Celebrating a birthday while quarantined

Darylin Smith celebrates her 21st birthday while quarantined in her Broward County home earlier this week. Photo by Darylin Smith

Celebrating a birthday while quarantined has become the new normal thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has made the words quarantine, social distancing, and stay-at-home a part of the new normal.

COVID-19 is the latest pandemic the world has seen in the last 100 years. Before COVID-19 the 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe in recent history, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Daily activities such as in-person classes, work meetings, and even church services have turned into virtual meetings via third-party apps such as Zoom.

What about people who are reaching milestone achievements during this pandemic? Graduations and internships have been postponed and many are canceled completely.

Somethings are out of our hands when it comes to celebrating during this deadly pandemic, but a birthday may not be one.

If you are experiencing a birthday during COVID-19 and wondering how on earth you can enjoy yourself with an abundance of restrictions in place due to social distancing, there are ways to celebrate successfully while abiding by the guidelines.

Try amask-querade, limited to 10 people of course. The traditional masquerade party was a popular celebration during the 15th century, according to holidappy.com .

Those who attend masquerade parties dress in a costume and wear a mask. The COVID-19 spin on this medieval occasion limits the gathering to 10 people, requiring everyone in attendance to wear a COVID-19 approved protective mask.

Gatherings for the time being are limited to 10 people by order of President Trump, according to a March 16 article by The New York Times.

“Therefore, my administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and public food courts,” Trump said.

When attending a mask-querade remember to keep your hands and hugs to yourself while celebrating.

Not wanting extra guests inside the home? Completely OK, and there is a solution to that as well. A drive-by party.

This initiative does not require interactions with people outside of your home. The birthday person stands at the front window of their home while their family and friends drive-by at a slow speed with decorated signs wishing them a happy birthday.

Living in the era of social media, people have made careers creating social media apps and being influencers on them. The creatives have found the light in COVID-19: virtual parties!

This party solution requires one thing, access to the internet. With internet access, there are numerous apps where the virtual party can be held. Instagram, Facebook, and Zoom are a few of the popular sites for virtual parties.

On Instagram and Facebook, the birthday person can access their “live feature” while all of their potential partygoers watch and comment as if everyone were in the same room together. The birthday person can even choose someone to “go live” with to keep the party interesting.

On Zoom the host is allowed to have up to 100 participants in each meeting. This means the birthday person can have up to 100 guests in their virtual party. On Zoom the participants have the option to turn on their cameras and microphones, which makes this solution the next best option to in-person interactions.

While the country is quarantined in efforts to cease the spread of COVID-19, these alternatives to a birthday party cannot only celebrate life but protect and save many.