I've always been weirded out by Memorial Day, it's a day on which Americans are supposed to memorialize the Heroic Dead, but ours is a society in which memory is not at a premium. This year, as we approach a stateside civilian death toll of one hundred thousand, our lack of memory is taking on a particularly macabre significance. Seeing the photos of people congregating in public across the country, I was struck by a lack of awareness of the seriousness of this pandemic, and a callousness towards service workers and medical personnel. We're supposed to be the descendants of the people who sacrificed to beat fascism in the mid 20th century, but we can't even forgo a weekend of drinking shitty beer in crowded swimming pools. My mom grew up during WW2, and while I don't think she'd say she grew up in conditions of privation, but she certainly grew up in conditions of austerity, and she impressed upon myself and my siblings the need for frugality and social responsibility that seem quaint in this profligate age. I am also astounded by the sudden resurgence of once-forgotten information about the century old influenza outbreak, and our responses to it... and our failure to learn from such mistakes.
I wouldn't say that I am in any way depressed, but I do seem to be feeling a low-grade anger much of the time. I remember telling a coworker that it will be a miracle if I don't put someone through a wall before this national crisis is over, and I have to confess that I was only half joking.