Stay the course in 2021
As 2020 winds down, people throughout our region are weary — tired of wearing masks, tired of staying apart and tired of working hard to avoid an enemy they cannot see.
Yet despite the fact that we have been battling a pandemic for months, the kind and generous spirit of area residents has prevailed.
Throughout the past couple of weeks, our reporters have brought you story after story of individuals and organizations who have put others before themselves.
It is not unusual for us to share tales of kindness at this time of year.
But with all the challenges we have faced over the past several months — illness, quarantines, shutdowns, cancellations, etc. — we believe it is truly amazing that so many people once again stepped up and put others first.
We have told you of emergency dispatchers who chose to forego their own Christmas bonuses in order to bring cheer and goodwill to children throughout Belmont County and, in particular, in the village of Belmont.
We have reported on Cub Scouts who turned out in the chilly weather to dress up a community Christmas tree in Bridgeport.
Our news articles have focused on couples, businesses and civic groups that have donated to food pantries, homeless shelters, and gift-giving programs.
We have even shown you evidence that individual homeowners went to great lengths to brighten up their neighborhoods with festive lights and decorations, just to bring a sense of wonder to other people both young and old.
All of these people provide us with bright, shining points of light in what might otherwise be a very dark time. They are living proof that, no matter how difficult things might get, we can always find ways to help one another.
Regardless of whether we can help provide food or shelter to those in need or if we can only offer signs of hope, all of those actions are important right now — and they do make a difference.
So, as we approach a new year, we urge our readers to try to serve as lights in the darkness for others. Look ahead with hope and the certainty that things will get better with time.
Do not let the fatigue get you down.
Stay the course, and do not give up.