VANCOUVER -- A Port Moody woman found a way to celebrate her husband’s 30th birthday in a physically distant way on Saturday by inviting friends and family to drive by with signs, balloons and raucous cheers.

The result — an impromptu parade of cheering friends and relatives — not only lifted their spirits, but created a community event, as neighbours came out on their balconies to watch the festivities, said Cam Dailly.

“I woke up yesterday morning thinking, ‘Oh man, 30’s a big one, but I’m not going to be able to see even my closest family and friends,’” he said. “So I was feeling a little bit disappointed about that."

Dailly said that at around lunchtime his wife, Jessica, suggested they go outside.

“All of a sudden I saw my friend Dave Jonsson outside on a skateboard leading a parade of cars out the front of my building,” he said.

Jessica Dailly organized the event after seeing news stories of birthdays celebrated in a similar way.

“I thought, that’s safe and that’s a way you can still celebrate the person you love,” she said.

Like everyone else, the Dailly family says their lives have been profoundly affected by measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cam Dailly was diagnosed with Addison’s disease in his early 20s and is immunocompromised, so he has to be especially careful. 

He works as a youth pastor at Coquitlam Alliance Church, but the church moved services online as soon as B.C.’s provincial health officer asked for no gatherings of over 250 people. 

He oversees a church youth group, which is now held on Instagram Live.

Jessica Dailly works with refugee families as a settlement worker.

“I do all the kinds of meetings that help people get settled into Canada, preparing their kids for school, helping them find jobs, income, health care, legal — and a lot of those places are shut down, so it delays their progress,” she said.