How to spend Labor Day weekend like no other
Editor’s Note: This is a preview of USA TODAY’s newsletter Staying Apart, Together, a guide to help us all cope with a world changed by coronavirus. If you would like it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Saturdays, subscribe here.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what Labor Day means in 2020. Usually, it signals the end of summer, the start of school and a change in the way we act and dress for the rest of the year. Plus it offers one last excuse to gather and barbecue.
But like Memorial Day, Labor Day has historical significance. It has been a federal holiday since 1894 aimed at celebrating the contributions of American workers, and celebrating the people working to keep us safe feels more vital than ever this year. I want to celebrate the grocery store worker outside the supermarket near us who enforces the mask policy. I want to celebrate the nurse who drew my blood the other week while still chattering happily behind her mask. I want to celebrate and support everyone who isn’t working, and do whatever I can to help them during this unbelievably rough time.
I hope each and every one of you can rest, relax and stay safe this weekend. I hope we won’t have many more holidays like this one.
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Today’s (safe) Labor Day celebrations
Health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have cautioned against gatherings this Labor Day weekend, as more outbreaks are traced to small gatherings of family and friends. It’s a huge thing to sacrifice, time with those we love, but I’m proud of all of us doing everything we can to save lives during this time.
But just because the traditional barbecue or house party is off the table this year doesn’t mean that this long weekend will be wasted. For some ideas of what to do to celebrate safely and responsibly, here is what some members of the USA TODAY staff will be doing this weekend. Me, I’ll be baking, watching the new “Mulan” and hopefully sleeping until 11 a.m. or later, like a rebel.
Alison Maxwell, Managing Editor for Life and Travel (and occasional author of this newsletter): My goal is to finish bingeing “I May Destroy You” and “Watchmen” on HBO and “The Morning Show” on Apple TV+.
Julia Thompson, Travel Editor: With temperatures in Phoenix expected to be in the 110s this weekend, I’ll be spending lots of time in the pool and watching movies with my kids! Basically, just enjoying a weekend of relaxation with family.
Sara Moniuszko, Digital Editor for Life and Travel: My girlfriend and I are going to a farm to do some socially-distanced raspberry picking! We’re also trying potato picking, which I’m imagining will be more like potato digging since they grow underground? We’ll see…
Mary Cadden, Best-Selling Books List Editor: With the weather being nice my dog Sadie and I are going to take some epic walks and then take some epic naps.
Rasha Ali, Entertainment Reporter: Drowning in my sorrows. Sometimes it’s OK to lean into your sad feelings, just don’t overstay your welcome.
Maria Puente, Entertainment Reporter: The only thing I have on my schedule this weekend is to get a flu shot!
Felecia Wellington, Audience Editor: Planning to watch a movie in the backyard with my littles if the weather cooperates.
Anne Godlasky, Enterprise Editor for Politics and World: We’re taking it easy and getting the kids outdoors to decompress from the first week of virtual school!
Jayme Deerwester, Deputy Travel Editor: If I have a happy place, it’s in (or on) the water. And thanks to the long weekend, I get an extra day of kayaking on the Ohio River.
If you are looking for more ideas and safety tips, see this roundup of CDC recommendations for celebrating safely from our friends at Reviewed.com.
What better way to make virtual learning more tolerable than including your furry friends?
“One of our cats, Mory, wanted to be part of my son’s virtual learning experience by injecting himself into my son’s diorama,” says human Rebecca Saleveson. “He doesn’t really fit, but he made it work.”
If he fits, he sits.