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Remaining thankful in 2021

What a difference a year can make.

When Thanksgiving rolled around last year, many people likely felt that we had little for which to be thankful. The COVID-19 pandemic was raging across the nation and around the world, and we had very few defenses against it.

It was easy to get bogged down with all that seemed to be wrong with 2020. We spent months limiting our activities and travels, hoping to somehow avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus. Medical experts advised us to refrain from gathering together for the holidays, and many people merely connected with loved ones by phone or video conference.

In addition, wildfires ravaged much of Australia and the American West. Typhoons in the Pacific and hurricanes in the Atlantic wreaked havoc. Controversial police shootings sparked widespread civil unrest, and we cast ballots in one of the most contentious presidential elections in our history.

In 2021, the world continued to turn. Some people have remained skeptical of election results, protested mask mandates and taken opposing stances on important issues and court cases. But progress has been made.

Here in the United States, we have three different COVID-19 vaccines from which to choose. The shots are being made available to nearly everyone, including children as young as 5.

The more people who become vaccinated, the better protected we all are against the dreaded illness — a reason to be thankful.

Yes, inflation and high fuel prices are burdening Americans right now. But the economy is rebounding, and the politicians in Washington are finding ways to compromise and get some things done.

So today, as you gather with the friends and family members you could not see in person a year ago, take a moment to appreciate just how special that is.

Consider the many reasons you have to be thankful. Reflect on the good things in life — the things for which we can and should be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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