Jul 21, 2020 - Health

Parents fight lost rites of passage as pandemic rages on

Seniors Madisyn Swanson, from left, Lily Marchant, Hannah Dorr and Morgan Brown posed for a photo in their prom dresses.
Seniors Madisyn Swanson, from left, Lily Marchant, Hannah Dorr and Morgan Brown posed for a photo in their prom dresses back in April. Their prom was canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Some parents are refusing to let a pandemic cancel their kids' senior proms.

Driving the news: Nearly 100 recent New Hampshire high school grads got dressed up last weekend for a private prom, AP reports, one of several held around the country.

The big picture: Everything from graduation to proms to weddings has taken a back seat to this virus, which has thrived in group gatherings.

Between the lines: These proms are possible because of state reopening, even as the virus rages across much of the U.S.

  • New Hampshire is among the few states where the outbreak is flat.
  • The state's rules for wedding and event venues don't prohibit dancing but strongly discourage it unless dancers stick with members of their own household or remain 6 feet apart, AP notes.
  • "We're asking folks to be smart about it, but I'm not going to be the guy in 'Footloose' who says, 'No dancing in my town,'" Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, said last month.

In other states, organizers haven't been so lucky.

  • Idaho, Montana and Georgia are among the states where make-up proms have been scuttled due to the outbreak.

The bottom line: A not-small part of this is more about the parents than the kids, as former kids can probably recall.

  • “Everyone I’ve talked to is saying, ‘Thank you for doing this for the kids,’” said Andrea Gately, who helped organize the event.
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