KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — World Down Syndrome Day is March 21, or 3-21. That represents three copies of the 21st chromosome that people with Down syndrome have.
Usually, it's a time to celebrate with a fun meal out or a party, but not this time.
All year, the Down Syndrome Awareness Group (DSAG) hosts recreational activities and plans group events.
But for now, all gatherings are off because individuals with Ds are at high risk of complications from the coronavirus.
"A lot of our friends with Down syndrome have heart disease or lung disease or both. We also have a lot of elderly caregivers," DSAG Executive Director Angie Holbert said. "You might have somebody with Down syndrome at 45 that might be at higher risk than a typically developed person at 60. So we just have to really be sure to protect our people that we love on."
Loving people with Ds is part of the purpose of World Down Syndrome Day every year on March 21. A safe and fun option for in-person celebrations this time is to put on what they call crazy socks.
"It's just mismatched socks that are different colors but you can wear any socks, it doesn't matter what kind you wear to celebrate that they're all socks, so they all serve the same purpose they just look a little bit different," Angie said.
Snap a photo of you or one of your friends rocking your socks. Then post the pics on the DSAG Facebook page.
Beyond the celebration Saturday, Angie has some advice for every day.
"If you ever meet anybody with Down syndrome or have somebody in your life with Down syndrome make sure to just treat them like everybody else because that's what they really want," she said.