Would you like some cake with your quarantine? How people are celebrating birthdays during lockdown


Photo of Katie Pickrel by Shelley Wang

For over a month, the United States has been in lockdown and people are unsure how much longer it will extend. With the shutdown of non-essential businesses and establishments, people are forced to get creative when celebrating their birthdays in complete isolation at home. 

Many birthday plans are now canceled due to the virus. Eden Romero, who planned on celebrating her 21st birthday in Las Vegas, had to celebrate at home. Romero was not excited to celebrate her this year because of COVID-19, but the people in her life tried to make it special. 

My mom surprised me, she had all my family and friends come to my house and sing me happy birthday in my driveway,” Romero said. “It was very special to me, I got to hang out with them for a little bit and later we had a zoom party.” Romero said Zoom helped normalize her special day by drinking and blowing out her birthday candles with her friends, even if it was through virtual communication.

Like Romero, people celebrating birthdays during quarantine can utilize Zoom for virtual parties and happy hours.

Since the lockdown, car parades have become an alternate way to celebrate birthdays. Viral videos of decorated cars with balloons and birthday signs driving past a birthday person’s home has swept the internet. Even celebrities like the Kardashian’s have joined in this birthday trend. 


Katie Pickrel turned 22 this month and said that this year is much different than last. 

“I am staying home and only being with my family, no friends or even extended family while last year I spent my birthday with my closest friends in Vegas having the time of my life,” Pickrel said. 

Pickrel explained how her family is still making it special for her by making her favorite foods and laying out by the pool. She emphasized that despite these tough times she’s grateful to have her pool and her family during the pandemic. 

For parents or siblings of younger children the idea of postponing a birthday may be drastic for their little ones who are unaware of what is happening around them. 

Pickrel and Romero both expressed how they would be even more disappointed if this had  happened when they were younger, because it’s harder for children to grasp the impact of the pandemic. 

“It’s hard to understand why this is happening, and I’m hoping my younger siblings don’t have to celebrate their 4th birthday in quarantine,” Romero said.

She said her twin siblings’ birthday falls on May 20 and most likely will have to be celebrated under lockdown. Her family will do their best to make it memorable but aren’t sure if everything will be canceled until their birthday gets closer. 

This is a very confusing and scary time for everyone. Celebrating a birthday may not sound as exciting because of the lockdown, but small acts like car parades and zoom parties are ways that people are adjusting to life under quarantine.