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Family of 80-year-old man celebrates birthday in pandemic friendly way

Posted at 9:47 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 23:47:50-05

HIGHLAND, Utah — A Utah County family isn’t letting COVID-19 get in the way of a good party.

For a Springville man’s family, his 80th birthday was too big a milestone to ignore during a pandemic.

“Any birthday is a big deal, but a birthday that ends in zero to me is an even bigger deal,” said Suzanne, who requested not to use her last name.

Yet, David is not exactly the person who would be fine if exposed to COVID-19. He has heart issues; his 75-year-old wife Jeanette is undergoing radiation therapy.

“We’ve had to talk on the phone, we’ve had to do zoom conferences,” said Suzanne.

For this celebration, Suzanne needed something better.

“I thought we needed some kind of shield, some kind of quarantine bubble. I thought an automobile is the perfect quarantine bubble,” said Suzanne.

She came up with a progressive dinner, with courses enjoyed consecutively in the garages of three separate children. It allows them to safely celebrate with every member of the family.

The couple stayed inside their minivan with the windows up while their children and grandkids share of the meal in a garage. Cell phones act as two-way radios.

“It’s far beyond everything I imagined. It’s truly wonderful,” said David. “This is like going to heaven. [We saw] everybody we love."