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Last Edit: 2020-06-03

Quarantine Birthday

Somehow the most memorable yet

I've been very fortunate this week by being able to enjoy my birthday in peace at my home in Canada. But when quarantine first started, I didn't expect it to last through my June birthday. So in early May, I began to get a little worried about a pitiful celebration alone in my room or something. Even on the day of, my relatives and friends would jokingly refer to a "Quarantine Birthday", which I'm sure other people who've gone through birthdays in 2020 can relate to. However, this birthday may have been my favourite yet and I'm pretty sure quarantine had something to do with it. In this blog post, I would like to share why my otherwise mundane celebration actually was the most memorable.

The day started at midnight with my sister dropping a laptop in my room with my first ever surprise birthday party over Zoom. I'm really grateful for everybody hopping on the call, and it was really heartwarming to see (I was also genuinely surprised), even if everybody had embarrasing Zoom backgrounds of me. Given that the call included a never seen before combination of my friends from both Canada and the US, it could only have been done over video chat!

I started the morning after a late night with some croissants (my favourite breakfast food) and a cup of freshly roasted Kenyan coffee from West End Roasters. The coffee was so good I ended up having another two cups by the end of the day!

Next, I checked the feed-levels for the bird-feeder I recently put up in my backyard. I was relieved to see that after only one day, bird traffic was non-zero! I quickly called my family to remind them of the new bird-feeder - they let me bother them because it was my birthday.

For lunch, I picked up takeout from my favourite restaurant, Lazeez: a Mississauga staple that you either vehemently love or hate. After 3 months without takeout, it was certainly love that I was feeling. Plus, my sister made a very tasty ice cream cake (I can't eat normal cake) to really sell the birthday vibe.

After forcing my family to watch The Dark Knight Rises with me (in all of its three-hour glory), I invited my friends over for a social distancing party in my backyard, complete with masks and gloves provided. We tried our best to adhere to Ontario social distancing standards, with nobody coming inside the house.

Since moving to the US from Canada at the beginning of university, I've thought about what my 21st birthday would be like, especially with how big of a deal Americans make it. However, a few beers (Corona to be tasteful) with my best friends during sunset was better than any wild or crazy 21st birthday party I could ever imagine.

But, I still indulged in some American tradition with my friends buying me my first "it-would-be-legal-in-America" (Ontario's legal age is 19) bottle of wine!

Overall, I get the impression that quarantine has taught me how to be more grateful. Things I would otherwise take for granted ultimately become the highlights of the year because of how much we treasure them during isolation. I'm extremely fortunate to be able to work on things I find intellectually and creatively stimulating without worry of unemployment or violence, and I hope that I can do my part to help out the health and social climate of the world.

Thanks to everybody for the birthday wishes, and for everybody who donated to the fundraiser to reach our goal in one day!

Thanks for reading!

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