Phil and I were discussing the tradition of blowing out the candles on birthday cakes and how the pandemic might make that a thing of the past. Honestly, is nothing sacred?
Since COVID-19 can spread through the air droplets in one’s breath, it stands to reason that blowing on a birthday cake that will then be served to your guests isn’t ideal. Party favors are usually candy or small toys, not a respiratory disease.

Coming from someone who grew up with younger siblings and cousins, I’m used to my birthday cake being spit on. Having a toddler nephew now means we sing “Happy Birthday” multiple times and relight the candles when we didn’t do it right the first time. So, until now, I never really considered the harm in blowing out the birthday candles.

However, I did have one potential solution to this problem. Parents typically have a separate, small cake reserved for a baby on his or her first birthday to destroy completely in a “cake smash.” Let’s take a page out of that book and have a personal cupcake for the person celebrating another year of life. That way, only one cake is exposed to that person’s breath when the candles are blown out. The larger cake is saved for all of the guests and no one is worried about it being contaminated.

COVID-19 has taken a lot from us. You only get one birthday a year. Let’s save one tiny comfort like blowing out birthday candles to make a wish.

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