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How are People Celebrating Their Birthdays in This Crazy Year?

by Sadie Heald

Photo by Carmen Jansons.

Because of COVID-19, people can’t celebrate their birthdays in the way they are used to, or want to. Instead, they have to do it through Zoom, or socially distanced outside. My birthday is in January, so in 2020, I had a normal one, but this year, I had to do it on Zoom. What I did was me and a few of my friends got on a Zoom together and we played some games and hung out. It was kind of lame but I still had a good time.

What Have People Done to Celebrate Their COVID Birthdays?

Other people have done different things for their birthday. 6th grader Arianna said, “I ate and slept.” She also gave this birthday a rating of, “worst birthday ever.”

Another sixth grader, Nah said, “Me and my friends went and got food and dessert. I didn't really want a party, but my mom said that we needed to have one. It was weird because we all had to wear masks and stuff. I wanted to go to a movie but my mom said no.” She had an in-person party, and said that it was, "pretty fun and she would do it again." I guess it depends on what you make of these not great circumstances for you to have a good time, but it’s very hard, because so many things are closed, and especially in the winter, not as many things we’re open at all. Nicholas Griffith said, “We chilled and ate cake,” and said that it was, “The absolute best birthday ever.”


By now, everyone has had at least one COVID birthday, but only a handful of people have had one in 2021. Out of the 85 kids that responded to a survey, 65.9% of them have not had their 2021 COVID birthday, and only 34.1% of the kids have. Out of the 34.1% that have, 32.9% have had an in-person party, and 3.5% have had one online. The other 63.5% of people are people who haven't had their birthday yet. 21.2% of people said that it was "Pretty fun and would do it again." 3.5% of people said that it was "the absolute best birthday ever." 2.4% of kids said it was "the worst birthday ever." And another 2.4% said, "It was a pretty sucky party." The rest of the people said it was "ok."

Going to Someone Else’s COVID Party

If you haven’t had your COVID birthday yet, maybe you’ve been to a friend’s or family member's. For my friend’s birthday, she had an online murder mystery game. It was really fun. We each had a character and a script, and we had different levels where we learned new clues.

6th Grader Angie Castillo said that the party she went to was, "Fun." 6th grader Puran Ekya said, “I went to my friend's Covid party and there were only 4 people there, including me, and not including siblings and parents. We ate candy and played games and it was fun even though it was during Covid.” 6th grader Mark Sanchez said, “I went to my uncle's birthday and it was boring because there was nothing to do.”

What are People Hoping to Do for Their COVID Birthday?

What if your birthday hasn’t come yet? Let’s see what a few people said they were thinking of doing or wanted to do for their 2021 COVID birthday, especially since things have begun to open up more and more. One 6th grader named Dee said, “I think just hang out with some of my friends and maybe have a couple sleepovers. Two years ago my mom and I along with one friend of my choice went to Six Flags and I think we're gonna do that again.” Another 6th grader, Nathaniel Martinez said, “What I want to do is go to a place like Dave and Busters or this one place but I forgot it's name. The walls are full of air and you can bounce off everything and climb stuff. Kind of like a trampoline park. I went with my other friend in 2015 to celebrate his birthday.” 6th grader Kayden said, “Go out to eat somewhere fancy.”

It seems to me that people have lots of different ways of celebrating in this weird year. Some people are staying home and eating cake, while others are going out, doing something new or just going out with some friends. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a great birthday.

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