As the United States is gearing up for Memorial Day, citizens are all set to venture outside their homes after weeks of strict stay-at-home orders. However, local authorities are taking extra precautions to enforce social distancing measures and police officials have been directed to be present at beaches to warn people or ask them to leave.
The residents will visit parks, beaches on that day which could be a risk for community spread of the novel coronavirus. At a CNN event, US top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said that people can venture outside to get fresh air but advised everyone to wear a mask and stay six feet away from everyone. He said that as long as people are maintaining physical distancing by avoiding crowd and gatherings, the virus can not be transmitted.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed to honour and mourn the military personnel who lost their lives while serving the United States Armed Forces. As the day is observed on last Monday of May each year, Memorial Day is on Monday, May 25, 2020. To observe Memorial Day, people visit cemeteries and memorials to pay their honours to the war heroes.
Several volunteers place the American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. It is also considered as the unofficial beginning of summers in the United States. A national moment of remembrance also takes place at 3:00pm according to local time. Memorial Day 2020 will be different from every year because of the higher number of coronavirus cases in the United States.
According to the latest data of John Hopkins University, over 5.2 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed across the globe with over 338,000 deaths, overwhelming health care facilities worldwide. The United States, Russia, Brazil, and the UK are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with around 60 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone.
The numbers get more sombre for the US as it has reported over 1.6 million cases, almost one-third of the worldwide cases, and more than 96,000 deaths due to the infectious disease. Within the United States, New York has reported over one-fourth of the nationwide coronavirus cases and almost one-tenth of the worldwide cases.