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Different kind of Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day is when we honor and remember the many individuals who have selflessly sacrificed their lives in service to the United States. Memorial Day weekend, which begins today, has long been the unofficial start of summer in the United States. It is typically a time of joy, relaxation and celebration. But with COVID-19 as an unwelcome guest, this will be a Memorial Day weekend — and the start of a summer — like no other.

Memorial Day is a solemn one. Memorial Day weekend, however, long has been about barbecues and ballparks. Beaches and backyards. Pools and picnics. Family, friends and fun.

During this pandemic, however, not all of those things are possible. We can’t crowd three dozen people into our houses and yards to grill burgers, soak up the sun and talk about summer plans. There will be no trips to the community pool. We won’t be watching Ronald Acuna Jr launch baseballs over the right-field fence.

But all is not grim. There is progress.

Here in Chambers County, we will mark a lower-key Memorial Day weekend with cautiously hopeful signs about the days ahead.¬¬

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey amended the Safer at Home order, relaxing more restrictions that were put in place at the beginning of April.

In the new guidelines, entertainment venues, such as arcades, theaters and bowling alleys, are able to reopen as long as they follow social distancing and sanitation rules. Enclosed venues will limit their occupancy to 50 percent of the total occupancy as determined by the fire marshal.

Outdoor venues will limit occupancy to comply with distancing guidelines.

This does not include playgrounds operated by schools and child daycare facilities. Night clubs are also not included.

Whatever happens, we all need to continue doing our crucial part to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Also, don’t forget to take a moment to remember those that fought and lost their lives serving the United States.