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Kim Torrance on celebrating in tough times

Kim Torrrance Celebrating during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Kim Torrance on celebrating in tough times
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Thomas Desormeaux

Thomas Desormeaux

Thomas Desormeaux is a reporter and writer who lives close to the border of Oakville and Mississauga. He has lived in the GTA for his entire life and is interested in global events, politics and government. follow on twitter @TommyDesormeaux

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Kim Torrance has always believed in the importance of celebrating important milestones. When COVID-19 arrived however, “conventional ways of celebrating were off the table.”

Kim has been planning parties in Oakville for decades. She believes that it’s important to make sure that you organize something to mark big accomplishments like anniversaries or graduations.

“I love that energy and joy that a celebration brings,” comments Torrance.

When the country shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, it became more difficult to celebrate special occasions. One of the starkest examples she saw was how recent grads couldn’t attend ceremonies.

 

“They worked so hard all year, and through their all the years, for this big moment. They’ve been looking forward to this and then it was all taken away because of the pandemic,” she says.

Kim Torrance celebrations

Kim Torrance enjoying her new grandchild

Just a few weeks ago, Kim became a grandmother for the third time. The first two times her daughter gave birth, Kim was able to be there. This time though, because of pandemic precautions, she was cut off from everything for more than five days.

“First of all, not being there to support my daughter was very difficult,” explained Torrance. “We weren’t able to be there, we lost that anticipation of waiting for the first cry when the baby is born.”

Once the baby was home, Kim was still not able to see her for many days, doctor’s orders.

“Then of course, when we did finally see her, we had to have our PPE on. That’s not a problem of course, whatever we had to do, but it just felt very different,” she said.

Kim believes that it was important to mark the occasion of the new family member, even with all the protective stipulations. Her family was able to mark the occasion with decorations and balloons, welcome signs and little gifts. All kinds of different ways to maintain a sense of togetherness during a time when it’d be easy to feel isolated.

“We made the best of the situation, focused on our love and gratitude, and came up with creative ways to celebrate,” commented Kim.

 

Here are some tips for anyone looking to mark important moments, even during a pandemic.

 

Obey Guidelines

“Obviously, we have to follow the guidelines of all the health organizations,” said Kim. “Social distancing, 6 feet between everyone, wear your mask, wash your hands.”

Torrance explained that having a small gathering outdoors can be nice during the summer. The outdoors also makes it easier to maintain physical distance and decreases the risk of infection.

She continued that it’s important to assure that you have enough space for everyone, and to encourage everyone to bring their own supplies (food and drink).

In Stage 2, partygoers in Halton can now gather with up to ten people as long as they  physically distance. Kim even gave each person their own hand sanitizer at one party.

 

Prepare ahead of time

Kim Torrance

Provide individual items for your guests.

Kim believes that buying individually wrapped drinks and food items can really help.

“Put out something like cup cakes,” explained Torrance. “If there are snacks, everybody gets their own bowl and everything is already laid out for them. So that nobody is touching anything.”

It is likely okay to let your guests use a bathroom in your house as long as everything is sanitized before and after. Also ensure that no-one is sharing towels.

Preparing ahead of time means that you can relax more once the get together actually begins, because you’ve prepared for every eventuality.

 

Go all out on decorations

Kim Torrance - Decorating

Go all out with the decorations.

A nice way to get into the spirit, according to Kim, is to really get into decorations.

“For visuals, you know, signs, lawn signs and balloons are really popular right now,” commented Kim. “Things like that can make people happy and it’s important to get creative with it.”

“Human connection is really important, I think people are really starting to feel that,” she continued.

By rethinking how to party and getting creative, Kim Torrance believes we can all find a way to feel normal and revel in our celebrations for a night.

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