By: S.L. Frisbie, IV for Polk News-Sun
S.L. Frisbie IV Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame Member, 4th-Generation Polk County Newspaper Publisher
Reflecting on reasons to give thanks
My first thought this week was to comment on the politically-motivated withdrawal of American troops committed to peace-keeping missions on the other side of the world.
My second thought was to comment on the firing of the federal official in charge of ensuring that America’s presidential election was honest and above board … because he did exactly that.
And then I thought: Thanksgiving is upon us.
In this, the most — may I say it? — screwed up year that most of us have ever experienced, there is nonetheless so much for which to be thankful.
When the pandemic and the need to self-quarantine was announced last March — prompted by a disease that most of us had never heard of, something called the Coronavirus — I was impressed by an observation I read:
If our parents could endure World War II, we can endure three months of isolation. It sounded simple enough.
That was eight months ago, but the principle has not changed.
The end is not yet in sight, but whenever it is, we are eight months closer to it than we were last March.
I give thanks for the simple precautions that have allowed millions of us to avoid what is now called Covid-19 — wear masks, avoid crowds, stay six feet away from each other in public (called social distancing), wash our hands a lot.
Granted, a quarter of a million Americans tragically have died (our president dismisses their deaths as “It is what it is”) but millions more of us have faithfully followed the simple rules and lived to tell about it.
In my weekly visits to the post office and even less frequent visits to the supermarket, I am impressed by the number of people who are wearing masks. I commend all of you.
Some governors and mayors have imposed masking mandates, while others have yielded to pressure to let us live (or die) as we please.
I choose to live, insofar as I have any control over the decision.
I give thanks for teachers who are teaching half their students in their classrooms while having to simultaneously educate the other half “virtually” on-line.
As one principal told his faculty, it’s like learning to be a teacher all over again.
And I commend the students who master this skill and the parents who support them in their effort. It is a tough development in education.
I give thanks for first responders who respond without hesitation to the ill and injured among us, and to the doctors and nurses who care for us as they always have. Covid-19 has introduced a new level of danger to their vocation.
Like police officers who rush towards a masked gunman and firefighters who rush into a burning building, medical providers are putting their lives on the line every day as they care for Covid-19 patients.
I give thanks for the development of vaccines which may soon allow us to hug our children and grandchildren as we could before this bizarre pandemic seized control of our lives. I look forward to making up for lost time.
Until then, I close these thoughts as I end my e-mails:
(S. L. Frisbie is retired. He will turn 80 on Jan. 15. By faithfully abiding by the isolation, masking, and social distancing rules, he hopes to turn 81 a year later.)
Used with permission of Polk News-Sun