As Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to make news across the United States, as well as around the globe, some states are being affected in ways their inhabitants may not have anticipated. It can be difficult to contemplate COVID-19 and celebrations in isolation.
- Texas and California are closing parts back down
- Florida beaches in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach will be off-limits for July 4th
- Many states are ordering bars closed due to lack of social distancing by patrons
It may not be the birthday, graduation, anniversary, or other celebration you were hoping for, but the only way you can really enjoy the special days is by acknowledging that there are changes. COVID-19 has radically altered the way people get groceries, hold memorials, and, yes, celebrate. Car parades are popular now, with friends and family members driving past a location honking horns and trailing balloons or streamers. This has the advantage of letting someone know that even though they may be alone, they are not forgotten.
Additionally, there may be stores that are closed and certain gifts may be unavailable, some cakes unable to be purchased. Do the best you can within the confines of the limitations you have, and try to manage expectations about what a COVID-19 celebration might look like.
Suggestions for Social Distancing Celebrations
The main thing you will have to do is determine what your comfort level is regarding the current situation, recognizing that the situation itself is very fluid. If you are immunocompromised, or live with someone who is, your experience will likely have to be very different from someone who does not have those restrictions in their family.
Once you’re comfortable with your viewpoint, recognize that you don’t know everything, and take sensible precautions. And make some decisions about making the best of the current situation. COVID-19 and Celebrations in Isolation can be a challenge but there are some things you can do.
- wear a mask when going outside your home family unit, and make sure it covers both your nose and mouth. Otherwise, as New York Governor Cuomo said, it’s a chin guard. And a chin guard will not help prevent the spread of viruses.
- maintain suggested social distancing according to current guidelines, which means six feet apart especially in grocery stores and the like
- play at home, and plan now – order pool toys (or pools!) so you and the kids have something to do when you’re at home
- get groceries delivered and minimize the amount of time you spend outside the home, in the presence of people not in your family unit
- garden and spruce up your land so you and your family can explore and enjoy it
Don’t Be Stuck at Home
Be safe at home! Make a mindset choice and decide that it’s not a limitation to your freedoms to stay safe, it’s a choice, And make that choice for yourself as well as for your friends and loved ones. Wearing a mask, staying a bit further away from the grandparents, using your home to celebrate instead of going out, those are just some of the ways you can help flatten the curve in your area.
If your state is going to reinstate, or start, indicating social distancing is required and stores and restaurants will be closing, try and enjoy the time at home. Watch some shows on Netflix or television, read some books, or start a new series you never had time to invest in before.
Celebrate milestones as best as you can. Summer means a lot of birthday and anniversaries, as well as the graduation milestones that may yet be celebrated in the warmer months. Plan, cook, or order a special meal to mark a celebration. Plant a tree or flowers to celebrate being home together and mark an occasion. Make a donation to a charity in someone’s name to celebrate their special day, or to honor their passing during quarantine. Invest in yourself or your future together – save for retirement, put money aside for a business you want to start, or plan for a vacation when the world seems less stressful.
Celebrate, don’t isolate
Use technology to celebrate together! Share a meal over Skype. Let your coworkers sing you “Happy Birthday” over Teams. COVID-19 and Celebrations in Isolation are a chance to find brand new ways to celebrate. Flattening the COVID-19 curve shouldn’t mean you’re the Torrance family from the Shining. It should mean you have to find new ways of bringing people together. But you’re smart, talented, and creative. You can do this.