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Celebrating Milestones Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life and cancel plans across the world, people are finding creative ways to celebrate.Bride-and-groom-kissing-in-masks.jpg

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can commemorate life’s happier moments during the coronavirus pandemic. Party on!

Car parades

Americans with reasons to celebrate are inviting friends and family to join in their celebrations — from their cars. The hero of the hour stands outside their home, waving as cars drive by to offer their warm wishes and gifts. Sometimes, the inviter will offer pre-wrapped favors or packaged party treats to the parade of friends driving by.

Car parades have been happening at weddings, birthdays, graduations and more. Often, the parades are a total surprise and are organized by well-meaning family and friends who want to be part of the happy occasion.

Taking it outside

Some celebrations are taking place outdoors. Family members gather outside the home of their loved one while singing, playing instruments, holding up signs and shouting “I love you!” or “Happy birthday!” with the quarantined celebrity watching from the safety of their home.

For Kathleen Bryne, of Syracuse, N.Y., the outpouring of love at her outdoor celebration was tangible, even from a distance. The nonagenarian, mother of seven, grandmother of 22 and great-grandmother of 29, celebrated her 95th birthday in March. When the coronavirus outbreak disrupted the family’s plans of a giant celebration, they moved on to Plan B. Cousins and siblings gathered on Kathleen’s front lawn to sing “Happy Birthday” to the matriarch of the family, and to spell out “Happy Birthday” in balloons.  The birthday girl was deeply touched.

couple in NY got married outside — with the officiant conducting the ceremony from a nearby apartment, four stories above street level.

Zooming in

The videoconferencing platform that has become a household word since it is now host to thousands of business meetings, classes and long-distance visits each day. But some people are turning toward the app to host their virtual celebrations as well.

For graduating students of the Organizational Studies program at the University of Michigan, their anticipated in-person graduation turned into a Zoom videoconference event thanks to the ongoing lockdown. The virtual ceremony featured greetings from the program’s director and keynote addresses from selected students.

To turn a Zoom event into a shared experience, Swasti Sarna, insights manager at Pinterest, suggests participants decorate the space being used to host the party so it feels more festive. She also recommends creating a program so the party is more than just a screen full of faces trying to keep up with an animated conversation. The program can include virtual games everyone can play together, like Psych or Jackbox Games, and a shared menu of homemade or takeout food that everyone can enjoy at the same time.