Celebrations Despite COVID-19

The Corona Times – April 27, 2020

by Rhonda Gunter

NOTE: On Friday, April 24, 2020, the Mitchell County Commission rescinded the special restrictions for Mitchell County only due to COVID-19. Restrictions on length of travel, quarantining, and the 10:30 p.m. curfew were removed and the county moved into line with Governor Roy Cooper’s mandates concerning Stay At Home.

Photo of RHonda Gunter, Sherry Weeks, and Jan Graham at Rhonda's Birthday Party

Rhonda Gunter’s friends Sherry Weeks and Jan Graham celebrate Rhonda’s birthday by practicing social distancing.

Celebrations of important life events have certainly become problematic during these Corona Times!  With Shelter in Place and Social Distancing the guidelines for social interaction, it’s tough to hold a party!  But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and folks get pretty inventive when they are determined to celebrate a festive occasion. 

My birthday is in the middle of April.  My friends Sherry and Jan and I have traditionally made a trip to a garden center to purchase annuals for our porches and flower gardens.  Unable to do that this year, however, those two dear friends, driving separately, came to my house to wish me a happy natal day.  The usual hugs were out of the question, but we took deck chairs out to the yard and sat to chat for a couple hours – six feet apart, of course!  It was not our customary way to celebrate, but it was special nevertheless!

My family has always taken me out for a celebratory birthday dinner.  But no dining in restaurants right now, and gatherings of more than a few are prohibited.  My brother and I instead enjoyed a delicious take-away fillet, baked potato, and salad from Western Sizzlin’.  And there was also German Chocolate Cake!  I very much enjoyed my day – just in an untypical way. 

Photo of Sherry Weeks and Jan Graham with a birthday banner

Happy Birthday Rhonda!

I’ve talked to others who have also adjusted their celebrations to abide by pandemic restrictions.  A friend received not her customary spa day for her birthday, but a gift certificate for the spa treatment at a date to be determined.  Needless to say, she’s looking forward to enjoying that special pampering whenever restrictions are lifted and the spa re-opens.  A couple who usually went to an exclusive resort for their wedding anniversary made do with take-out and a Red Box movie rental this year. 

Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday, 4/24/20, that public school in-person classes will not resume this school year.  What about Commencement and the other celebrations that Seniors have always enjoyed to mark finishing one stage in their lives and moving on to the next?  Their proms were canceled, and Mitchell High hasn’t yet announced what arrangements will be made for graduation.  These Seniors for sure won’t have the same memories that most of us do of their last year of high school, but ways will be found to rejoice with and for them.   

And what about weddings in Corona Times?  The big ceremonies and receptions at which family and friends help celebrate a couple’s happy day are unfortunately out of the question.  Rebekah Hollifield, daughter of Mitchell County Historical Society Treasurer Chris Hollifield had set a wedding date for April; watch for a future journal entry in which she describes her Corona Times wedding experience. 

Photo of an open Tokyo Restaurant

Last week, we posted a photo of Tokyo Restaurant being closed due to a lack of food. They have received shipments and have re-opened for carry-out service.

We Want to Tell Your Story

If you have stories, images, or videos that you would like to include in The Corona Times, please e-mail mitchellnchistory@gmail.com with your stories and files for inclusion. If you have problems sending us videos, please e-mail and we will make arrangements for you to upload the video to us.

About the Numbers

You will note a series of numbers contained in the blog. They document the spread of virus through confirmed cases by the federal Centers for Disease Control and by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. These are the official totals provided by state and local government at the date of the post and do not include estimates or cases not confirmed by these agencies. This is our effort to provide an accurate gauge of confirmed virus spread as it continues during the pandemic.


Cases in North Carolina


Deaths in North Carolina


Current Hospitalizations
in North Carolina


Cases in Western North Carolina


Cases in Mitchell County


Deaths in
Western North Carolina


Cases in the United States


Deaths in the United States

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