The Memorial Day weekend that signals the start of the US summer is normally a time when cemeteries across the nation fill with American flags and ceremonies to remember those who died in US wars
People mourn COVID-19 victims
This year the holiday has also become a time to mourn the loss of more than 97,000 people due to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
The New York Times filled its entire front page with the names and selected details of 1,000 victims on Sunday seeking to illustrate the humanity of the lives lost
States ease lockdown rules
All 50 states have relaxed coronavirus restrictions to some degree. In some states, like Illinois and New York, restaurants are still closed to in-person dining and hair salons remain shuttered. In many southern states, most businesses are open, with restrictions on capacity
US still not out of the woods
Last week, 11 states reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally. It is not clear if the cases are rising from more testing or a second wave of infections
More fatalities in June?
Total US cases are over 1.6 million, the highest in the world, while forecast models for possible COVID-19 deaths predict the death toll will exceed 100,000 by June 1
Social distancing on a holiday
While Americans were largely adhering to warnings to maintain social distancing over the holiday weekend, there were notable exceptions.
These included some packed beaches in Florida and other gulf states, forcing authorities to break up large gatherings. Videos posted on social media showed parties in other states where people crowded into pools and clubs elbow-to-elbow