VIDEO: Family sings 'Happy Birthday' to 95-year-old grandma while social distancing

Posted at 3:16 PM, Mar 20, 2020

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A 95-year-old woman’s birthday party had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it didn’t stop her family from celebrating the milestone.

The Syracuse, New York family had been planning Kathleen Byrne's party for months and relatives from across the country were set to attend the bash, but her health was more important.

However, the family couldn’t let Kathleen’s birth go uncelebrated, so they brought the party to her front door and sang her “Happy Birthday” at a safe distance.

“We had to keep our distance, but we couldn’t not see our best girl on her birthday!!!” wrote Sara Byrne, one of Kathleen’s granddaughters in an Instagram video that has now gone viral.

In the video, family members and even some dogs are seen lined up in Kathleen’s yard with signs, serenading the grandmother of 22 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.

“I’m sorry we’re not all together, but you’re all altogether,” Kathleen can be heard saying in the video.

At 95 years old, Kathleen is in an age group that is at a high risk of “severe illness” from the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s impertinent for everyone, especially older adults, to distance themselves from other people if COVID-19 is spreading in their communities.

Sara told CBS News that her grandma, or “Gram,” is feeling great and is keeping good spirits amid the crisis, but the family didn’t want to take chances. Sara said her family is tentatively planning a summer party for Kathleen instead, hopefully a little closer to her.