PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This year, COVID-19 has proved one of the biggest challenges our generation will face — impacting our mental and physical health, the economy, businesses of all sizes, day-to-day jobs, the travel industry, and our daily habits. Everyone has been affected. But, seeing as today is Thanksgiving, out of every hardship comes things to be thankful for… if we look.
THANK YOU, FRONTLINE WORKERS
Did you go to the grocery store this year? See a doctor or nurse? Get a Covid test? Buy something at a store? Eat a meal? Get something delivered to your home? Have your home saved in a wildfire by a firefighter? The list goes on. Those frontline workers kept our lives moving forward. From those who serve and protect, those who keep us healthy and care for us, to food processing workers and farmers who kept us fed, and those who stocked store shelves with popular things like toilet paper — which was hard to catch at times — thank you. What an incredible year to truly appreciate the simple things in our lives that make us feel so comfortable.
THANK YOU, FRIENDS AND FAMILY
We’ve all spent a lot of time in isolation this year as we try to stay safe. Who has checked in on you? Friends, family, co-workers, and our pets have proven to be superstars in 2020. Providing us with comfort, a laugh, a welcome distraction, and encouragement, it’s these relationships that make life meaningful. Over ZOOM and FaceTime calls, socially-distanced get-togethers, funny emails, and plenty of text messages, I think we all know the heroes in our lives after this year.
THANK YOU, GOOD AIR QUALITY
In addition to the pandemic, Oregon’s wildfires this year had many of us nervous about home evacuations and changing wind patterns. Let’s all appreciate the great air quality we normally experience in the Northwest. For several days this year, Oregon had some of the worst air quality in the world. The sky was red. And it was difficult to breathe. May we be thankful for those days when the sky is blue and it smells like, well, green Oregon.
THANK YOU FOR OPPORTUNITY TO REMEMBER WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Most of us are always on the go. Being busy is a right of passage in today’s plugged-in society. This year has really forced us to slow down and remember what’s important. Who of us has picked up their instrument again and written a new song? Or finished a great book? Or wrote one? Or didn’t set an alarm clock for the next morning? Or worked on health and fitness? Or got to know a family member better? Fantastic. Being able to rest, relax, and think about priorities has been rewarding.
THANK YOU, INTERNET
While pandemics, epidemics, and plagues have popped up for thousands of years, the digital age has provided us with some more comforts and distractions. From watching movies online, being able to work remotely, online ordering, social media, email, virtual concerts, online learning courses, and being able to connect to classmates and teachers, thank you, Internet, for being a welcome distraction in a devastating year and keeping us connected.
THANK YOU, ROAD TRIPS
As COVID-19 continues to spread, most of us continue to stay and play closer to home. Many families explored Oregon and took road trips to familiar favorites and new places this year. Hiking, camping, being outdoors, and homeschooling on-the-go became more normal. Did anyone drive by a friend’s house just to wave? Just a change of scenery from our kitchen nook was exciting. It may have felt like 1965 again, but traveling close to home proved fun. Within a few hours in any direction was a whole new playground we may have overlooked or taken for granted. Thank you for domestic destinations this year.
While the coronavirus pandemic can be deeply stressful, it also gives us the opportunity to take note of the things we typically take for granted. What’s on your Covid gratitude list? It’s Thanksgiving. Reach out to someone you love, give thanks for what you have, and think good thoughts for all the families who are forever changed this year. Happy Thanksgiving.