Today we are encouraged to meet and celebrate.
Even if our roots are not Mexican, for a few hours, we are all Mexican. Today is marked with gatherings of people. Those of Mexican descent and all the rest of us wanna be’s for the day. Today is a day of celebration.
Cinco de Mayo has always included large crowds.
And parades, with the crowds lining the edges of the streets, shoulder to shoulder, watching the performers, singing to the music, and enjoying the fellowship. Then there is the food, the margaritas, and the beer.
How do you get that feeling of celebration by sheltering in place?
Now I am not saying we should open the floodgates and resume our lives as if the pandemic is not happening. I am not even saying one way or another that the parades should or should not happen.
But I am lamenting the fact that we are not having parades and celebrations today.
There are many examples where people have taken advantage of relaxing of the stay at home orders. Just look at the crowds on the Florida beaches, the fish markets in Washington DC, or the National Parks. What could be a help to people, turned dangerous as people assumed social distancing means YOU, not them.
This past weekend, I was missing just having my family over.
For no reason other than we enjoy hanging out, we would meet at my house, throw something on the grill and play boards games, or hang out on the porch. For all the major and minor holidays, there are always fireworks at dark.
Firework retailers ARE NOT considered to be an essential business.
How can we celebrate Memorial Day without fireworks? And who will share in the fireworks of we cannot gather?
The future is looking vastly different. The way we have celebrated not just as a nation, but as humanity will change. Think about Football matches in Manchester or the Summer Olympic Games. Right now, Japan has postponed the summer games for a year and is not sure it could host them even in 2021.
We are going to be hugely surprised by the long-term impacts the pandemic will leave in its path.
How can we all “join in the fun” if we cannot join in? It is hard to celebrate as a crowd if we are not allowed to crowd. States that are beginning to reopen are legislating restaurants to open at 25% capacity, moving tables six feet apart. And waiting at the bar for a table? I do not see that.
Locally, there is a push to go to your local restaurant for contactless take out.
That does not necessarily sound appetizing. Now, curb side pick up means your social interaction is limited to “thank you for being open, and “I’ve included a big tip.” Or, “I wish the tip could be bigger, but I’ve lost my job due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Without even discussing weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and memorial services, there are Major holidays where we traditionally gather.
Police must break up large crowds in some states as people forgo social distancing and come together collectively for weddings and funerals despite that ban on gatherings larger than 10 people.
Our Nation celebrates the 4th of July with massive gatherings.
What will this year look like? Memorial Day is the traditional opening date for swimming pools. Will we need to social distance, even underwater? And then comes Labor Day, Trick or Treating at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.
So, let me see where I can go for Taco Tuesday, where I will support those I can, and fellowship in new ways.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
Your comments are always appreciated.