By Beverly Gadson-Birch
Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest holidays of the year, Governor McMaster is cracking open the state’s doors for business, purportedly on a much smaller scale. After two months of lockdown, folks are eager to get their boats out on the water, chill out on beaches and fire up the grill. It is going to take an army in place for crowd control. While the state is opening up, each day more Covid-19 cases and deaths are still on the rise.
While states are still trying to figure out how to open up, many businesses are preparing for crowds. Half filled, half empty! Half open, half cracked! It’s hard cracking your door to allow a few persons in. Have you attended a free event and waited in line for the doors to open? The door finally cracks open and the attendant says, the first twenty persons are allowed in. The crowd can’t contain their excitement, pushes the door open and enters.
I can remember cooking and leaving pots on the stove unattended. Suddenly, smoke begins to float through the air from the kitchen to the living room where I was immersed in soap operas. My mother would say, “Why aren’t you watching the pot? Open a window and leave the door crack to let the smoke out”. Well, while the smoke and smell were dissipating, flies and mosquitoes were coming in. Are you with me? While you are taking care of one situation, another develops. It is going to be difficult for the state to crack open its doors for business and hold tourists at bay until the smoke clears (the virus) and the state safely reopens.
I miss lunch with my besties, shopping, church, and my children who live out of state; but, all of the things that I miss will be of no consequence if I am DEAD! Regardless of whether you get the go ahead to get back to work or to some of the things you enjoy, be guarded. Do not rush to knock down doors to get back to the things you enjoy. Give it time! This is not the first pandemic and will not be the last. The state will return to some semblance of normalcy. Life will take on a new normal.
While waiting to see what new normal looks like, begin planning for changes. While families have lost loved ones, mine included, and could not say final farewells, the virus has caused a renewing of the mind. Lockdown is not always a bad thing. It has brought families together, rekindled relationships, and turned lives around.
Violence took a leave of absence for a while but has begun to raise its ugly head once again. The aggravating factors are jobs and opportunities. If we are truly “all in this together”, let’s not just echo the words. Let’s do something about uniting people. Every time, we find ourselves in a crisis, we discover a new “slogan”. Charleston strong! South Carolina strong! All in this together! Who are the “all”? If you mean what you say, accept the fact that all people are “equal”, understand that black lives matter, support affordable housing and health care for all, guarantee quality education for all students, address discriminatory practices in the workplace and stop unfair lending practices that continue to limit the elevation of people of color.
Enjoy Memorial Day Holiday with family. You can’t crack open the door without opening the floodgate. Beware of crowds and folks that are not practicing social distancing. Be safe! Keep your distance!