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'Spread love however you can:' Central Georgians find ways to celebrate birthdays during pandemic

People across the globe are finding ways to celebrate major milestones, like birthdays, while social distancing

MACON, Ga. — The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing people all over the world to celebrate holidays and other special events at home.

That includes major milestones like birthdays.

Some Central Georgia families are doing everything they can to make their celebration special.

Pamela Rumph planned to throw a large party for her mother, Doris Adams, in celebration of the matriarch’s 85th birthday.

“After the coronavirus came on the scene, we had to make other arrangements,” Rumph said.

Instead of throwing a party, on the day of Adams’ birthday, Rumph decided to do something different.

She made a sign for her mother that read, “Happy 85th birthday mom. Show love and honk twice!”.

Then, she set it up outside of her house in Kathleen and sat by Adams as neighbors drove by, honking and singing ‘happy birthday.’

“Just try to get the community behind her,” Rumph said. “Just to let her know that we love and appreciate her.”

She says Adams lost her son, Jessie, in a car accident just last month, so all the love and support Adams got from the community on her birthday was much needed.

“Spread love however you can find love,” Rumph said. “Throughout your family, throughout your community, while staying at a distance.”

A family in Macon had a similar celebration for now 2-year-old Mariana on Saturday.

Tara Griffin is Mariana’s grandmother.

Marianna’s birthday party was canceled too, so Griffin and her family drove by in cars decorated with balloons while honking and singing to wish the toddler well.

“We had to come up with something because we couldn’t be near her,” Griffin said.

Mariana was all smiles as she sat and waved in her small rocking chair.

“Really it was for the adults. She’s too young to understand. She might not remember it but we will,” Griffin said.

Griffin says although the celebration was cute, she wished she could hold her granddaughter.

"Of course wanted to hug her,” she said. “That was hard. I just hope we never have to do this again. I hope next year we get to hug everybody.”


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