July 4 - A Weird Time for a Patriotic Holiday!?!

Posted on July 4, 2020

Hmm...a patriotic holiday in the middle of a serious upswing in a dangerous pandemic...AND in the middle of a powerful movement to reshape policing and other racist systems? 

I'm not sure what's going to happen in the U.S., today, but surely this Fourth of July will feel unusual to many Americans. 

Here is an article about celebrating July 4 in a socially responsible, COVID-careful way. This article has some good ideas, too, but much of the language of the article strikes too much of a "back to normal" vibe, in my opinion!

Parades and street fairs and community picnics are out, I assume. I hope!

Although communities are getting creative with the concept of parades. Some will put a row of floats and single music performers and decorated vehicles, carefully spaced, in one lane, and have parade-goers slowly drive by the sitting-still parade! Very small communities might have more normal parades wind their way through the residential streets, while families sit on their porch or front lawn to watch.

Some communities are planning virtual events like virtual concerts and "parade shows" with highlights from past parades mixed with right-now messages from mayors and other local luminaries.

Some fireworks shows are canceled, but some are doable. People often watch big fireworks shows from a distance - from their rooftops or balconies or cars, on picnic blankets at the park - with each family marooned on their own picnic-blanket-"island." Also, in towns that allow "safe and sane" fireworks, most families always allow plenty of room around their driveway or street launch spot for fire and safety reasons, so global pandemic reasons can just add to the rationale for doing what's normal!

I hope that loads of people will join in with July Fourth Black Lives Matter demonstrations in safe, outdoor, masked, distanced settings - or will amplify Black Lives Matter messages on social media and in zoomed or streamed events. 

Building a better nation is a very patriotic thing to do, so have at it!

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