The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Tom McDonald
State columnist 

Opinion: Let's be safe, hopeful and thankful


Last updated 11/24/2020 at 5:16pm

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a shame it’s being canceled this year.

But of course, it isn’t.

Sure, the big family gatherings are being called off, but that’s not altogether the reason for the season. It’s better as a time to count our blessings, which might just be the most important thing we can do at this moment.

Presently, we are a divided people, all the way down to our families. If we were to gather for that big family feast, we’d try our best not to talk about politics but we would anyway, and somebody would get upset, or offended, or downright hostile, as a result.

What’s worse, a big Thanksgiving may also become another super-spreader during this pandemic, with the Biden backers worrying over it all while the Trumpians act as if they just don’t give a damn.

Then, maybe a week later, the arguments wouldn’t matter, because, well, you’ll either have COVID or you won’t.

Better not to take the risk. Better to cancel the big gatherings while remembering to be thankful for what’s still on the table.

It’s not so easy being grateful these days. A quarter-million Americans have died just this year because of the coronavirus, leaving untold heartache in its wake. About 12.6 million people are unemployed as the pandemic continues to stifle our economy. Schools are closing to in-person instruction, churches are reduced to smaller congregations and businesses are calculating the risks every day just to stay afloat.

But there are still real blessings to consider. Even if you get COVID, the chances are still good you’ll get over it, especially if you’re young and healthy. And most of us still have jobs, so we can continue to pay our bills, keep a roof over our heads and feed our family. These two big blessings - good health and a livelihood - are by themselves enough to keep most of us thankful.

This pandemic would be much worse if it wasn’t for online connectivity; it makes all these physical barriers a little more tolerable. We’re still able to be with each other, just from a distance, and that’s something to be thankful for.

Our heated divisions won’t disappear after the holidays, but maybe the temperature will come down a bit. Hey, we’ve gotten this far without a second civil war, maybe we can keep it that way.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. The election was held, without violence, and most of us are preparing to move forward. And as far as COVID is concerned, there are vaccines being fast-tracked, giving us a very real hope that, next year, things will be better.

So let’s all be safe, hopeful and thankful. That’s what we owe each other this holiday. It’s good for our souls.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May it be better than the circumstances would appear to allow.

Tom McDonald is editor of the New Mexico Community News Exchange. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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