It was late March when I started to send the first of many handmade and store-bought cards through the mail. Each package would be lightly sprayed with a disinfectant like unbathed women spritzing pungent perfume before the invention of indoor plumbing. Like everyone else, I had a different idea in mind for 2020, and I had to adjust to a changing world. I felt most terrible for the kids who missed out on seeing friends from school, students who missed out on graduations, and those who have lost loved ones during this time. However, I couldn’t help but also feel a little bummed that the kids I used to hang out under The Tree with in high school would all be turning 30 away from each other during a pandemic.
The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched by NASA on April 24, 1990, me, and the majority of my friends are turning 30 years old this year. We’re saying goodbye to our 20s, certain ways of life before the pandemic, and looking with considerable uncertainty at our 30s. I wasn’t initially worried about turning 30, but something about living through a devastating global event really puts things into perspective.
Birthday parties have been canceled, everyone’s travel trips were rescheduled, and gifts sent through the mail have all been doused in bleach. My mom and I wanted to visit the place where I was born for my birthday (in October) since I haven’t been there in nearly 28 years, but that really cool idea is also in the hands of the contagious Coronavirus.
My friends and I are adapting to all of these changes as we go. Friends celebrating their 30th birthdays in quarantine will receive well wishes from a horde of nerdy 29 and 30-year-olds over Houseparty, FaceTime, and Zoom. Life will go on, and we’ll one day get to do those trips we all planned months ago.