It has been a hard year. If there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2020, it’s definitely that.
But in the midst of all the difficult news, from coronavirus cases surging, the economy lagging and our stress levels rising, there is still plenty for which to be thankful as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year.
For one, look around. We all hit the cosmic lottery to live in such a stunningly beautiful place with so much open space to roam. That’s why so many city dwellers have recently relocated to Eagle County full-time or why so many second-home owners have extended their stays.
It’s incredibly easy to socially distance in this picturesque valley we get to call home. Be thankful that you can walk right out your front door and get right into nature in just seconds.
Speaking of getting outside, be thankful that both of our local mountains have opened successfully and that resort employees and those working in all three resort villages are working hard to ensure a safe experience across the board.
We’ve been out on the mountains for Opening Day at Vail and Beaver Creek and we found employees repeatedly, politely reminding guests to keep their masks on — all the way over their noses — and keeping skiers and riders spaced out.
That effort is what is going to help us keep these resorts open for a ski season that we all need in the worst way.
Be thankful that we’ve managed to keep schools open and kids in classrooms up until now. We’re grateful for the teachers, support staff, administrators, bus drivers, food workers, cleaning staffs and volunteers who have been out there every day making our schools as safe as possible and ensuring the best learning experience for our kids.
We’re also grateful for all workers on the front lines who’ve kept this valley open — restaurant workers, retail and grocery workers, hair cutters and mechanics, plumbers and baristas, valets and cleaners and too many more to name.
You’re all essential workers, and your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed by those of us who are afforded the luxury of doing our jobs from home.
We also could not be more grateful that Eagle County now has a robust system to help people with the mental health challenges that COVID-19 has brought with it. Two years ago, that wasn’t the case. Eagle Valley Behavioral Health couldn’t have emerged at a more important time, and we’re grateful to all the behavioral health specialists and organizations, including first responders and law enforcement officers, who are working to help those struggling to cope through this crisis.
We’re also grateful for our health care workers — doctors, nurses, administrative and support staff. They see this virus up close every day. We’re lucky to have a hospital system and health care network that has deftly navigated this crisis by constantly working to come up with solutions for faster, more robust testing and extra beds and stockpiles of PPE to avoid the ghastly war-time triage that other hospitals have seen.
We’re also grateful for leadership from our elected officials, public health officials and business leaders. It’s downright refreshing, given the state of politics in this country. They’ve been proactive in communicating both good news and bad news and have worked together to navigate this crisis. In the toughest of positions, they have responded with honesty and integrity.
Also, is there a more generous place on the planet? We’re grateful for the community organizations that have come together to tirelessly support those in need. And we’re thankful for this community coming together to support local businesses that have been hit hard.
It’s those local businesses, of which we’re one, that are the backbone of this community.
We live in a remarkable place. For the most part, as a valley, we’ve been able to put aside our differences and come together — while at a distance — to come up with creative solutions to get us through.
Lastly, we’re grateful to you, our readers, who have relied upon us to deliver the news and have pushed us to tell the essential stories that matter to this community in a time of great need. You’ve made us better and, as always, we’re here to serve you.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd and Advertising Director Holli Snyder.