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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 in Rhode Island

Despite terrible year, reasons to be thankful

By Will Collette

1909 Thanksgiving greeting card, NY Public Library on-line archive

Even without the traditional Thanksgiving family gathering, I think there are many reasons to be thankful this year.

Despite a terrible pandemic that is again raging out of control, just consider where we would be without the dedicated work of so many. I am thankful for the millions of first responders, health care workers and essential workers in the supply chain. They put their lives at risk to help the rest of us.

Thank you to the many scientists and researchers around the world who have labored to find effective treatments to make COVID-19 less lethal than it was in the first few months. Despite our record-setting new case numbers, the death rate has dropped, largely due to what we have learned about treating this disease.

Here in Rhode Island, the vast majority have adhered to the guidelines, worn masks and maintained social distancing. I am thankful that during these past nine months, I’ve only encountered one intransigent mask-hole.

We have to stop slipping into super-spreading behavior with the big parties and weddings and stay steady as we all look forward to the new vaccines coming on-line.

Of course, we owe tremendous thanks to the research teams who have produced the new vaccines that are going to be coming on-line soon. They did this work in record time. It is truly amazing that, at this writing, we have THREE likely safe and effective vaccines just about ready to go.

I am thankful that over 80 million Americans voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, more than 6 million more than voted for Dear Leader. I hope we can go into 2021 without further civic decay.

I am thankful for Rudy Giuliani and his crack legal team for their crazy incompetence. 

Imagine if Trump’s efforts to overthrow the vote was led by someone with a less fevered mind who was capable of spinning a case based on no evidence into a plausible challenge? I thank Rudy for helping to heal the country – unintentionally, of course – by being such a clown.

I thank Charlestown voters for finally cracking through the hegemony of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party) and their 10 year stranglehold on town government. Though technically three of the five Town Council members are still CCA Party endorsed, there’s only one die-hard CCA Party zealot on the Council leaving the door open for some reasoned debate and much needed change.

From our small town to our great nation and then the world at large, we still face serious challenges. The global coronavirus pandemic. A badly damaged, fragile economy. Systemic racism and the rise of right-wing fascism. The climate crisis that is wreaking havoc coast to coast.

And we’re not even free of 2020 yet - until January 20, still have a malignant narcissist in charge.

But the election results and the new vaccines have lifted my spirits as I hope they have lifted yours. We still have two important Senate races in Georgia and so much work still to do.

But be thankful because, sisters and brothers, it could be ever so much worse.