Giving thanks in the year 2020? Seriously?

Plain and simply put, the year 2020 really hasn’t offered us much to give thanks for, has it? The year began with us all finding out the silly-sounding name of a virus that had its origins in China and that was making its way here to our shores.

We watched as some of the people we know and love left this world because of that virus.

We looked on in horror as protests broke out across the country, protests that were peaceful in some instances, but not peaceful at all in others.

So many people found themselves in the midst of battle with friends, families, colleagues, all over whom we thought was best suited for the White House come 2021. 

And now, of course, as Thanksgiving nears, we’re getting a clearer picture that COVID-19 took a short break in its ugly path of destruction this summer, but it’s rearing its ugly head — again — as the weather gets colder.

So what do we really have to be thankful for, right?

Well, fortunately, during the roughest of times, this community, in West Hudson, to South Bergen to eastern Essex counties, we find ways to show immense strength. 

We see it in the work so many food pantries do to ensure no one here goes hungry.

We see it when Boy Scouts take their weekends to collect food for those food pantries.

We see it as first responders put their lives on the line — in the face of the most deadly pandemic this country has seen in over 100 years — so that we might all remain safe.

We see it when our elected leaders do everything they can to give us all some sort of normalcy.

We see it in the eyes of local business owners — many of whom are struggling on a daily basis — as they work, tirelessly, so that we might sit down for a meal outside our homes or so we might be able to pick up our medications despite all the risks associated with being out in the public.

We see it as so many young people, whose school year is being torn apart by a pandemic, as they continue to do what they have to do to learn, even if it’s at the dining room table or from a corner of a shared room with siblings.

We see so much generosity from so many people, from ordinary people, to the clergy, to public figures, to you name it.

And so whilst it might seem there is little to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, there really is. Life could be so much worse and we only need to look at the TV to see this.

As we prepare to sit at table this Thursday for meals with freinds and family, as difficult as it may be, perhaps we could just pause for a moment to recognize that despite 2020 being as horrendous a year as one could have imagined, we, as a community have an awful lot to be thankful for. And so, from all of us at The Observer, we wish you, one and all, the very best Thanksgiving ever.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.