Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic: Is it possible?

Birthdays are all about spending time with family and friends, so how do we celebrate in isolation? (Image Source: Getty Images/Yahoo! Lifestyle)

By Eva Blandis | @BlandisEva

There is no doubt that there are more significant issues in the world right now, but not celebrating your birthday surrounded by friends and family is still upsetting.

I, for one, have always loved my birthday, so I sympathise with all those having to stay inside on their special day.

Of course, nothing will be as good as going out with your closest friends and having them spoil you left, right and centre, but we’re going to have to improvise.

Luckily, once again, social media has come to the rescue and is helping to save birthday celebrations from going extinct during the COVID-19 crisis.

Not only does social media allow us to connect with each other, it is also allows us to see how other people, especially celebrities, are coping with having their birthdays in quarantine.

Riverdale’s Vanessa Morgan posted to Instagram on March 24 explaining what it was like to spend a birthday in quarantine.

“Been a weird Birthday for me, not getting to be with my family or my friends… so feeling really sad today,” she posted.

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Vanessa Morgan’s post on March 24 describes what it’s like having a birthday in quarantine. (Image source: Instagram/@vanessamorgan)

Along with Vanessa, Shay Mitchell, known for her leading role in Pretty Little Liars, is one of the other celebrities who, so far, have celebrated their birthday in quarantine.

On April 11, Shay posted to Instagram showing how she chose to celebrate her birthday at home.

“Even throughout a global pandemic, quarantine, and rain… this is the most grateful I’ve ever felt on a birthday. Stay safe,” she posted.

If there’s one lesson we can learn from Shay’s post, it’s that celebrating at home doesn’t look too bad.

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Shay Mitchell’s post on April 11. (Image source: Instagram/@shaymitchell)

But, it’s not just celebrities who are having to stay inside for their birthdays; there are a whole bunch of people who are missing out on the annual festivities.

Millie Goult, who recently turned 19, was meant to be attending Adelaide University’s Engineering Pub Crawl for her birthday, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Although Millie was devastated by not being able to celebrate, she tried her best to surround herself with friends and family virtually.

“I would’ve gone out that night, or I would’ve hung out with friends at least,” she said.

During these hard times, and especially on birthdays, social media has been proven a saviour.

“All my friends made me feel very loved on social media,” Millie said.

By video calling a friend, or simply calling them on their birthday, you can make all the difference.

Grace Heaslip, who is also turning 19 later this month, was meant to be going to Bali to spend quality time with her family.

Instead, Grace is looking forward to hosting a Zoom session with her closest friends to celebrate.

“[It] will be fun, but obviously not as good as partying together like we normally would,” she said.

Grace’s biggest concern is not being able to celebrate alongside her family and friends.

“Obviously I can’t see my elderly grandparents and can’t see more than one person at a time… so it’s really going to restrict what I can do,” she said.

Millie suggests that for people like Grace, the best thing to do is “keep your head up” during this time and find new and exciting ways to celebrate with your loved ones.

“No-one’s going to forget…especially you, so just postpone it,” Millie said.

Grace looks forward to celebrating once quarantine is over and spending lots of time with her friends and extended family.

“After this is all over I know that we’ll be…more thankful for the time we can all spend together,” she said.

If you’re one of the many people celebrating their birthday in quarantine, follow Grace’s lead and celebrate with your closest friends through a video call.

Although celebrating through a screen might not be what you expected, all we can do right now is compromise and try our hardest to have fun in any way that we can.

If you have friends or family members that have birthdays in the next few months, think outside the box to help them celebrate and feel loved on their special day.

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