Birthdays in isolation by Eve Nicholls, The Henrietta Barnett School

In order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, our lives are changing. We all have to stay at home and that means we need to think of new ways to do things. This week brings with it my younger sister’s birthday and we have been thinking of ways to celebrate, social distancing style.

Like most 6 years old children, my sister’s birthday is the highlight of her year and we aren’t going to let the coronavirus stop all the fun. Herein lies the beginnings of a new type of birthday party- the zoom party. The app Zoom is one of many video calling apps that have been downloaded across the UK in and it can provide us all with human contact we so desperately need from outside of our households. The app itself has been downloaded over 100 million times according to the play store. Although it’s not quite the same as face to face interaction, my family will be hosting a party for all my sister’s friends and family over the internet.

Another challenge set out for us is the small matter of food. Gone are the days when we could eat carelessly from a bowl of crisps without thinking. Finger food is no longer an option in order to help do our bit to slow the spread of COVID-19. In our house, we will be having individual cupcakes and biscuits- and rest assured, we will all be washing our hands before and after we eat (making sure to sing happy birthday to the birthday girl twice both times of course).

As we are at the start of the second week of the UK’s lockdown, it has been a while for many of us since we last spoke to people in real life outside of our homes. Our new way of life has brought focus to those we live with and on my sister’s birthday, my family will try to come together without bickering amongst ourselves. It will probably be hard and I’m not sure we will make it argument-free for the whole day, but staying at home is for the best and hopefully, we will come out in one piece and maybe even closer as a family than we were before.

These are challenging times for us all but by staying at home we can do our bit to help reduce the deaths from the coronavirus. It’s the right thing to do even if it can feel miserable. We can adapt our lives and even our birthdays because, despite everything, the birthday girl still admits “I can’t help but be excited.”

 

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