Students celebrate religious holidays while isolated

COVID-19 creates challenges for students observing their religious beliefs


Lyndsey Fletcher

Religious celebrations have moved online because of COVID-19.

By Sophia Kaufman, Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief

Students found different ways to celebrate religious holidays while quarantined.

Since Gov. Laura Kelley’s stay at home order first went into effect on March 30, celebrating holidays like Easter and Ramadan was different. Gatherings have been limited to no more than 10 people and a distance of six feet. 

For junior Amy Manning and sophomore Vivian Podrebarac, this meant celebrating Easter virtually. Manning planned to watch Easter services on Facebook Live. Podrebarac had similar plans to celebrate the holiday from home while churches were closed.

“We want to do our part in staying isolated to slow the spread of the virus,” Podrebarac said.

Not being able to see members of Manning’s church was difficult for her.

“COVID-19 keeps us from going to church to celebrate, which really makes me sad because Easter is one of my favorite holidays, and I love being able to celebrate with all the people at my church,” Manning said. 

Due to the virus, Podrebarac was prevented from travelling to visit family during the Easter holiday.

“My parents are divorced so we are always busy on Easter weekend in order to see everyone. COVID-19 has dramatically changed our plans now that we can’t leave our house,” Podrebarac said in an interview before Easter. “I am currently quarantined at my mom’s and my sister is quarantined at my dad’s, so I won’t be able to see them in person.”

Sophomore Lindsey Rutledge made plans to keep celebrations low-key at home with family, staying six feet apart. Rutledge’s plans varied from her typical Easter holidays, unable to see all her family members.

“Usually, we go to church, then come back home and have my sister and her family over for a large lunch and dinner,” Rutledge said in an interview before the holiday. “We dye eggs and do an Easter egg hunt for the littles. Then all of us sisters get to open an Easter basket from our mom. Not being able to spend Easter with our full family will be very different.”

Senior Aryaf Muyidi planned to celebrate Ramadan at home with some family, unable to travel to friends and other family’s houses due to the virus. Plans to observe fasting remained in place.

“The only thing COVID-19 affects is not being able to go to the mosque or family/friend’s houses to be able to celebrate it with them because that is the point of Ramadan,” Muyidi said.

Interviews by Lyndsey Fletcher.