Memorial Day weekend is approaching! How will you celebrate this year? How will Memorial Day 2020 and your traditional plans be altered due to social distancing guidelines?
So far this year traditional plans for Easter and Mother’s Day have been different than normal traditions due to COVID-19 and social distancing.
In this post let’s look at ways the pandemic crisis has altered holiday plans and traditions in 2020.
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Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day, originally declared as Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance to honor those that died during military service for the United States of America.
It is observed on the last Monday of the month of May, making it a 3-day weekend holiday. It is a federal holiday observed by all Federal and State businesses.
Memorial Day Weekend Traditions
This 3-day Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer. This weekend holiday is a big traditional affair, especially for the majority of us Texans!
As Texans we love being outdoors this time of year. It is already very warm, but not unbearably hot yet.
Memorial Day weekend is that long weekend when everybody wants to go to the lake, camp out, have cook outs, boat rides, water skiing and swimming!
We gather in huge crowds of families and friends, flocked together. We bar-b-que, grill hamburgers and roast hot dogs.
It’s a time when we absorb ourselves in the sunshine, being outdoors and enjoy the crowds. So what will Memorial Day weekend be like this year?
How do you gather in crowds and maintain social distancing to enjoy this fabulous weekend? Not to mention all the great Memorial Day Sales that normally happen on this yearly holiday!
Traditions & Holidays Altered by Pandemic
So far this year, Easter and Mother’s Day has already been affected by the pandemic. Traditional celebrations were altered or in some cases skipped completely due to Coronavirus and social distancing guidelines.
Our family’s traditional Easter celebration is Sunday morning church service, with an Easter egg hunt for the children on church grounds afterward.
Then we have a big family dinner with more Easter eggs for the kids in our family.
This year however church services had been limited due to social distancing. Our church had Easter services “drive-in” style. The preacher was on an outside platform with large speakers. Everyone parked but stayed in or stood at their cars to hear him.
Very “non-traditional” but at least we were at church. Although there was no Easter egg hunt or big family dinner that day.
Below is a video of our Easter church service.
Mother’s Day was a little better. Again, for Mother’s Day each year I enjoy my kids and grandkids going to church with me. Then we all go out for lunch at a local restaurant.
Reopening the Texas Economy
Texas has started slowly reopening economy in phases. So for Mother’s Day we were able to attend Sunday church service then go out to eat together.
It was joyous, but emotional for me. It felt like forever since I’d had my family together. And my son was not able to join us. His job is essential and he was working. But I had both of my daughters, one son-in-law and all three grandchildren with me.
In late April, Governor Greg Abbott (Texas) announced the plan and protocols to start reopening the Texas economy while still working to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
At the first of May retail stores (other than grocery and essential stores), restaurants (dine-in option), theaters, libraries, and a few other establishments were allowed to open. They were required to operate at only 25% capacity and to follow all social distancing guidelines.
Phase 2 of Reopening Texas
Earlier this week, Governor Abbott announced the start of phase 2 of the plan to start this Friday…the beginning of Memorial Day weekend.
Phase 2 will allow for more outdoor events and activities. Most state parks and lakes are now open with social distancing strictly practiced and enforced. Bars are allowed to open with restrictions and guidelines in place.
Also, restaurants, retailers and other establishments included in phase one openings can now move up to 50% capacity.
You can see more about the phases, all businesses in each phase, as well as the restrictions and guidelines here at Governor Abbott, Announces Phase 2 to Open Texas.
With us now entering phase 2 of reopening Texas, hopefully it will allow us to participate in some of our Memorial Day weekend celebrations. Perhaps not totally as we traditionally do, but at least more so than we were able to celebrate Easter this year.
Other Ways the Pandemic Effects Holidays and Economy
People are slowly being able to get back to their jobs with each phase of reopening Texas. But not everyone, not every place of employment is reopening yet. This is just in Texas that I’m speaking of, all states are not reopening as of yet.
Many people across the state of Texas and majority of the nation are not back to work. People are not able to recover lost wages or start earning again.
Even as the economy starts to reopen businesses the average citizen doesn’t have money to spend or put into the economy, at least not right now.
Thousands of Americans, including myself, still have not even received the promised stimulus check.
Utility companies and even many landlords allowed people to skip paying the monthly bill while out of work. Sure that helped. At the time. But once you are working again you will have to pay those unpaid months. How exactly are you ever supposed to “catch back up”?
Holiday and Paid Time Off
Did your employer allow you to use vacation time in order to get a pay check while off? If so now when you go back to work what will you do if you need off for holiday, emergency or sick time?
Did your company pay your insurance deductible so it wouldn’t lapse while you were off from work? It was a wonderful jester and much needed help. But now that you are back to work the company must start back to making money. They now are deducting extra from your pay-check in order to recoup what they paid for you. Oh, and while they are starting back to work also, they don’t want you working overtime and costing them extra right now.
How much have you thought about what is to come next? How will you ever get back to normal after a crisis that none of us were prepared for?
Normal life has continued, regular bills keep coming even as all the extra costs of dealing with the pandemic, stocking up and trying to stay ahead of the panic buyers. And all this continued while you were not earning your normal income.
What is next? Honestly I haven’t been able to think too far ahead. As for holidays, July 4th is the next holiday and my youngest grandson will turn 5 on the first of July.
My granddaughter already had to skip having her birthday party at the end of March. Now we don’t even know how or even if we will celebrate Boogie’s birthday.
At least none of my family travels for the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because who can even hazard a guess as to what will be happening with COVID-19 and social distancing by then?
My family Memorial Day weekend plans are not finalized yet. Most likely it will be small gathering of family with food and enjoying one another.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe weekend whatever your plans may involve.
Stay well my friends, as we all continue one day at time to get through this together.
Until next time,