What We can be Grateful for in 2020

Yes, Really.

The author, Graciela Ramirez (far left) at a family celebration on July 20, 2019.

Graciela Ramirez

The author, Graciela Ramirez (far left) at a family celebration on July 20, 2019.

Graciela Ramirez, Reporter

For the first year of a new decade, 2020 has been tragic; everyone has been negatively affected this year one way or another. We have all gone through struggles. With so many tragedies and hardships, we seem to have forgotten the good things we cherish so close to us, especially, in November where on Thanksgiving, we recognize what we are thankful for. 

Lori Polydoros, an English teacher at Godinez Fundamental High School, is going through her own struggles; nevertheless, she is still grateful for what life has to offer.

Polydoros said, “I am just grateful for my health, my daughter has been going through a lot of struggles physically and emotionally; we take for granted how every part of our body works. Even the most simplest things.” Polydoros adds, “Being able to be surrounded by my awesome husband, and my two kids, and my dogs…Never feeling alone.”

Jaime Ramirez, a medical assistant at St. Joseph Heritage Hospital in Lake Forest, promises to continue to help his community during this crisis. 

Ramirez is grateful for, “My health and the health of my family and friends. Once life returns to normal, they will be whole and happy.” Ramirez adds, “I will be continuing to do my job to the best of my ability. As one who works in the medical field, my job is to ensure the health of those I work with as well as those I provide care. In these hard times not, everyone has had the opportunity to have kept their jobs and, in some cases, their total livelihood.”

I try to be optimistic as well as looking at the brighter side of things. Through quarantine, I’ve gone through my struggles as well, which has caused depression and anxiety at times. I can imagine it’s been the same for many as well. So here are things that I am thankful and have kept me going through this year:

  1. The health of my family: I am thankful that my family and I managed to stay safe and not contract COVID-19. Whilst I am grateful for people that have survived COVID, we must also remember to mourn those who were lost.
  2. My parent’s job and my house: Due to COVID-19 many have lost their jobs and homes, so I am grateful for having a home and my parents still having jobs that allow them to support me and my family.
  3. Friends: I appreciate my close friends that have kept me company and have always been there for me when I need them, even if it is just through social media and Zoom classes.

    From left: English teacher Lori Polydoros, her husband, daughter and son at Zakynthos, Greece. Photo was taken by Polydoros’ son during summer of 2018. (Courtesy of Lori Polydoros)
  4. Teachers and Staff: Teachers and staff are doing their best to make sure we succeed. Our teachers have been understanding while working hard for their students and maintain their personal lives. I appreciate how they can be understanding and willing to give an extra hand.
  5. Doctors and Nurses: Medical professionals have been persevering, helping millions to stay healthy and survive. 
  6. Our Community: Santa Ana has come together to help each other with food drives, access to WiFi on busses, free Coronavirus testing, and all the free handouts of masks/hand sanitizers; I am grateful to have a community that assists us. 
  7. A New President: Trump wasn’t successful in preventing Coronavirus, so I’m relieved to have a new president that handles this virus differently, and focus on current issues.
  8. Quarantine: Though quarantine isn’t great for everyone, I have taken this opportunity to focus on myself. This pandemic has given me more time to connect with my family and become closer to them.
  9. Music and Hobbies: Music has been essential to me and my hobbies whether it’s: baking, painting, sketching, playing video games, or gardening, all have been therapeutic.
  10. Lastly, Technology and WiFi: Having tech and WiFi is a great resource especially, during these times where everyone needs to distance to be safe. Thanks to technology, many can still go to work, connect with family and friends, plus go to school, safely. 

I am beyond grateful for these things in my life, although there are numerous difficulties that I am not thankful for in 2020, this year has taught me more gratitude. 

Everyone has something they can be grateful for this year, even in 2020. As Thanksgiving is around the corner, let’s try to remember and appreciate all the good that has come to our lives. 

What are things that have kept you motivated to get through this year? Overall, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe.