Editorial: Giving thanks 

We predict more than the usual number of burnt turkeys this year as first-time poultry chefs break in their bastersMany Americans are wisely heeding the advice of public health experts and foregoing travel and large family gatherings this year. A small dinner at home can be just as sweet but Zooming with loved ones offers but a shadow of the joy of greeting them in-person  with hugs. Thanksgiving 2020 will definitely not be normal. 

It will be hard. So hard that some Americans will ignore COVID-19 guidelines, and the ramifications of that will be seen in coming weeks. The price of having Grandma at the Thanksgiving table could be losing her by Christmas. That’s not fearmongering, that’s being realistic about the odds game we’re all playing when going about our daily lives during a pandemic. 

Also hard is finding gratitude amidst fear and uncertainty, but that makes the task more meaningful. Good health and the ability to connect with friends and family, albeit remotely, are high on the list of blessings 

We’re also grateful for the steadfast, science-based, compassionate approach of Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during the CDC’s regular briefings. As case counts rise  and with them anxieties and tensions  he remains calm and never fails to remind viewers that every number, every data point, represents real people, people with friends, families, communities. Our heartfelt thanks, too, to the first responders and medical professionals who show up every day to help those patients and others. These frontline workers don’t have the luxury of so-called “COVID fatigue.” They can’t be “over it.” They are in it and their vigilance and commitment is commendable. Thank you. 

We are also grateful for the organizations, businesses and individuals who have found new ways to serve the community and address growing needs. From taking fundraisers online to planning takeout Thanksgiving meals, they have preserved community spirit in an isolating time. 

Most of all, we are grateful for the prospect of safe, effective, life-saving vaccinesVaccines that, if results from early clinical trials are supported and tentative timelines prove correct, could be produced at record-shattering speeds. Vaccines that could have the whole family back around the Thanksgiving table next year.  

So, cheers to hope, modern medicine and first-time culinary pursuits. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

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