Collective COVID Piece - March 21

This March is a particularly important one as it marks the approximate one year point since the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped our daily lives. Beyond our day-to-day experiences, our celebration of special occasions has also been transformed. We decided to ask our contributors to share a bit about how they adapted their celebrations to stay safe while retaining some sense of normalcy during this unprecedented time.

“For Christmas my family usually goes to church, but due to restrictions our parish created a ‘car church’ which worked like a drive-in movie theater. Unsurprisingly, I fell asleep. Sorry Mom and Dad!”

-Bernie Kilkelly


Digital Media Programming and Management Major

“My birthday is in April, so the pandemic was in full swing just in time for me to turn 21. Like many others, I didn’t meet with anyone, and frankly, I hardly celebrated with my family. Some say that as you get older, your birthday becomes less of a celebration. Unfortunately, nearly everyone has been forced to adapt to this mindset over the past year.”

-David O'Keefe Senior Digital Media Production “My family is huge and we always have these big family gatherings for Christmas. We’d cook so many dishes that we’d need two tables for everything. This was the first Christmas I’ve ever spent without so many people in our household. We kept it very small and we spoke to other family members over the phone. After my mother cooked dinner my family and I sang karaoke, opened presents and spent the evening watching Christmas movies. It was really upsetting not to spend that quality time with all my family members, but I realize it’s to protect them. I’m hoping this Christmas will be different.” -Alyssa Albano Junior Adolescent Education and minor in Creative Writing

"I'm an international graduate student at SUNY New Paltz and I'm from India. I started my term in Spring 2021. Before that I was in India and last year a lot of new things happened rather than the usual. India is a diverse country with a lot of festivals throughout the year related to various religions. I was curious before the start of each festival to see how things would turn out. Interestingly, most of the festivals were celebrated in a very eco-friendly manner compared to the previous years. What I mean by that is that people were more concerned about everything around them and started to look at things carefully.

Grandeur scale of celebrations became minimal as people knew they couldn’t go out as a crowd. Less materials were used to celebrate festivals and rituals, thereby decreasing the amount of waste that is produced from the festivals every year. Also, since people were living and working in their homes mostly with their families or friends, they were able to spend more time with their dear ones, thereby fulfilling the actual purpose of festivals. Now as things are getting normal we may go back to what we were previously (pre-pandemic). I think there will definitely be a change due to the impact of COVID19, because people are starting to realize their priorities and take action on what is more important."

-Lohith Bollineni

First Year graduate student

Masters in Computer Science

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