Party Like It's A Pandemic!
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This thesis explores the phenomenon of drive-by-birthday celebrations and virtual parties that emerged as a result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This new style of celebration provides for a social distance of 6-feet while engaging in social interaction. The term drive-by-birthday parades is defined as individuals gathered in decorated vehicles to celebrate a particular individual. The term virtual parties are broader as it represents the gathering of individuals over a communications platform such as zoom, for the purpose of social interaction outside of work. This thesis examines the pandemic celebration trends and the role the celebrations play in mental health. This thesis is in the form of a multimedia journalism project that illustrates the trend’s impact. I documented this trend through a photo essay and mini documentary that will be published on a website. I conducted three interviews, two with subjects engaging in this trend of drive-by-birthday parades while further exploring the process and reasoning behind it. The third, with a mental health expert to explain the connection between the necessity of human interaction and this growing trend. The purpose of this project is to highlight some of the lighter events from the past two years while further exploring our need for socialization as human beings.