Still thankful | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 19, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:06 AM, January 19, 2021

life as it is

Still thankful

The last year has been terrible! A tragic year, a year that seems to me longer than all the other years I have lived. This is the sort of year that lingers on, stubbornly refusing to come to an end. However, as I look back on 2020, I tell myself, “In spite of all the heartbreaks and losses, there are many things that I am still thankful for.”

Health and wellness

The pandemic has brought people closer. Yes, there are times when seeing each other 24/7 is leading to more frequent arguments and disagreements among family members, but when I think of all those families that have empty chairs at their dining tables, I cannot be thankful enough for my own health and my family's health.

Financial security

So many of us take so many things for granted, especially when it comes to fulfilling our basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. This pandemic has taught us all over again that nothing in life is guaranteed.

Countless number of people around the globe have lost their jobs and businesses. There are businesses that have permanently shut down, especially smaller ones. So, if you still have a job, if your business is still feeding your family, or if you still have a roof over your head in these uncertain times, count your blessings.

Healthcare professionals

No matter where we are living, we should be thankful for our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Our frontline PPE-clad heroes are working against the clock in extreme conditions, and so many laid down their lives in the line of duty in the initial weeks and months of this pandemic.

I am thankful for the healthcare professionals wherever they are living and have been combatting coronavirus since day one. What would we have done without them?


I am personally thankful for my daughter's class teacher, her patience, and her dedication. Teaching is not an easy job, and teaching virtually is even more challenging, especially teaching young children. Sometimes, I wonder how she is doing it so well, going as far as arranging two successful virtual class parties.

I asked my daughter's class teacher, Wendy Turner, who is a 2016 PAEMST (America's highest honour for teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics) awardee, what it is like to be a teacher in this pandemic.

She said, "Heart-breaking and exhilarating. Devastating and exciting. More difficult than the wildest imagination allows one to conjure. More beautiful than the double rainbow after the storm. This is teaching in 2020. I am humbled, honoured, exhausted, hopeful, inspired and here. Every minute. Every day. It remains a great privilege to teach. Even now. Perhaps now more than ever."

The future of a nation rests with its children, and our teachers are making sure that tomorrow's nation builders do not fall behind when good days return. If your children are doing distance learning in this pandemic, thank their teachers for their hard work.

Time to pursue hobbies

The stay-at-home condition has given me the time to pursue my hobbies and other interests, certain interests that I perhaps otherwise would not have pursued. I have also seen friends and family take up new hobbies or embark on personal projects.


I am also thankful for technology, which has enabled adults to work from home and children to attend online school in these challenging times. Digital communication is shrinking distances, enabling people to hear and see their loved ones every day in these times of social distancing.

Other essential workers

This piece will remain incomplete if I do not write that I am also thankful for our law enforcement officers, journalists, delivery men and women, postal workers, truckers, grocery store workers, waste management employees, and all others who are working in trades and sectors critical to the smooth running of an economy.

It is for these people that we can be at home; they are keeping us safe, meeting our needs while exposing themselves to the virus every day.

In spite of being a tragic year marked by disease and deaths, there are many things and people to be thankful for in the year 2020. I am thankful to be alive and kicking!

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