Friends find ways to celebrate birthdays in quarantine


Courtesy of Sophia Stann '20

Celebrating birthdays in quarantine is difficult, but students have come up with ways such as signs and drive-by parades to celebrate them safely.

Sophia Stann '20, Staff Writer

With quarantine putting birthday celebrations on pause, students are getting more creative with their birthday festivities and not letting COVID-19 put a damper on their day according to Hanna Ottaway ’20.

“I woke up on my birthday feeling really bummed knowing my 18th birthday wasn’t going to be what I had in my mind earlier this year,” Ottaway said. “I was so surprised to find out my boyfriend had organized all of my friends to do a drive-by my house later that afternoon.”

The drive-by trend was first seen on Tik Tok, a social media video app, by a group of friends who all got in separate cars and drove by the friend’s house who was having a birthday that day, honking and playing music, according to student Madeline Sullivan ’20.

“I spent my birthday surrounded by my immediate family and had no plans really for that day but just to catch up on homework,” Sullivan said. “Knowing my friends had organized this ( drive-by) made my day 100 percent better and made me realize social distancing isn’t all that bad.”

The drive-by idea is a great way to see friends while still keeping your distance, and making sure you can make a friend’s birthday as best as possible with this quarantine the past couple months, Ottaway said.

“I feel like on your birthday you just want to be surrounded by both family and friends, and that is something that we can’t do right now due to the virus, but this car parade idea is a great way to see everyone’s faces without putting anyone in harm,” Ottaway said.

COVID-19 has cancelled many things for seniors in highschool and if friends can do anything to make new memories this car parade is a perfect way to do that according to Sullivan.

“It is a bittersweet feeling knowing my senior year has ended so sudden in this way, but I appreciate the little things my friends have done to make up for the cancellations of many moments we would have shared together,” Sullivan said.

According to Orthopedic Surgeon Christ Zingas, who has been helping out in the hospitals with COVID-19, students improvising social events is beneficial to both their health mentally and spiritually.

“I think school is a huge social aspect for students’ social gatherings, and with that being closed, it’s made students need to branch out in more creative ways to celebrate moments such as a birthday,” Zingas said. “In-person contact is important for mental health and students doing all they can to show appreciation to a friend is essential.”

If some students are feeling unsafe with drive-bys, there are many other ways for a student to feel special on a day like a birthday according to Zingas.

“Zoom (a face to face video app) can help multiple gatherings of people feel connected to one another safely behind a screen,” Zingas said. “If a friend wants to drop off a starbucks drink, or a small gift to someone’s door, that would be a safe idea as well.”

People in the community have stepped up to make one another feel good on a day such as a birthday, and making new memories in ways students’ would never have made before the corona virus according to Sullivan.

“The virus has made me more appreciative of the little things in life, I am grateful that I got to spend my birthday with immediate family, and friends from a distance in the car parade that they organized for me,” Sullivan said. “COVID-19 may have cancelled a lot of events for students’ but everyone has risen above it.”