Due to social distancing protocols, a Penticton boy celebrated his birthday in atypical fashion this week.
When Lucas Lemke turned 11 years old he wasn’t able to celebrate with his friends and family due to orders that people stay home and distance themselves from others to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In place of a traditional party, his mother, Jodie Conti, had the idea of throwing him a “drive-by” party.
At least a dozen of Lucas’ close friends and family came together to collectively wish him a happy birthday, sending wishes and waving signs from their cars one by one. Lucas stood on the sidewalk with his brothers, grinning from ear to ear.
Lucas, who has been at home self-isolating with his family for two weeks, has been limited to playing basketball and riding scooters in his driveway with his brothers.
Despite missing his friends, he fully understands why he wasn’t able to have a normal birthday party this year.
Lemke is no stranger to being cautious of germs; the Uplands Elementary student has cystic fibrosis. Because of this, he has spent a lot of time avoiding people who are sick because he is immunocompromised.
His mother came up the idea to throw her son a party from a distance after she was inspired by similar stories in the news.
She said Lucas was thrilled to be able to see his friends, even if it was from afar.
“It was such a cool thing for him just to get to see his friend’s faces,” said Conti. “They couldn’t get close but they were able to smile and laugh.”
Conti says she believes it’s imperative to stay positive and do what you can to enjoy yourself during these trying times.
“Everyone is going through this time in our lives that is totally unprecedented and none of us know how to navigate it. We’re all isolated and a lot of us are lonely,” Conti said.
“I think it’s huge to be able to still celebrate our wins and some of these special times in our lives. I think it’s really important to be able to lift people’s spirits and show people we’re still in this together.”
Check out a video clip from Lucas’ birthday party below: