Giving thanks can be difficult when it feels like there is nothing but negativity in the world. We are still in the midst of a dangerous pandemic. Politicians in Washington are more content to argue among themselves than actually improve the lives of the voters who sent them there.

The best way to combat the negativity that is constantly spewed into our lives is to counteract it with positive thoughts and actions, and gratitude is a powerful weapon against any negative feelings. To that end, here are a few things that we are grateful for this year.

Let’s start with the obvious — we continue to be grateful for the health care workers who continue to be on the frontline of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A local surge in late summer and early fall caused by the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 pushed hospitals to their limits. The numbers at times reached more than 160 people hospitalized between Southeast Georgia Health Systems hospitals in Brunswick and St. Marys. Their hard work and willingness to help those in need continue to be an inspiration for all.

On that note, we are also thankful to have vaccines that have helped us return to a more normal life. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed, we have various vaccines that have proven to be effective against COVID-19. We continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated to do so.

We are also grateful for the educators, administrators, support staff and others that have helped our schools return to more normal operations. Like everything else, the school system was affected by the delta variant surge earlier this year, but it was prepared for the issue and handled it with aplomb.

We are grateful for all of the first responders in the Golden Isles who keep us safe from harm — be it criminal activity or a house fire raging through a home. Police from the various departments in the county work to keep us safe every day, often putting themselves in harm’s way.

The same can be said for our local firefighters who, for the second time in six years, had to fight a massive fire at the port that was fueled by the improper storage of wood pellets at the East River Terminal.

We are thankful for all of these things and many more, but most of all we are thankful for all of our readers, advertisers and supporters. Without all of you, we would not be able to provide the services we do. Thank you for your continued support and patronage in these trying times.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the Golden Isles and beyond.

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