De Anza College students celebrate birthdays in quarantine

Despite the limitations of COVID-19, De Anza College students still celebrate their birthdays by keeping their events small, close-knit and virtual.

English major Yuetong Zhang, 19, said she met two close friends on her birthday. They ate cake and chips and passed time together.

“I don’t care about the celebrations,” Zhang said. “I care more about the sentiment behind it.”

Zhang added that simply being with her friends was enough for a good birthday.

Adel Burieva celebrated her birthday near the beginning of the pandemic. Because she was at home in Russia at the time and living in an isolated area, she invited some friends over to celebrate.

“We created a special table with cakes, barbeque, and Russian dishes like Borsch and Solyanka,” said Burieva, 18, computer science major. “We had a pretty good time together.”

Seong Min Bae, 21 and a business administration major, had to reconsider birthday celebration plans last minute due to the spike in COVID cases during June of last year.

“It was one thing to celebrate my 21st birthday, but also another thing to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of the virus,” said Bae.

He ended up celebrating in person with the people he was in frequent contact with, like his girlfriend and roommate. The day after, he celebrated with the rest of his friends on Zoom.

“I had the same intimate gathering of my favorite friends,” said Bae. “Although there was no one to push my head into a cake or pull those mini-confetti poppers, everyone was there to sing happy birthday to me and just have fun.”

Maintaining these connections has remained the main goal of celebrations, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“That’s the most memorable thing for a birthday,” Bae said. “That’s all I could ask for.”