Giving Thanks During Difficult Times
The Hassans always look forward to Thanksgiving, when we gather with three generations of extended family to enjoy each other’s company and count our blessings. This year, however, like so many others, we are foregoing our usual large event in the midst of the pandemic.
As COVID-19 cases increase in New Hampshire and across the country, many Americans have altered their plans in order to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy and safe. Americans are making this sacrifice because they understand the devastation that too many families have experienced this year: the loss of a loved one. This pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 252,000 Americans — more than 500 from New Hampshire — whose families will have an empty seat at their tables this Thanksgiving.
The catastrophic loss of life is not the only way in which COVID-19 has impacted our country. Our economy is in a dire situation, with millions of Americans unemployed and small businesses across the country gearing up for a difficult few months.
We cannot mark Thanksgiving without reflecting on these enormous challenges.
But as difficult as this time is, we can also find reasons to hope.
As I’ve looked for reasons to give thanks this year, I’ve turned to the kindness and compassion of people both in New Hampshire and across the country. Among the many heroes and helpers who have come forward during this pandemic, some of the most inspiring have been those who, from all walks of life and all ages, stepped forward to share friendship, appreciation, and joy.
Dr. Aimee Frechette, who serves as the principal at Pine Tree School in Center Conway, used the school’s Facebook page to read a book to her students each night. Seven-year-old Lily played the ukulele in the yard of her Manchester home to raise money for doctors and nurses on the front lines. U.S. Postal Service worker Josh Crowell left gift cards in graduating seniors’ mailboxes to brighten their day. And 10-year-old Connor Brunt raised thousands of dollars for a food pantry in Meredith.
These acts of kindness remind me of how strong America is when we come together and support one another.
These actions, however, aren’t a substitute for the urgently needed relief that our country needs Congress to pass, and I’ll keep pushing colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take the steps necessary to help individuals, businesses, schools, nursing homes, and hospitals continue to weather this awful storm. And with the possibility of a safe and effective vaccine on the horizon, I’ll continue to work to ensure that science and public health guide distribution efforts and that all Americans can get the vaccine free of charge.
As always, I am beyond thankful to serve you, the people of New Hampshire. Your deep empathy for others and your all-hands-on-deck spirit never fails to inspire me. Together, we will get through this challenging time, and take what we have learned to build a brighter future.