2021 is probably one of the most anticipated “new year” in the recent history of humankind. With the pandemic dominating 2020 in a fierce manner, I think many people have been wishing that a new year might clear the slate and return us all to the lives we are used to living. Sadly, that is not what happened when the clock passed midnight on December 31 and the pandemic still dominates. And while this may seem like a somber beginning for 2021, I want to share with you what gives me hope and the motivation to face another day in this grueling battle.
In 2020, I observed many instances of unselfish care and compassion for those who were unable to care for themselves. I also saw people dealing with their own personal pandemic challenges don their scrubs and attend work to administer to patients where restrictions created limitations and obstacles to receiving much needed support. I spoke to workers in so many essential businesses – who despite their own fears about COVID -19, still went to work every day to deliver the basics of life for all of us. I know people who because of the work they do had to choose a life of isolation away from their families while they continued to help in the fight against this pandemic. I have heard of healthcare workers unable to isolate coming home from work, stripping down in their garage and tiptoeing to the shower to disinfect and makes themselves safe for their families – only to follow a similar disinfecting process when arriving at work a few hours later. These are my people! I am an essential worker! And I have never been prouder of my profession and the people I call my colleagues than I have in this past year. It is these people, the essential worker, the first responder, the grocer, the delivery person, the nurse, the electrician, the pharmacist, the doctor, the warehouse worker, the personal support worker and so many, many others that will get us through this pandemic.
And I am thankful for everyone who has heeded the call of serving their fellow humans and community. I am eternally thankful to live in this great country where we take life and personal liberties seriously – and yet know when to let life reign over those precious liberties. There have been no easy choices in 2020, a theme that is likely to follow us into 2021 for the foreseeable future – and I am thankful to those who make the challenging decisions and precariously balance the preservation of life and our cherished personal freedoms.
As I welcomed 2021, I committed to moving forward with gratitude in my heart and to take time to thank those who are doing this tremendous work. I encourage you to do the same – and offer a kind word or a smile to someone who is waking up each day to participate in a fight that they did not start, but whose efforts are needed to win!