May the first, 2020… May Day.
In Europe, May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on 1 May. It is an ancient festival of spring.
(Is anyone in Europe celebrating on this May Day, 2020 ?)
In the late 19th century, May Day was chosen in many countries as the date for International Workers' Day.
In some Australian states, May Day is a public holiday, celebrated on or near 1 May. Nothing to do with spring – as we are now in our third month of autumn.
This year, Monday 4 May is Labour Day 2020, in Queensland – and a public holiday.
Queensland, for a few years, celebrated Labour Day in October, but that first Monday in October is now called ‘Queen’s Birthday’(!)
Not really as a celebration of May Day, but…The Queensland premier has announced that a few covid19 restrictions will be lifted from tonight. Nothing too drastic. Just a leavening of some draconian rules about visiting.
We are allowed to go driving, as long as it’s within 50kms of our home.
We are allowed two visitors at a time - and some retail shops will be open for non-essential items, such as clothing.
So, maybe some of us will feel freedom creeping back into our lives.
Whatever May Day may mean to you, the question is: Will this May Day, 2020, be remembered as a happy time or unhappy time, with more of the same – isolation, social distancing - and worry?
I worry about loosening our social isolation ‘shackles’ too soon.
I worry most of all about letting school children go back to school – no matter what.
The idea that the coronavirus hardly affects children is not altogether true, although children are, in the main, less seriously affected – the reason is, as yet, unclear.
Two days ago, there was a report of a four-year-old child in NSW diagnosed with the virus, leading to the closure of an early learning centre.
A similar report came from Melbourne, where it was unsure (then) if the child was infected or not.
There have been children infected in other countries – some of whom have sadly died.
And, now reports from Europe (UK, France and Spain) and US tell us that doctors fear that the virus may be affecting children in serious and different ways.
(ABC): ‘Several worrying cases involving coronavirus infection of children and younger adults have emerged from the UK and USA in the last few weeks.
In the UK, a few children have shown up at hospitals with a serious illness.
And in America, younger adults have shown up at hospitals after suffering from strokes.
While the total numbers are low, it reveals there's still a lot we don’t know about this virus…’
Health officials in the U.K. are warning that Covid-19 could be causing a new and rare inflammatory condition in children.
Shouldn’t that info give us pause regarding Aussie kids returning to school in large numbers?
Think about it.
But, back to our May Day…
What will this coronavirus style May Day bring for us?
Whatever the changes, if any...Please tolerate the isolation and social distancing a bit longer, everyone.
Hooray for the state premiers who have stuck by their strict isolation rules. It is paying dividends.
We are lucky Australians.
We can only hope that the government and other ‘powers that be’ can help the populace remain under control as much as necessary and that people remain vigilant.
This phrase from an old hymn keeps popping into my head:
“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…”
One day soon we may answer yes, to “Are we there yet?”
That’s all we can hope for, I suppose.
Happy May Day!