COVID-19 birthday celebrations


Angelina Vitarelli, Writer

Whether it be a small family dinner, a movie or the traditional birthday party, every birthday is different and special. Because of the recent events striking the globe, birthdays have either taken a pause or have been celebrated in unexpected ways. For sophomores Libby and Meghan Maier, this birthday would always be different. 

“I went to my mom’s house for breakfast and opened gifts from her and then I went back to my dad’s and opened gifts from him,” Meghan Maier said. “I also had a dance class so I did that, had dinner and went back to my mom’s for cake and ice cream and zoomed with my grandparents.”

Birthdays, especially a sweet sixteen or 18th birthday, are seen as significant. Many birthday preparations that may have made the day special were put on hold for the next several weeks, for example, getting a driver’s license, taking segment two for driver’s training (which is now available online).

“Being in quarantine made it different because I wasn’t at school and wasn’t able to see my friends or grandparents in person,” Meghan Maier said. “I also was supposed to get my license but unfortunately, I could not do that.”

Gathering as a family or with friends is a common way to celebrate a birthday, and typically involves gifts and food, or going out to eat together. FaceTime, Zoom and Google Duo have taken the places of loved ones as currently only the immediate family has the ability to do something together at home.

“My birthday felt semi special,” Libby Maier said. “I had a zoom call with some of my friends around noon and we played some online games and talked; it was fun. It was just a weird experience of knowing you should be doing something else but you’re stuck inside” 

Sophomore Sarah Shouse experienced the same isolated birthday on March 29, but maintained a good attitude about her situation. 

“My cousins and my aunt and uncle surprised me in my front yard with a glow stick and black light party with a happy birthday card,” Shouse said. “I was on FaceTime with a lot of people so I was still talking to my family. It made it special because I still felt like I was with them even though I was not, but it was hard to not be sad about being ‘alone’ on my birthday.”

Quarantine birthdays will always be special, even when family and friends could not be present, because of the camaraderie between loved ones.