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Taken from a birthday parade in Nutley during quarantine

Controlling What We Can

COVID-19 is something that not many saw coming so fast, impacting families across not only the US, but the world. It unexpectedly took the lives of families and friends in many countries leaving the world devastated. Holiday traditions, vacation plans, graduations, birthdays, family gatherings, or anything that one was looking forward to was canceled by COVID-19, putting a pause on everyday life.  Although many plans and special events were irreplaceable, many have found ways to still keep some of the traditions and plans going safely distant.


Birthdays are something that many look forward to as it is a lot of time when friends and families get together to celebrate and have fun. With social distancing still continuing for the last two months in the United States, many birthday parties and plans had to be canceled due to how contagious this virus is. Although birthdays during this pandemic won’t be the same as usual, many have come up with new ways to celebrate one’s birthday regarding the social distant rules. One of the most popular ideas that has been used during COVID-19 is known as “birthday parades.” Family and friends of the birthday boy or girl line up in each of their separate cars to surprise and drive past their house to honk and yell happy birthday. “I definitely didn’t celebrate my birthday the way I thought I would, but I’m thankful for the people who put effort and cared, especially in times like these,” says Caroline Warburton, who recently turned 16. “Birthday parades in Nutley are really special yet bittersweet, it is nice to see the people you love, but hard because you have to stay distanced.” Loved ones also decorate their cars in balloons, streamers, and posters making sure one’s birthday doesn’t go uncelebrated because of COVID-19. 


Along with birthdays, holiday traditions were also overtaken by this virus. Holidays did and are taking place through this pandemic which is impacting many family traditions and celebrations that couldn’t take place this year. Although it is not the same being without loved ones on holidays, many are keeping in touch because of the access we have to technology during this time. Zoom has been a popular online resource that many families have used to video chat a large group of people at once. “Communicating and ‘seeing’ them helps to put us a little at ease and gives us a chance to catch up, laugh, and just spend quality time together,” says Nutley resident, Tara Ostrowski.  “Although I would love to see them in person and give them a hug, I’m thankful to have this technology to communicate with them.”  Zoom has been used by many families on not just holidays but in general to talk to many loved ones over social distancing. It has slightly helped to ease the time alone during this dragging time for many.


COVID-19 has taken someone or something important and loved away from families across the world. Although many of these devastation are uncontrollable and can’t be replaced, many families are taking part in what they can control. Things like birthday parades or even a Zoom call with family members on a holiday are ways people are keeping the positive going through this heartacking time. Finding these creative ways to still celebrate traditions is helping to make the “normal” still present in our lives.