As we celebrate our national day of Thanksgiving in a truly miserable year, we should set aside the negatives, even for a day. There is much to be thankful for even while remembering that millions of us across the country face an economic crisis rivaling the Great Depression and that more than 1,000 of us die from COVID-19 each day.
Here is our list:
Vaccines on the horizon. We have not one, but three (as of this writing) vaccines that, pending FDA approval for emergency distribution, could be available as early as December. It will be a little longer for most of us to get our shots, but there is light at the end of our pandemic tunnel.
Health care workers. The sacrifices these heroes make every day are truly remarkable. How can we ever repay them for helping us through this crisis? The answer is we cannot, at least not to the extent they deserve. We can send them our thanks. Thank you nurses, doctors, first responders, and everyone else who offer help and compassion to the more than 12 million who have been infected.
Service workers. Every time we visit the grocery store, we are thankful to those who make daily sacrifices to keep the food supply chain working. Given that it is impossible to protect oneself totally from infection, the people at the cash register and who bag our groceries are heroes.
Dr. Fauci. Our candidate for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is Dr. Anthony Fauci. We consider him part of our personal medical team. Tony, thank you.
Food banks. It is not easy watching lines of 400 to 500 cars waiting in line for food. It is a lot harder if you are in one of them. Fortunately, there are food banks and emergency distributions of food to our neighbors who need it. We all should be grateful for this. Of course, much more needs to be done. The food banks are but a temporary measure. We need to get another stimulus bill passed and money out to those who need it. In the interim, thank you food banks and everyone behind them.
My neighbors following the CDC guidelines. All of us should be afraid of the virus. Unfortunately, not all of us are, which makes leaving one’s home a risky venture. Fortunately, most are following the CDC guidelines on face masks, social distancing, and handwashing. To all in that majority—thank you.
Voters. The 2020 elections were brutal. We learned a lot about ourselves, both positive and negative. One of the positive takeaways from the election is that we voted in record numbers–a confirmation of faith in our democracy. Everyone who voted, even if they voted for the “wrong” candidate, should be thanked.
The election outcome. Although all are not happy that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take office in January, their election means, among other things, that addressing climate change will again be a national priority. Given predictions that the entire Spy readership area could be under water in less than 100 years, we are grateful for the election of leaders who want to prevent that. Enough said.
Governor Hogan. During the pandemic, every state needs a level-headed, no-nonsense leader who rises to the challenges faced by current crises. Fortunately, Maryland has such a leader in our governor, Larry Hogan. His sound advice has saved the lives of hundreds of Marylanders and made us proud. If every state had a governor like Hogan, we would not be looking at more than 260,000 deaths nationally. Thank you, Governor Hogan.
Spy Media. Our community is blessed with a resource that makes us unique—Spy Media. We are grateful every day at 3 PM when our Daily Intelligence Report arrives. Thank you, Dave Wheelan for making it happen. And thank you to all who support The Spy via contributions and by simply being regular readers. (Personal note, we would be thankful for The Spy even if we did not write for it.)
A safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving to all.
J.E. Dean of Oxford is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant. For more than 30 years, he advised clients on federal education and social service policy. Maria Grant served as Principal-in-Charge of the Federal Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting. Since her retirement from Deloitte, she has focused on writing, the piano, reading, travel, gardening and nature.