every year on March 14, Pi Day rolls around — the date which most closely approximates the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. (Plus, according to Biography, March 14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday.) And every year, geometry teachers and other nerdy types flock to bakeries to buy a celebratory pie.

This year, though, everything is different. Schools are closing, travel plans and sporting events are canceled, some people are stampeding Sam's Club and panic-buying toilet paper while others hide at home practicing government-recommended "social isolation." It's the winter of 2020, and we fear the deadly coronavirus more than we would a zombie apocalypse

Needless to say, the impending End of the World As We Know It is putting a damper on a lot of things, including the celebration of math-related holidays. Bakeries across the country are seeing profits nosedive as CNBC reports thousands of dollars worth of Pi Day orders being canceled due to fear of coronavirus.

Bakeries are losing out on a lot of Pi Day dough

Pi Day is one of the year's top sales days for many small bakeries. Sadly, while those bakeries are still making their pies from scratch, this year they won't be making a lot of scratch. Pi Day is the kind of holiday that is usually celebrated at school or at work, and coronavirus is causing the cancellation of classes and an increase in people working from home. Even among those still leaving the house to go to jobs or school, there's a reluctance to share edibles — although there have been no instances of COVID-19 being transmitted through food, there's always the possibility of becoming infected through contaminated plates or utensils.

How hard-hit are these bakeries? Seattle-based A La Mode Pies estimates they've refunded $5,000 to $7,000 worth of pre-orders, while Petee's Pie Company in NYC has lost about $13,000 worth of sales. Three Babes Bakeshop told San Francisco Eater that their expected PI Day business is down 85 percent due to the fact that tech companies such as Google and Lyft have been canceling their orders. In fact, the coronavirus has impacted Three Babes' sales figures so drastically that they've had to furlough half of their employees, and have suggested that those workers find jobs elsewhere if they can since there's no telling when (or if) sales will recover.

Oh, coronavirus, what have you done to us? At least the zombies wouldn't have taken away our pie.