Celebrating birthdays at a distance

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Social media has been roaring with devastated seniors missing senior trips, prom and even graduation, but quarantine has also taken away another special day: birthdays. The most festive day of the year for some people, now has to be spent at home.  

“It was definitely different not being able to have physical contact with my peers that day. With the phone being everyone’s best friend during this quarantine, I received a lot of messages, which was nice though,” Rami Johnson (12) said. 

After spending weeks isolated with family, many  crave their friends’ company on their special day. However, due to social distancing, people have to find different ways to celebrate. 

“My mom set up a Facebook Live for some of our family and family friends to wish me a happy birthday. My friend stopped by for around 2 hours, and we sat 6 feet apart from each other in my side yard and talked,” Johnson said. 

Another way to celebrate would be to host a parade, complete with treats, gifts, colorful signs, music and honking.

“Doing this for my friend and being a part of that made me feel really good and I felt like my friend really appreciated it,” sophomore Kristina Davis said.“A birthday parade is a really good way to make someone feel special during these tough times and could be a fun thing to do even when quarantine is over.” 

These thoughtful parades allow people to feel the warmth of their friends while still upholding social distancing.

“Birthday parades help make birthdays more exciting although quarantine can take a lot of things away,” Molly Hilderbrand (11) said. “It made me happy to know my friends went out of their way to still make my birthday special.”

Quarantine has broken many birthday traditions. Small activities that make a day so special have now been taken away. 

“I usually make it a deal to have some sort of hangout in which my friends and family could come and spend time with me, but that opportunity was taken from me this year,” Johnson said. 

There are many things that a quarantine birthday lacks, but simple things that used to make birthdays so special have gained a newfound respect. 

“Before quarantine I took my birthday for granted,” Hilderbrand said. “Seeing my friends, eating cake and having a party are all things that make birthdays special.”