Celebrating Passover, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and the start of Ramadan during a pandemic
This is a special and meaningful time of the year for families; friends and communities who in normal times get together to celebrate. This time it will be different; as in so many other aspects of our life, everything seems to be changed – hopefully for not too long. We urge each of us – everyone -- to stay put in our homes. But, staying-at-home, doesn’t mean being alone. There are many ways to connect with friends and loved ones who are in a different place, thanks to technology. At these times, if we have not yet done so, we should all become familiar with WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, Zoom or other similar apps. Let’s also help people who don’t have access to technology or don’t know how to use it. Make sure you call, connect, text, send a picture, keep in touch. My key message is: let’s become champions of staying at home and let’s be connectors of not being alone.
There are many ideas of how one can celebrate despite the situation. Even though we can't physically be next to each other, we still can be with each other. We can still have all the same conversations and enjoy each other's company. Some people are organizing Easter egg hunts in their neighborhoods. It sounds counterintuitive to social distancing guidelines, but it works by families hanging pictures of Easter eggs on their front door or windows (for details, see here). If you're concerned about missing church on Easter Sunday, you can attend an online service or search for a drive-in service in your area. Maybe participate in a virtual egg decorating contest. A virtual Passover Seder is the way to go this year, but it requires organization since it is more than "just the communal family dinner." Even if one cannot have company, Passover doesn’t need to be lonely. Celebrations of Ramadan will continue through livestreaming and other digital forms. In the words of a Canadian Imam, "It's a community coming together. This is where we're scrambling and we don't know all the answers. At the end of the day, you want to stay healthy and stay alive."