It’s Memorial Day weekend. In the past, we would write an editorial about the opening of the busy season on the East End, urging visitors to stay safe and promoting respect for our locals, our beaches, our way of life.
This Memorial Day, we continue to battle a deadly virus. Food insecurity in our community is at rates we’ve never experienced. And small businesses — the backbone for our community — are struggling.
This is not the Memorial Day weekend that anyone would have ever expected.
But we will do what humans do: adjust and adapt. We help each other.
As we inch closer to reopening our economy, there’s no question that we will have out-of-town visitors who wish to enjoy the beautiful space we call home. But this year will have to be different. It’s not the summer for party hopping or large crowds. The East End will serve as respite and a breath of fresh air for those visiting.
We need to treat each other and our public spaces with respect. If you’re going out in public, it’s important to wear a mask. A mask will help stop the spread of COVID-19. By taking this simple action, you can save a life.
We agree with Governor Andrew Cuomo when he stated: “When you wear a mask, you say, ‘I respect you’” to health care workers and all essential workers who continue to go to work every day during this very difficult time.
We can’t stay at home forever. But in order to reopen parts of our economy, we need to be smart. It is going to take the collective efforts of our community to do this. The more people who wear masks in public, the quicker we can get back to something that resembles what life once was.
We must not forget that the meaning of Memorial Day is to honor the brave men and women who died while serving our country. It’s also important this weekend to honor those who have lost the battle in a different type of war. Just as we should plant a flag to honor those who fought and died in battle, we should wear a mask to honor those who continue to fight this pandemic.