The coronavirus has been the center of attention this past month as the disease grows more present and dangerous each day. In the wake of the virus, many schools, universities, businesses and restaurants have had no choice but to shut down. In addition, the World Health Organization and other professionals have encouraged the public to take safety precautions such as isolating oneself as much as possible, only going out for essentials and practicing social distancing while in public.
Safety precautions and business closures have made a dent in the birthday celebrations of some Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and faculty. Plans for both ordinary birthday parties and extravagant activities have been canceled due to the virus.
Senior Lara Shostack will turn 18 years old on April 5. To celebrate this age milestone, Shostack planned on hosting a brunch with close friends in the morning and then a family dinner in the evening. These plans were canceled, as she now has no choice but to spend her 18th birthday at home.
“I’m kind of disappointed. This was supposed to be a big birthday for me, afterall I will be legal,” Shostack said. “And now I have to spend it alone in my house.”
Bailey Feuerman, a senior at MSD, also had big plans for her 18th birthday. She was planning on traveling to New York City with her mother for a week. Because of airline closures and safety precautions, Feuerman’s birthday celebration instead consisted of making TikToks and swimming in her pool at home.
Similarly, senior Amy Luo had adventurous plans for her birthday on April 18. Luo was going to take advantage of her 18th birthday by going skydiving. She had been excited to finally get the chance to skydive and was very disappointed when she was forced to cancel her plans.
“Turning 18 is an important date for anyone and I had such grand plans this year,” Luo said. “Even when this whole situation is over, I have a feeling that celebrating it then won’t feel the same.”
Even simple birthday celebrations such as a trip to the beach and a family night out have had to be rescheduled or canceled. This is the case for sophomore Addison Block. Although she is disappointed about canceling celebration plans, Block understands that is the right thing to do.
“I am upset that this is how I have to celebrate my birthday,” Block said. “But the more we stay inside and social distance then the faster this will be over.”
Many of the students who have had their birthday plans ruined by the coronavirus realize that it is not the end of the world and that there are other issues to focus on.
“I do feel like I’m missing out,” Feuerman said. “But in the grand scheme of things it’s more than fine. There are more important things to worry about in this world.”
Students with canceled birthday celebrations in the wake of the coronavirus are accepting the fact that this year their birthday will be a little different from previous ones. Many are looking on the bright side and are shifting their mindset away from focusing on the loss of a celebration to being grateful that they are healthy during this pandemic.