Happy Mother’s Day – No hugging allowed

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms today. It’s the best job on earth. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s celebrations are different than those of previous years.

Communities across America are offering guidance to families, given social distancing restrictions in place. As Mother’s Day approached, city officials In Pasadena, California released a news release that addressed a cluster of coronavirus cases that has been traced to a family birthday party. One party-goer was coughing and not wearing a face mask. Other party guests were not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing. So, COVID-19 spread among some of the guests, and contact tracing shows that there were five confirmed coronavirus cases and many other guests who became ill from the party. The party happened after the city issued a stay-at-home order in March.

“This is an example of how good contact tracing can identify disease clusters and tell us more about the spread of disease in our community,” said Dr. Matthew Feaster, PPHD epidemiologist. “We’re grateful to our large team of public health nurses, case investigators, and contact tracers who help track the virus and prevent the disease from spreading to other members of our community.”

“Pasadena residents who stay home keep themselves and their loved ones protected from COVID-19,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, director and health officer of PPHD. “Although we are moving forward with small modifications to the Safer at Home Order, gatherings of people who do not live in the same household are still prohibited. The virus remains highly contagious. Social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings remain our best defenses against the further spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

It is still recommended that those with underlying medical conditions and those ages 65 and older do not participate in public recreation or retail curbside pickup, and continue to be safer at home.

You may remember that California was the first state to issue stay-at-home orders for all residents. The City of Pasadena issued a similar order, allowing essential businesses to remain open if social distancing was practiced, as well as personal hygiene like frequent hand washing.

In Louisiana, some suggestions for celebrating Mother’s Day were made by the Department of Public Health. How about a virtual Mother’s Day Brunch? The tips for safe celebrations include virtually cooking together and then eating together, and ordering flowers online for mom or from your favorite florist, and request that the flowers are left on the front porch. Also, don’t forget to stand six feet from your mother and don’t hug her if you are together. That’s about as good as it gets this year.

School graduations that would normally be scheduled for this month or next will be different, too. Virtual commencements are planned by many schools and big-name celebrities and public figures are signing up to participate. Proud parents and their graduating children can listen to the same group of mostly liberal speakers deliver commencement speeches online as they would be doing in-person if only there was not a pandemic going on. YouTube is helping the Class of 2020 out with an event titled “Dear Class of 2020” on June 6. Barack and Michelle Obama, South Korean pop group BTS, Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai, Condoleezza Rice, and others have signed up. BTS is also playing for what is billed as a virtual graduation night afterparty.

On May 17 a full calendar of commencement events will be available on YouTube’s [email protected] site. Participation by both Obamas is prominent in more than one event.

YouTube is partnering with Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, Born This Way Foundation, Malala Fund, NBC’s “Today,” and Ideas United to showcase student stories and feature graduates around the world, including a crowd-d commencement speech.

Separately, on May 16 at 2 p.m., Barack Obama will participate in “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour live-streaming event for historically black colleges and universities.

In addition, President Obama is set to deliver a commencement message during “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” a one-hour multimedia event on May 16 hosted by XQ Institute, the LeBron James Family Foundation, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The event will feature appearances by LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, H.E.R., Ben Platt and others. It’s set to be simulcast on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC as well as via 20-plus other broadcast and digital streaming partners on May 16, from 8-9 p.m. ET.

Among other live-streaming grad celebrations, Facebook’s May 15 event will feature a commencement address by Oprah Winfrey and celebs including Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Awkwafina and Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles.

Lots of left-wing activism in many of those names, right? Some things don’t change, even during a pandemic.