Long-Time Back Bay Resident Celebrates Birthday With Socially Distanced Gathering

Long-time Back Bay resident Linda Morgan celebrated her birthday last year at a restaurant surrounded by friends and neighbors. This year her celebration looked a little different—neighbors donned masks and stood six feet apart.

Social distancing has created challenges for people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, and other special events during the COVID-19 crisis, but many across the country have come up with creative ways to still honor loved ones.

Morgan has been an avid participant in many social events with the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, and has contributed to the Back Bay community in a multitude of ways.

Fourteen people gathered on April 23, Morgan’s birthday, at the Fireman’s Monument on the Commonwealth Ave. Mall with signs saying “Happy Birthday” and “Linda.”

Back Bay resident Kris Field organized the event, calling it a “really simple thing to do,” but adding that she wanted to do something for Morgan this year even though it couldn’t be a regular party.

She said she “emailed a bunch of people I know who were around and who could put masks on,” and told them to meet at the Fireman’s Monument at 11:00am on the 23rd.

“We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her and she moved about and was able to say hello to everybody and got a big kick out of it,” Field said. “We all feel weird because we don’t feel particularly safe these days,” because it can be hard to tell who has the virus and who doesn’t with so many asymptomatic carriers. “We were being really careful to keep our distance.”

Field said that Morgan came up to her poised to give her a hug, but then “realized she couldn’t.”

Kay Nagle, another neighbor who attended the party, said that she and her husband came up from the Cape just to attend the celebration. They even brought their dog, who got to sniff Morgan’s hand. “It was a nice thing to do for a nice woman who has done so much for the Back Bay,” she said. 

Even though the gathering was a simple one, it was enjoyed by all who attended.

“Everybody felt good just to come and do something with friends even through we couldn’t get close,” Field said. “We all felt very uplifted by the whole thing.”

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