We’ve got a lot to be thankful for this 4th of July

One year ago, the nation and the world was in the midst of a period no one saw coming. There was no vaccine. There was no end in sight. No one had a clue what the future held.

And yet here we are, one year later, with a lot more clarity and a lot to be thankful for, indeed.

First, COVID-19 itself.

At last report, New Jersey saw 191 new cases and three reported deaths. A few days earlier, for the first time since reporting began in early 2020, the state actually had a day where no deaths were reported.

Thinking back to when there were hundreds of deaths being reported daily, having a 24-hour period with no reported deaths once seemed impossible. Yet it has become a reality.

New cases were once coming in at an alarming rate, sometimes thousands in a single day. And while any new case of COVID is extremely sad, that that number is down to below is 200 is extraordinary, nearly unfathomable at one point.

Last summer, the thought of having a traditional warm-weather season was impossible. Indoor dining still wasn’t happening at this point in 2020. Outdoor dining was in fashion, but it was hardly a full-proof solution for restaurateurs. Now, one year later, eateries are back at 100% capacity.

One year ago, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field were filled with cut-out, cardboard representations of fans. Now, crowds of 42,000 or more are possible in the Bronx and Queens and just about everywhere in Major League Baseball.

One year after many of the worst times any of us have ever experienced, we are on the precipice of being able to say we’re back to where we once were. Sure, it might not look exactly like it did before we heard the word “coronavirus” for the first time, but it’s nothing like it was 365 days ago.

And so as we celebrate the 245th birthday of America, there sure is a lot more to celebrate and to be grateful for. Oh what a relief that is.

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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.