Things to be grateful for
Even in the throes of a global pandemic, it's possible to find things to be grateful for. In fact, I would argue that we are doing things and appreciating things that we really should have been doing and appreciating all along.
I'm sure everyone has their own list of things they're grateful for. Here's mine:
1. I'm grateful for private enterprise and American business. There is none better anywhere. Our news is filled with stories of companies such as Under Armour, Ford, GM, JoAnn Fabrics, My Pillow, and Vera Bradley that are pitching in to help make hospital gowns, ventilators and masks. According to the trade association Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, nearly 600 distilleries in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are making hand sanitizer. And then there are the countless smaller local businesses providing meals for students who cannot attend school, first responders, health care workers and others on the front line; making charitable donations; or just continuing to pay their employees as long as possible.
2. I'm grateful for factory employees, truckers, warehouse workers and all others instrumental to keeping the supply chain intact.
3. I'm grateful for our big-box stores, grocery stores and pharmacies that have stayed open, and for the employees who work there and have kept needed items in stock.
4. I'm grateful for the authors, artists, musicians, actors and other entertainers who are using all forms of media to perform for us, our families and our children as we "shelter in place" for what will likely be several weeks.
5. I'm grateful for the teachers, administrators and staff members -- especially the information technology professionals -- who have made it possible for our preschool, grade school, high school and college students to transition from live instruction to online learning.
6. I'm grateful for the incredible dedication of all our health care professionals, many of whom are working long hours day after day with little sleep, few resources and far too many terribly sick patients.
7. I'm grateful for our form of government -- a democratic republic -- and for federalism, which allows the smaller governments of our states and territories to respond to the unique challenges they face while our federal government coordinates national and international efforts.
8. I'm grateful for leaders who have the ability to make needed decisions in a crisis, and to pivot quickly as the most up-to-date information arrives.