As Memorial Day Approaches
As Memorial Day approaches this year, we remain burdened with limited activities and safety precautions in the midst of COVID-19. While we are already feeling antsy and isolated, a day of normally getting together with friends and family to honor our military and enjoy outdoor activities hides behind a dark cloud. It’s safe to say, we should continue self-quarantining, wearing masks and practicing safe hygiene. Numbers are already showing us that failing to do so for our recent Easter Holiday resulted in peaking infections nationwide.
Nobody likes being isolated, especially on a holiday. Many people will ignore precautions to give in to their desires of socializing and feeling normal amidst a very scary time. I am not a therapist, a scientist or in law enforcement. I am not here to tell you if you are right or wrong in your choices. Watching emotionally fueled arguments among friends and family unfold over the last 6 weeks, it is very clear many people choose their own path in this historic turn of events.
With that said, here are some safe suggestions for enjoying your Memorial Day and any other special dates in the near future;
Use the internet to your advantage with free apps that enable you to have cyber group chats such as FaceTime (for apple products), Zoom or Glip. Enjoy catching up with everyone from the comfort and safety of your own home. Host a trivia game, share cocktail recipes and toasts across the distance, and spread your love until you can meet again in person.
Create an event to view famous movies about wars throughout history in honor of Memorial Day and write a blog about them. Here’s a list of the top 20 war movies available on streaming services.
Take a day to help others who are alone and possibly suffering through the pandemic such as volunteer work at a soup kitchen, elderly care facility, or assisting an animal shelter. You can do this safely by running errands for staff or dropping off much needed supplies.
Or simply take a day to pamper yourself. Let’s face it, we are all worn and weary from this experience already and it never hurts to give yourself a much needed break. Order out your favorite meal, take a nice bubble bath, enjoy your favorite cocktail and marathon your favorite guilty pleasure series.
Some of us simply cannot resist human interaction. That is our nature and an inherent need for most of us. For those who feel compelled to see friends and loved ones for this holiday, please do so as safely as possible by keeping a safe distance, wearing a mask, and utilizing proper sanitizing and hygiene routines.
We all understand how hard this is for some of us, especially extroverts or single people who rely on social interactions. It is not a time for judgement or arguing, rather a time for us to face that we are in this together and need to treat the pandemic and each other with respect. Each of us will react differently, experiencing different levels of fear and other emotions so our reactions are not one-size-fits-all. Please remember to be kind as well as cautious.
And most importantly, remember that Memorial Day is not about having a day off, having a BBQ or a pool party. Memorial Day is a federal holiday honoring and mourning our heroes who died serving the US Armed Forces. Memorial Day was first established following the Civil War as “Decoration Day” - a holiday set aside for those who lost their loved ones in the war to decorate their graves. Over time, it became “Memorial Day” when Congress declared it an official holiday to recognize all soldiers lost in battle. It is actually a somber time for many and intended to be a day of remembrance first and foremost. It’s easy to forget the true meaning as we live in a time of celebrating long weekends and commercializing such for profit. It’s also easy to forget the sacrifices made in our history while we feel we are sacrificing so much during this pandemic. So, however you decide to celebrate the upcoming holiday, please take a moment to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day with gratitude and respect.
Stay safe, smart and well,