In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The virus has spread in almost every country on Earth, infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands. As a result, containment measures have been placed; many governments have placed their countries under lockdown. Although, in many places, restrictions are being lifted, the virus is still spreading and the public remains to be cautious.
COVID-19 is changing the way we live. During the pandemic, you probably heard of the term “new normal” in the world that is still fighting a highly-contagions and deadly pathogen, old customs and traditions have been put on hold.
How are people celebrating special events and milestones during the pandemic? Find out below.
Smaller, More Intimate Gatherings
According to public health experts, the risk of transmission increases in large gatherings, especially if inside a store, a restaurant, a house, or a building. While many have postponed their events until next year when, hopefully, the spread of the virus has already been controlled, some decided to push through with their plans.
For example, to minimize the risk of coronavirus, wedding venues have reopened but are limiting the number of guests. This is to ensure that there will be space for physical distancing among attendees and staff.
The United Kingdom has mandated that wedding receptions are only permitted if there are only 30 guests and below. Those who organise gatherings that exceed the limit will be fined.
Zoom Birthday Parties
Online platforms that offer video conferencing have become essentials during the pandemic. Zoom, in particular, has been used by employees who suddenly found themselves working from home, students listening to lecturers, therapists consulting with patients, gym instructors encouraging clients to keep working out, and friends who cannot meet and go out to drink.
Children, too, found themselves using Zoom. Because children are also vulnerable to COVID-19, many parents decided not to host parties in their homes. They, however, are not letting the pandemic ruin their children’s birthday. So, to celebrate, they are having a party over Zoom. Even remotely, children were able to interact and play with their friends. Parents can even hire entertainers like magicians, puppeteers, and artists to join the chat and make it fun.
As for gifts, family and friends send parcels to the celebrants’ home. Instead of wrapping paper, children are opening boxes from Amazon.
Another celebration that has been affected severely by the pandemic are graduations. Millions of young people graduated this year, but halls and stadiums remained empty.
In the United States, many schools decided to hold graduations online. Students wore their gowns and caps at home while staring at their computer screens.
To make the event more special, some families did their own commencement ceremonies in the comforts of their living rooms. Graduates were handed their diploma by parents, siblings, and even neighbors.
If you or your loved one miss seeing and speaking to people outside of your home, organise a drive-by celebration. The idea is simple: Your friends and family members will head to your home, but they will not enter. They will not even get off of their vehicles. They will cruise by, wave, yell their greetings, and drive off. It is a short interaction, but you get to see people you care about.
Celebrations during the pandemic will be very unusual. Likely, no one will be able to party among friends and family for a while. However, no matter how difficult the situation may feel, it is only temporary. Things will go back to normal once the storm has passed.