Don’t let the COVID crisis put a damper on your Thanksgiving Day. Several years ago the founder of the Association of Mature American Citizens, the late Dan Weber, my dad, issued a Thanksgiving Day message at a another particularly trying time in our nation’s history. The threats we faced then were disruptive but definitely less threatening than the pandemic that has us safe-distancing, self-isolating and watching too many of our fellow citizens fall ill and perish.
Nonetheless the message my father had then is appropriate this year. As he put it: “Pessimists might suggest that we have a lot to be fearful of these days and not a lot to be thankful for. They’ll say that the threats of terror attacks have cast a dark shadow over the country. And they’ll argue that the country is divided politically and that unrest is widespread. But the truth is that every day is Thanksgiving Day. Challenges abound, they always have. But we have much more for which to be grateful than we have to be afraid of. As Psychologist Robert L. Leahy put it: ‘giving thanks may be the best gift that you can give to others—and to yourself. And, like the best things in life, it’s free’.”
Top of the list of optimistic news for which we can be grateful is the promising progress being made on the development of a COVID killer vaccine. At least seven trials of vaccines are underway by respected pharmaceutical firms. They are working feverishly to make an effective serum available for distribution as soon as possible. In fact, bearing in mind that annual routine flu shots are 40 to 60 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control, three of the COVID trials are reported to have shown impressive efficacy results in the 92 to 95 percent range.
Meanwhile, Just days ago Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced that they are petitioning the FDA for approval for “emergency usage” of their vaccines. And several other drug companies whose trials have shown their COVID shots are highly effective are expected to file their own requests for early usage.
If these developments don’t make you grateful, there are plenty of other reasons to be thankful. Keep in mind the armies of caregivers and first responders who risk their lives day after day to help the victims of the coronavirus.
And then there are our friends and neighbors who aren’t afraid to offer help when needed, like Lauren Laborde who lost her job due to the pandemic. Instead of feeling sorry for herself she decided to do chores, including lawn work, for locked down senior citizens and veterans in her community in Houston, TX. She’s not alone. Across the country there are thousands of citizen volunteers who go out of their way to help friends, families and strangers during these trying times.
My hope is that this message gives you a reason to have a Happy Thanksgiving.
The 2.3 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] www.amac.us is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. AMAC Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing the membership in our nation’s capital and in local Congressional Districts throughout the country. And the AMAC Foundation (www.AmacFoundation.org) is the Association’s non-profit organization, dedicated to supporting and educating America’s Seniors. Together, we act and speak on the Association members’ behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at www.amac.us/join-amac.