Patrick Murphy

Thank you will mean something different this year.

This will be a Thanksgiving like no other.

It will be celebrated differently by a lot of us.

For some it will mean giving thanks they are alive.

For some it will mean giving thanks their loved ones are alive.

For some, it will be harder to say thanks because the people they love the most are gone.

For some, however, it will mean what it always does — football, food and getting ready for Black Friday.

The one thing that remains the same is there are always reasons to give thanks.

For me, it’s pretty simple: my family.

I have a wife who risks her health and even her life as a health-care professional trying to fight the coronavirus.

She works to keep people alive, so they can go back to their families.

She has had to watch people die; people who are dying without their loved ones around them. She gives them the only comfort they have.

There are a lot of people who ought to thank her and all health-care professionals by putting on a mask, staying away from crowds and doing everything necessary to not catch and spread the virus.

Not everyone does. Not everyone cares enough - until they need someone like my wife.

I’m thankful for my children and their spouses.

My children, Claire and Alek, have each found wonderful partners, and are happily married, successful and taking the virus seriously enough to take all the necessarily precautions even if it means missing out on getting together with friends, canceling trips and doing the fun things they normal do.

Some how, some way, the coronavirus became more than just a deadly worldwide pandemic — as if that wasn’t enough — it became a political weapon.

It is being used to divide the country, friends and families, and it seems either you believe it is serious or you do not.

As inconceivable as it seems, some see the rising number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths as nothing more than fodder for a liberal agenda and they live in conspiratorial splendor, flocking to fellow non-believers and news outlets that feed into their conspiracies.

The other half see the growing numbers of deaths, some witnessing the pain and sorrow up close, and wonder why caring for others by following the local, state and federal health guidelines is so difficult for some.

That’s where we are in the country, one issue and two sides seeing it differently.

That is why I am especially thankful this year for the work my wife does to try and treat those who are suffering from the virus, and I am thankful my family is safe.

Hopefully, more people will start appreciating all those who care for us by doing what they can to stop spreading the virus.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.