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We see you and we thank you:  Giving Thanks in a Pandemic

Editorial | December 4th, 2020

jas@hpr1.com

These days – this year – it’s a challenge to see good when there’s so much bad going on out there. It’s not easy to pull back the layers and to see what’s there for which we should be thankful. Yet it’s there, clear as day, in more than ample supply.

First and foremost, let’s give thanks for the countless number of people in our healthcare system who are in the front lines daily battling Coronavirus which has stretched them to their limits. Yet they persist. They continue showing up. They come back day after day, one long shift after another. And too often without the sense, their entire community is on board or even gets it how serious this pandemic is.

Our doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants. Emergency Room personnel. Operating Rooms, ICUs, ambulators, custodial staff, parking attendants, everyone – all essential to a healthier population, all at risk daily to the very same virus their patients are fighting.

That list is endless and our apologies for not mentioning more, but the point is clear – we owe each person in the medical field a debt of gratitude.

Then we have our nursing homes. Where does one start? It’s not likely anyone working in our nursing homes signed up for what came their way. A pandemic preying especially on older people with multiple underlying conditions made those facilities easy targets. God help them going forward and may God also protect them as well, every day. There aren’t words to thank these people enough, plain and simple.

Our teachers and educators absolutely need to be mentioned. Plus everyone working in our schools at every level and in every capacity. Obviously, the pandemic has profoundly affected our schools from top to bottom. While it’s a community desire to keep schools open for in-person learning, that’s not easily accomplished with the high number of staff in quarantine, isolation, and possibly COVID positive themselves. It’s just a tough situation and quite frankly they don’t get enough thanks.

The folks sometimes referred to as essential workers are everywhere and are serving us in every way every day. Gas stations. Grocery stores. Emergency responders. Public safety, fire protection, ambulances. Garbage handlers. Taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts. Bus drivers. Journalists. Please note their role in your lives and thank them accordingly – profusely.

HPR as you know is entrenched in the arts and culture world. Our pages typically are filled with stories about art and artists, culture, entertainment, events, food, hospitality, bars, and restaurants. All of these businesses are in a fight for basic survival. Their world – our world – has been turned upside down. Literally, thousands of people are impacted in the art, culture, and culinary world. There is no amount of federal stimulus money that can compensate for this gutting of an entire industry. The owners and proprietors, along with their legions of workers, are at risk of sinking financially, emotionally, and spiritually. The changes in that very industry remind us daily of what we so easily took for granted in the past. We were spoiled and overflowing with quality art and culture. Now they need you more than ever before. Thank them. Support them. Help them. Appreciate them. Go to bat for them.

Small businesses, the mom and pop/mom and mom/pop and pop types hugely define our local culture. Many of them are starving for your business. The pandemic has stifled them beyond measure. Please seek them out online or through a phone call. Buy gift certificates, pay it forward. Tell them you value them and are there for them. Thank them, and then thank them some more.

Ok, we can’t mention Thanksgiving without mentioning shopping, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc. There, we mentioned it. However, we’ll end on this note: Buy Local. Give art this year that’s local. Purchase from local businesses that are in your own wheelhouse of daily life. The big box stores will do just fine if this year you shifted your focus to small businesses, art, and those trying to stay afloat financially due to the pandemic’s devastating impact on them as well as the people in their world.

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