Celebrations during COVID-19

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The stay-at-home order has not only put the usual coffee run on hold, but also many holiday celebrations across the globe.

A message sent out by San Joaquin County Public Health Services last week offered  recommendations and tips on how families and religious communities could continue celebrations while still practicing social distancing. 

The holidays that have taken the biggest impact by the stay at home order are Easter, Passover and, in late April, Ramadan. 

These three specific celebrations are known to have the biggest turn out for gatherings, and during a global pandemic which has encouraged societies to practice social distancing, families have found positive alternatives to celebrate together in spite of being apart.

“Each household in our family decided to have individual Seders and share pictures and videos of them via group chat and Facebook,” said Ayaana Williams.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have been a great way for families to share how they celebrated their holiday, as well as how they have adjusted to quarantine life. 

Online services like Zoom and Skype are being used heavily by universities and schools all across the globe. 

Faith-based communities have adopted these services and the live feature that Facebook provides to hold services and meetings within their community. 

First Baptist Church of Stockton, located about a mile from the Delta College campus, offered its Easter Service through Facebook, with a running dialogue between members. Central United Methodist, located across the street from University of the Pacific, also offered a virtual sermon. Presentation Church on Benjamin Holt Drive also broadcasts virtual masses.

“For about a year and half my church has been streaming our services via Facebook! So the transition was very easy, we just tune into the Facebook live service that our pastors have for us.” said Javier Inzunza

Stockton’s Temple Israel linked visitors to its Facebook page to virtual Seder happenings.

“As far as the Jewish community adjusting to these changes, many services are being held via live Zoom calls through the temple, where everyone is able to continue to celebrate both Passover and Shabbat,” said Williams

Most communities are adapting well to this new way of communicating and connecting, but of course these new ways will never live up to coming together to celebrate and practice your beliefs. 

“It means a lot for my family to celebrate Pesach (Passover) because it has been an important tradition in my family for many years,” said Williams.

Being able to celebrate your favorite holiday this year is coming with the price of doing your part by protecting your health and of others around you. 

“For my family and me, quarantined together has had it’s challenges but I feel like as a family, it’s teaching us a lot of what we’re like and of how we’re becoming” said Inzunza

Practicing social distancing efficiently during these times can ensure celebratory events with your family and community in the near future.

“It’s nice to see that people still have so much hope and faith with everything going on,” said Williams