Memorial Day weekend will soon be announcing the unofficial beginning of summer. Whether the holiday weekend begins on a Friday or Saturday, it will end on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. Typically, patriotic programs are held at cemeteriesmemorials, parks and other public locations on Memorial Day as family, friends and veterans and active duty from all military branches pay tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
This year, however, COVID-19 has prompted some changes to the normal observances. To allow for recommended social distancing, some locations may have been changed while others will only be attended virtually. Whether you attend one of those options or choose to acknowledge the holiday by decorating with red, white and blue, flying Old Glory, or playing patriotic music, remember Memorial Day is the one day each year set aside to remember those whose lives were given to defend the rights and liberties of each United States citizen.
The remainder of this holiday weekend in my coastal world is usually spent with family or friends BBQing in a backyard, boating, fishing, on a beach or along a shoreline. Again though, COVID-19 has brought changes everyone should consider.
Social distancing of 6 feet from others who are not members of an immediate family should not be a problem while bank fishing or boating. Perhaps someone else found that perfect spot before you arrive this year. That only means you can enjoy the adventure of finding a new perfect spot.
The North Bay area offers miles of shoreline beginning in Portland at Sunset Lake Park along Corpus Christi Bay then extending along Redfish Bay
to Aransas Bay then Copano Bay. Many tourists will pass through here to reach Port Aransas on Mustang Island only to see the lighted sign which informs travelers of the estimated ferry wait time…30 minutes…45 minutes…60 minutes.
Wherever someone chooses to enjoy the sun and the water, the 6 foot social distancing continues to be recommended. If that is not possible, wearing a mask is the option which will help protect others. If a new fashion trend continues, bathing suits with matching masks will be seen on shorelines, boats, kayaks and beaches.
Many businesses, motels and restaurants are beginning to reopen with 50% occupancy but do not expect to find services similar to 2019. Employees will usually be wearing masks. Hand sanitizer is normally seen and available for customers’ use upon entering and as leaving. Restaurants will only provide paper menus for single use. Condiments will no longer be found on the table so ask for whatever you desire then a single serving will be provided.
Business owners and employees are as happy to be open again as you are to be there. Although they may not be allowed to fulfill your requests, keep in mind they are following our new restrictions.
While everyone is anxious for life to return to what we all considered normal, this unofficial opening of summer will be different. Take time to enjoy my coastal world by really observing where you are or where you are driving through. Even though you may have on a mask, smile at people you meet. Even though they can not see your mouth, your smile will show through your eyes.
Remember while you, your family and friends may be enjoying a Memorial Day holiday, you will be meeting those who are working to serve you…waiters, cashiers, waitresses, law enforcement officers. Smile and thank each one for for their assistance. Enjoy the holiday and be the reason someone else has a good day.