Josh Reynolds, who works in technology sales and lives in American Fork, Utah, got the vaccine without telling his big family. Two weeks after a second shot, in mid-April, 29-year-old Reynolds brought his wife and younger brother, both vaccinated, and his 6-month-old daughter to New Jersey. They rented a car at the airport and arrived outside of their uncle’s house, whom they had not seen since before the pandemic.
“We lost our father two years ago, and we are always close to that particular uncle,” he said. “We chat every day and he’s like a big brother.”
“He hasn’t even met my daughter yet,” he added.
They waited for him to get home for 45 minutes, hid on the street, and rang the doorbell.
“The surprise was much better than I expected,” said Reynolds, who had imagined this moment many times before it happened. “My aunt is crying. My cousin ran over and took my daughter out of my hands. The puppy rushed to the front door. “
This is the year 2021, he captured the entire moment on his phone and shared it on Twitter.
“With such an absolutely horrible year everyone had to go through with a pandemic, there doesn’t seem to be an end point in sight,” he said. “To show people, ‘Look, we’ve been vaccinated, we can see our family again,’ I feel like the whole world needs to see this.”
Videos of people who are fully vaccinated to surprise their loved ones are causing a stir on social media. The clips lie somewhere between “Camera App” and the soldier, and show family members naturally laughing, crying, hugging, and embracing the fact that people they haven’t met in more than one years are there in the flesh.
Everyone’s motive to post them is pure. Some want to share their happiness; others want to show the power of vaccines. These surprises need to work, and a friendly competition has even emerged.
“I don’t want to include a video of that video, because they are all very happy, but I selfishly think ours are the best,” said Mr. Reynolds. “My uncle played basketball in college. Seeing him rise off the ground at such a height and hearing his voice scream so high, it’s unbelievable. “
That morning Grant Tosterud, 26, a meteorologist in Albuquerque, was embarking on his surprise adventure, seeing another person on social media. “I don’t remember the specifics but this guy came into the house, and his parents were doing something inside and flipping it out,” he said. “That makes me more worried that my setup won’t work.”
He thought a lot about his plan. On the scheduled second day of his vaccination, he booked a plane ticket to Fargo, ND, where his mother lives. He arranged for a family friend to pick him up to the airport so he could knock on the door and completely let her off guard. “I know how much my mother misses me,” said Mr. Tosterud. “A surprise would mean a lot more and it would be a lot more fun than she expected me to come.”
Nothing went as planned. She was not at home so he waited 15 minutes on the porch. “Fortunately, the sun is already shining,” he said. Then, she walks upstairs, her bag in hand after running some errands. However, the moment was perfect.
“I was disappointed with myself because I stopped the video so I could hug her, but I should have kept rolling,” he said. His viewers – between Facebook and Twitter there are about 5,000 of them – missed a real five-minute hug.
Meryn Hayes has become my favorite pastime for watching these kinds of videos. “I saw them on Twitter scrolling through my feed. I saw them on TikTok, ”she said. “I’ll say over the past two to three weeks, they’ve started to become more frequent.”
“I see two or three days a day,” she added. “If they don’t come again, I’ll look for them because they make me very happy.”
She cried one by one. “Part of this is imagining yourself as a parent who hasn’t seen your baby for a year,” said Hayes, 33, a producer at an animation studio in Raleigh, NC. swollen.”
Even some who consider themselves private are sharing the moment on social media, a sign of how overwhelming the moment is.
Debbie Lowenthal, 50, was separated from her 77-year-old mother more than 2,500 miles during the pandemic. She works for a hospital and nursing association in Juneau, Alaska, and her mother lives alone in Pleasanton, California. “In the spring of 2020, she will tell us that she thinks she might die alone, that she will never see us again,” Ms. Lowenthal said.
So after she and her college-aged daughter got vaccinated, they planned a surprise visit. “I don’t want her to worry about us coming or having to clean her house,” said Ms. Lowenthal. “Or what if something happens and we can’t come? She will be very disappointed. “
Ms. Lowenthal wants to post a video on social media to express her opinion on vaccines. “I want people to know that if you get vaccinated, you can visit a family member without wearing a mask,” she said. “It’s an issue that is now politics, which really saddens me.”
But being a discreet person who rarely posts, she is very nervous. “I sent it to a friend and said, ‘Do you think I should post it?’” Ms. Lowenthal said. “She said, ‘I’m saying, yes, show it to others.’ I did it. I didn’t even watch it all. It was too emotional for me and I didn’t like seeing myself on video.
People who posted videos of unexpected visits say these reunions are as important milestones as first day of school or engagement.
Ashley Stafford, 32, a dance teacher and personal trainer in Manhattan, is engaged to Sergio King, a 28-year-old actor. Last week, when Mr. King was fully vaccinated, she arranged for her fiancé’s sisters, Chantal and JoLyn King, to surprise him at an Airbnb near New Haven, Conn.
“The video I have, it started when he was unlocking the door to Airbnb. He put down the bag, looked around and heard the closet door open, ”she said. “You can see his body language harden, but then one of the two girls comes out of the closet and the other comes out of the bathroom. Have a lot of fun. “
“It is important to document this moment,” said Stafford. “We’ll all look back at the pandemic, and at least now we have some fun from it. Now we have videos that we can watch over and over again ”.