Drive-By Baby Showers Are a New Trend Thanks to Coronavirus

Drvie-by baby shower with balloons
Families across America are showing their love to expectant mothers during the pandemic with drive-by baby showers, balloons and gifts. PIERRE VERDY/AFP via Getty Images

Instead of canceling celebrations, families across the U.S. are reinventing the baby shower, getting creative with their well-wishes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While most folks are sad to be putting social events on hold due to social distancing guidelines, mom-to-be Amy Litz was surprised she got a baby shower—of sorts—in her home town of Santa Cruz, California.

To celebrate the arrival of her baby girl this May, friends and family formed a parade of cars outside her house, with signs and balloons, as the vehicles hooted their horns in encouragement for pregnant Litz. She stood at a safe distance in on her lawn, appreciating the scene.

"I was just so, so surprised; I was crying the whole time," Litz told California TV news station KSBW. "I had been looking forward to our baby shower for quite some time and the fact that it got canceled and you know, just shows what great friends and family we have in our lives and I'm just so blessed."

Litz is not the only expectant mother to enjoy an atypical baby shower. Drive-thru showers could become the new norm, with reports of them popping up all over the country this month. Stacey Wolf of Woodbine, Maryland, also due in May, was recently showered by a line of around 40 cars filled with baby presents and diapers.

"I was really surprised when I saw the pink and blue balloons and all the cars out here," said Wolf to CBS TV station WJZ-TV. "It was an overwhelming feeling of love and support, and knowing everybody was here for us no matter what."

The gifts were intermittently dropped off at her doorstep within safe social-isolation guidelines. Across the U.S., social distancing guidelines have been put in place to avoid spreading COVID-19, which can be transmitted through droplets from the mouth and nose of someone with the illness.

Following the first case of the disease, believed to date back to November 2019, there have been 39,000 deaths and more than 800,000 people infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Johns Hopkins University recently reported that 172,000 people had recovered from the virus. The pandemic has prompted numerous countries to issue social distancing guidelines and place residents on lockdown in a bid to limit the spread of the disease.

Family surprises mom-to-be with drive-thru baby shower

— WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (@WTAE) March 31, 2020

Drive-by baby showers are just one way the U.S. has tried to remain positive. In Blane, Minnesota, this month, Bev Johnson created an alternative event for her pregnant daughter, Jamie, to celebrate her impending arrival. Those who knew the family drove-by, dropped off gifts for mother and baby and enjoyed cups of coffee while sitting at least six feet away from each other.

"We had a baby shower planned for months now, and the baby is due the end of April, and we don't feel this crisis will be over by then," explained Johnson to KSTP-TV in Minnesota during the event, "we're having people drive-by to drop off gifts, get a cup of coffee and keep on going. You won't see many people here at one time."

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Hygiene advice:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

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