Have you been one of the lucky ones to commemorate your birthday during the pandemic? Actually the way things are going, you might have the opportunity.
When Florida was under lockdown restrictions last spring, I felt sorry for those people whose birthdays were affected. Families felt desperate to do something special for their loved ones and began organizing drive-by celebrations. Friends waved, screamed, and honked as they drove past the home of the birthday boy or girl. Sigh…I wondered if these short-lived celebrations left the recipients feeling even more alone as they watched every car disappear from view?
I remember thinking, “Surely the pandemic will end by the time my birthday comes around in June. My birthday will be awesome.”
WRONG! Three days before my birthday, two family members tested positive for Covid-19. I spent my birthday in quarantine waiting to see if I would exhibit any symptoms. Fortunately, I was in the clear, and my family members recovered. Herb surprised me with a cake and candles, but guests were out of the question.
Fast forward to Herb’s birthday in August. We planned a family party, which is normal for us and I bought a cake mix. Then I realized, “I’d better make cupcakes because Herb will blow out the candles. I can’t serve cake to everyone after he breathes on it.”
So I did. I also gave everyone personal bottles of hand sanitizer and masks for party favors. How’s that for a pandemic birthday?
Did you ever wonder how our birthday traditions came about? Here’s the scoop.
Birthday cakes were first made in Germany during the Middle Ages as part of a child’s celebration known as Kinderfest. A candle was placed on the cake to represent the “light of life.”
Over time, people began adding one more candle to the top of the cake to represent a person’s age. We were all told to blow them out and make a wish.
Since everyone is more fearful of Covid-19 spreading, here’s a little known bit of information. A study by Clemson University in 2017 discovered blowing out your candles increases bacteria by 1400%. (Actually, this isn’t a huge problem unless the birthday boy is ill.) But in the year of the Covid, nothing is sacred.
Yum! More cake anyone? Don’t be surprised if birthday cakes will be next on the list for a Covid-conversion. I expect to see a shortage of cupcake papers in my local grocery soon. I honestly feel like the world will never be the same again.
How many candles fit on a single cupcake? Just look on the bright side. This year you can extinguish the flame of your candle in one breath—and no one will know your age.