Today is Thanksgiving. In many ways, it’s seen as the most American of all holidays; but in many other countries, it’s an even-longer-standing day for giving thanks and for blessing the fall harvest.

For many of us, it probably doesn’t feel like we’ve “harvested” much in 2020 except disaster. Coronavirus has been a worldwide nightmare, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States and nearly a million and a half worldwide, with more than 60 million confirmed cases. It has also wrecked large segments of economies and often made enjoying even the simplest of life’s pleasures more challenging than ever before.

Even worse, on the home front, COVID-19 is surging at a pace that tells us the worst of this pandemic is far from behind us.

So what, exactly, is left for the citizens of our nation to be thankful about?

We’re here to tell you — plenty.

First, for those lucky enough to have not been impacted directly by the pandemic (a number growing smaller by the day), this year has imposed a bit of self-imposed re-evaluation of what’s important in life. Many people have put the extra time on their hands to good use by reaching out to old friends, or family members they’ve always been “too busy” to speak with in the past. Technology such as Zoom — a term many of us practically associate with the pandemic — has made it easier than ever for people hundreds or thousands of miles apart to have the next-best-thing to a face-to-face conversation.

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Also, this may have been the greatest “home project” year in modern history. To-do lists for projects around the home and yard were tackled like never before; small wonder companies such as Lowe’s and Home Depot did record business for so much of the year (even though we remain uncomfortable with the notion they were allowed to stay open while mom-and-pop shops selling many of the same goods were shut down).

The biggest “good” to come from this year, though, may be this: a deeper appreciation of what other years were like. There’s nothing like an eight-month (and counting) stretch where things like get-togethers with friends, concerts and ballgames, or even an unmasked trip to the store were practically an impossibility to suddenly make each sound like a dream scenario — ones we can’t wait to enjoy again.

And, we will. News on the vaccine front is highly encouraging. Perhaps we should be most thankful of all about that.

These “let’s be thankful” items won’t do anything to ease the pain endured by millions worldwide or even hundreds in our local communities. This pandemic, unimaginable to all of us just a year ago, has led to serious illness and deaths for our loved ones; damaged too much of our economy; and impacted every single one of us, some much worse than others.

There’s nothing to be thankful about for any of that.

But today, at least, let’s remember to be thankful for the good things that are still in our lives — and, hopefully, will be again soon. If nothing else, we’ll be sure to be thankful for those things even more in the future.

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