The 1976 thriller Marathon Man, Laurence Olivier repeatedly asks Dustin Hoffman a simple question while unveiling the dental tools he will soon use as torture devices (not much of a stretch): Is it safe? Hoffman feigns ignorance of the topic. Olivier responds: Is it safe? Hoffman tries telling him what he wants to hear: “Yes, it’s safe. It’s very safe. It’s so safe you wouldn’t believe it.” Olivier: Is it safe? Hoffman: “No, it’s not safe. It’s very dangerous. Be careful.” That cinematic exchange was echoing through my mind as crowds gathered to mark America’s holiday weekend. On one hand, there’s something undeniably joyful about taking steps back towards normalcy. On the other hand, I can’t help but worry that we’ll spend next Memorial Day mourning what millions of Americans did this Memorial Day. Is it safe? It depends where you are. Is it safe? It depends on who you ask. Is it safe? It could be if you practice social distancing and wear a mask. Is it safe? Look, just start drilling into my teeth, but please wear gloves and a face shield. Is it safe? I don’t know! (Sadly, those three words are not allowed in politics, social media, or torture scenes in Hollywood thrillers.) Here’s what we do know…

+ A lot of people observed Memorial Day exactly how they would have any other year. That story is best told in pictures.

+ While the number of new American cases declined slightly, the story is very different in 20 states where cases are on the rise. “South Carolina had the biggest weekly increase at 42%. Alabama’s new cases rose 28% from the previous week, Missouri’s rose 27% and North Carolina’s rose 26%, according to the analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak. New cases in Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, rose 21% after two weeks of declines.”

+ “Many people heading into their third month of quarantine have been trying to decide whether they should visit their favorite summer destinations this year. My answer is an unsatisfying ‘maybe.'” The Atlantic: I’m a Chef in a Seaside Town. I’m Not an Epidemiologist.