Communities unite for birthday celebrations ruined by coronavirus lockdowns

LONDON – Celebrating a birthday should be a happy occasion for every child, but the coronavirus pandemic is causing many to miss their traditional parties.

But even though a municipality in Slovenia had to stay inside and avoid close contact with others, it found a way to bring the smile back to the children’s faces.

In the capital, Ljubljana, 6-year-old Dusan had no choice but to hold his birthday party without his kindergarten friends in the house, but his father, Vladimir Banic, made sure they sent video greetings to his son.

Slovenia, where 577 coronavirus cases and six deaths have been confirmed, has been closed for almost two weeks, and schools, shops, restaurants, and playgrounds are closed.

Banic said when he saw his friends’ faces again, his son became emotional and watched the video dozens of times.

He said he had promised to throw him a big birthday party when the pandemic was over.

“We have learned from this terrible situation that nothing is more valuable than spending time with family and friends,” added Banic, an NBC News employee and freelance digital journalist. “Missing people are the worst part of this fight against the virus, and children are the most vulnerable to it.”

Neighbors on a street in the city of Southampton on the south coast of England also found a way to celebrate a young friend who was celebrating. They hung from the windows and stood in gardens to sing “Happy Birthday” with Sophia when she turned 8 on Wednesday.

The depiction of community affection during the UK’s ongoing lockdown response to the coronavirus was captured by her father Rob Thomas and shared online. It has now been widely distributed online and viewed more than 20,000 times on Twitter.

“Sophia was blown away, absolutely blown away. It’s going to be a little crazy,” he told NBC News.

Thomas and his wife requested cards and virtual messages from a WhatsApp group in the neighborhood to cheer up their daughter, and were surprised when the neighborhood agreed to the Singalong.

Leave a Comment