Grilling, pools, and backyard games…

That’s what I envision when I think of Memorial Day. And I’m sure it’s something our veterans can get behind – especially during times like we’re in now.

After all, the holiday honors those who gave their lives defending our great country: our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

And what better way to honor them than with the traditional Memorial Day barbecue?

For me, Memorial Day couldn’t come at a better time. Even a die-hard stock-picker like me needs to take a break from the markets.

But more importantly, we need to de-stress from all the negative headlines about the coronavirus pandemic…

COVID-19 is here for the foreseeable future. And I understand there’s a lot of confusion about reopening and lifting lockdown restrictions.

Heck, I’m confused, too.

Some areas of the country are reporting declines in cases, while others are reporting new hot spots.

And it’s casting a cloud over this holiday.

But longtime readers know I’m an optimist. And despite the gloom and doom from the talking heads, I look for the silver lining in the dark clouds…

Humanity Among the Tragedy

Here in Florida, where I live, “Phase 1” of reopening went into effect last week.

Social distancing measures, like staying six feet apart and wearing masks, are still advised. But many businesses like malls, restaurants, gyms, and libraries are now open to the public at 50% capacity.

In fact, I can finally see my mom again. She lives in a Florida community for people 55 years or older. For the past two months, it didn’t allow visitors.

But when I see her now, I don’t know if I should hug her. The same goes for my 92-year-old grandma, who lives nearby.

In March, my dad suddenly lost his wife, my stepmom. He lives around the corner from me.

And every time I visit him, I know he wants a hug. I sure want to give him one. But instead, we stand there in awkward silence – at a distance – acknowledging his pain with a shrug.

How long will this last?

My wife’s parents have lived in New York City forever. My mother-in-law has been there 35 years, and my father-in-law for his entire 82 years.

He’s in poor health. So they’ve been trapped in their small apartment since the pandemic began. They don’t dare venture out for dinner.

And as one of the epicenters of the outbreak, they’re worried New York will never be the same. Just a few months ago, they thought they’d never leave the state. Now, they’re seriously considering moving to Florida.

But despite all the tragedy caused by this pandemic – and there’s a lot of it – humanity persists.

I’m grateful to finally see my mother again. It heartens me that I can comfort my father with my presence, even if it’s at a distance. And despite their situation, my wife and I are glad her parents can spend the holiday together.

Eventually, this pandemic will pass. And we’ll either return to normal or adapt to a new normal.

So let’s celebrate this Memorial Day safely. Stick with your family, but keep your distance from crowds. Once the pandemic is over, we’ll have plenty of time to celebrate with friends again.

And most importantly, let’s not forget those who sacrificed their lives to make this country so great.

Happy Memorial Day!

Patience and process,


Jason Bodner
Editor, Palm Beach Insider

P.S. How did you celebrate this Memorial Day? Tell me how you spent your holiday right here.