Parties in a Pandemic


This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location.

Celebrating with loved ones is still doable, it just might look different from past years. Birthday parties have been more creative this year due to the ever so popular COVID-19 pandemic. Drive through parties, outdoor gatherings, and virtual dance parties are just a few ways people have still been able to celebrate birthdays during COVID. The CDC recommends that people limit their exposures and promote healthy behaviors to slow the spread. Celebrating a big milestone like a birthday is important, so follow this guide to help plan your next birthday. 

“If the numbers stay like they are now, I would not throw a large party. I would have a few friends over in the backyard with masks,” said junior Carter Strickland. If you are hosting an in person party, limit the number of invites, have masks on hand, and choose an outdoor venue. A backyard is a cost efficient and great place to keep people spread out during a party. Provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to the guests and require masks when not eating. In addition, have prepackaged snacks and drinks like bottled water and bagged cookies. These guidelines do not eradicate the risk but greatly reduces it.

“There are going to be people more cautious than others, be respectful of the family and other guests to make sure they feel comfortable and safe during this time of trouble,” said Strickland. If you are attending, do a self-assessment before you leave. If you feel sick then stay home, this helps keep yourself and others safe. Follow the rules of the host and comply with the guidelines they have set out. Come ready to have a good time and celebrate!

“If I threw a zoom birthday, I would go all out and go around the city and drop off goodie bags on everyone’s doorstep,” said Carter Strickland. If in person seems a little too risky, throw yourself a zoom party. Perks of a zoom party include but are not limited too: no masks necessary, no maximum number of guests, and you can stay in your super comfy sweatpants and no one will know. Themes are something to consider when having a zoom party. Some crowd favorites are dance parties, game nights, and costume competitions.

“I enjoyed still being able to celebrate my friend and her special day,” said Strickland. Birthdays can still be memorable and exciting while keeping people safe in the midst of COVID. It is important to still celebrate the good times with the people you love. “Get out and see people and talk about times pre-COVID,” said Strickland. “It will be a big stress-reliever.”