Memorial Day weekend sure feels different this year. In years past in addition to remembering and honoring those who served the occasion also symbolically marked the start of summer translating into more outdoor activity, travel, shopping and eating out. This year spread of novel coronavirus / covid-19 across the globe has ravaged health, upended normal life leaving behind savaged economies in its wake everywhere. Lockdowns and stay-at-home while good at containment play havoc with the economy.
Leaders’ (both public and head of corporations) choice come with poisoned chalice: enforce lockdowns/stay-at-home orders for longer period to increase safety OR lift lockdown to allow businesses to open and add risk to safety.
Employees/workers are left with Hobson’s choice: Stay employed with a price to pay (could be a combination of reduced work hours/pay cut/furlough/compulsory vacation) or in the worst case scenario being let go.
It takes gallows humor to get through this extremely difficult time.
One silver lining at this time is that nature is showing some signs of healing. Cleaner air, clearer water and sightings of rare birds and animals have been reported with reduced industrial activity and reduced outdoor activities.
Set against this backdrop this Memorial Day weekend certainly is and feels different. Whether it turns out to be sign of better times depends largely on human nature: Will this crisis bring out the best or worst in all of us?
Meaning of some of the phrases used above (this time for a change decided to use the phrases first to express my thoughts and add the meaning later)
poisoned chalice : an assignment, award, or honor which is likely to prove a disadvantage or source of problems to the recipient.
gallows humor: grim and ironic humor in a desperate or hopeless situation.
Hobson’s choice: a choice of taking what is available or nothing at all.
silver lining: a metaphor for optimism which means a negative occurrence may have a positive aspect to it