A Safe Celebration

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Art/Photo by Samantha Takeda

A good example of how to celebrate during the pandemic: an outdoor and socially distanced party with friends.

Westley Kim, Staff Writer

Whether it’s a small, quieter gathering with a few friends and decorations, or a huge celebration with many people, a huge cake, and tons of activities, birthday parties are always a fun way to relieve stress and relax with friends and family. However, while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be a challenge to safely celebrate a birthday. But, though it may be hard, it isn’t impossible.

   Having a birthday celebration virtually isn’t bad at all. Riyana Roy (10), who attended a virtual party, said that it was fun to “get to see all of my friends again, even if it wasn’t in person, and playing with Zoom was also pretty funny.” But she explained that there were still things that were missing, such as eating good food and being able to have more quiet moments without having to use breakout rooms. However, if celebrating digitally isn’t an option, it isn’t the end of the world.

   Samantha Jiao (10), who had her birthday in July, celebrated her special day by social distancing at Victor park with a couple of close friends. She explains that they tried to be as careful as they could have been: only three people, staying outdoors, keeping six feet away from one another, wearing masks, and picking a spot to celebrate where other people would rarely walk by. She also said that she “was really scared about the whole COVID-19 situation and how we might be risking our health, but during the party, I relaxed and had a lot of fun seeing my friends after so long.” 

   It’s good to be at least a little apprehensive about a party planned during this time, but the point of the party is to have fun with friends, and it’s okay to relax if safety is still kept in mind. Jiao added, “In the end, everything went as planned, as we hung out, played some board games, and carefully ate some food. It was really difficult to plan as I had to take into consideration how safe each activity would be, but we had a lot of fun just seeing each other again.” This is a great way to celebrate a birthday without being held back by screens.

   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, planning an in-person meeting with friends can be a lot more liberal, as long as it’s not inside. It states, “Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.” Indoor conditions help spread the virus because enclosed spaces and inadequate ventilation can limit how smaller particles spread through the air. Combined with activities focused on breath, such as exercising or singing, more respiratory particles have nowhere to go.

   Celebrating a birthday is an important event to many people; it’s a day all about you and what you want, but the challenges of this year’s misfortunes can block us from being able to fully enjoy it. However, a safe and fun birthday can still be celebrated under the right conditions.