WebMD News Brief

Celebrating Grandma's 95th From a Social Distance

photo of coronavirus cell

March 23, 2020 -- When your grandmother turns 95, you find a way to make her feel special -- global pandemic or not. At least that’s how one family felt, after their matriarch’s birthday plans got canceled due to the coronavirus.

The Byrne family went above and beyond to celebrate their grandma, Kathleen Byrne, by showing up outside her house in New York with signs and balloons -- all while sticking to social distancing guidelines, according to CNN.

Kathleen’s granddaughter, Sara, shared a video on Instagram of everyone singing “Happy Birthday” from the sidewalk, writing, “We had to keep our distance but we couldn’t not see our best girl on her birthday!!! Happy 95th Gram we love you SO much!!!”

"She has done so much for our family and we are so, so thankful to still have her, especially during this crazy time our world is going through," Sara told CNN. "We wanted to show up for her to make her feel special on her big day no matter what."

Older adults -- especially those over 65 -- are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the CDC. Because the new coronavirus spreads between people who are in close contact, the agency is urging seniors to keep a safe distance from others to avoid getting sick.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on March 23, 2020

Sources

CDC: “US Hospitalizations, ICU Admissions, and Deaths from COVID-19.”

CNN: “Family embraces social distancing to wish grandmother, 95, a happy birthday.”

Instagram: @sabyrne5, March 19, 2020.

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