The Good Press — Issue #32: Gratitude

The Good Press
7 min readNov 25, 2020

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press, a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind.

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However you’re spending Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season this year, I hope your holiday season is a safe, warm, healthy, and happy one.

As I wrote last week, my partner and I will not be traveling for Thanksgiving weekend this year; we’re having a much more scaled-down Turkey Day here at her parents’ Poconos country home, in a four-person pod with her parents. We’ll eat well, even if we’re not eating with everyone we normally eat with on Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe it’s cliché, but I’m feeling very grateful.

I’m grateful for the roof I have over my head and the food I have on my plate.

I’m grateful for the people in my life that give me strength and support.

I’m grateful for all the good we have in this world. I hope that you are, too.

We should make more time for gratitude, generally. It’s nice to have a day on the calendar that reminds us to give thanks and be grateful, but it doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) the only day we do so. We should aim for more.

It’s been a stressful year. We can all be forgiven for not taking a few moments each day to be grateful for everything we should be grateful for. But it’s important to not lose that perspective. There is so, so much to celebrate.

We can only control what we can control, after all. So carve out a few minutes a day to ruminate in gratitude and encourage others to do so, too.

It feels good to be grateful, and we could all use more feel-good, couldn’t we?

Besides, when we fill our minds with gratitude, positivity, and appreciation, our anxieties, worries, and preoccupations have less room to roam in there. So take some time to be grateful today and tomorrow, and the next day, too.

If we can get through a year like this, what can’t we do?

I think that’s something worth keeping in the back of our minds as we look forward to an eventual post-pandemic phase of COVID-19. Until we get through this storm, we must stay focused on the task at hand: keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities healthy and safe.

There’s no question that there is more and more light at the end of this long tunnel. Vaccines are on their way, although it’s not going to be a quick fix.

Where things stand in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine | CNN

December and January will likely be the worst months yet of COVID-19 in the United States, especially with millions and millions of Americans choosing to ignore advisories against unnecessary travel this week.

New Zealand didn’t need a vaccine to get back to COVID-free life. They used math and science. They trusted their experts. They showed true leadership.

Meanwhile, doctors and nurses all over America are being overwhelmed by the surge in coronavirus hospitalizations in communities all over the country.


In Other Words

Now is not the time to find yourself in need of a hospital bed, for COVID-19 reasons or otherwise. We should be keeping these fearless doctors, nurses, and other health care workers in our thoughts when we are giving thanks for what we have. These heroes may not get to go home and have a Thanksgiving dinner at all, and they don’t have the option to choose in-person gatherings.

We, the people, can only control what we can control. We can wear our masks. We can wash our hands. We can keep our distance. What we can’t control is if our hospitals run out of space or medical workers (or both). So please, stay home as much as you can for the next few months. Do it for yourself, do it for the people in your household, do it for your community, and do it for the doctors and nurses who fight on the frontlines of this horrid war.

This country is in desperate need of another major stimulus package and has been for months. America’s health care system and the economy will go to some pretty dark recesses if Congress fails to act. Emergency aid can’t wait.

Back in May, the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (aka the HEROES Act), which would build upon the economic stimulus package that was passed into law in the spring, when we were just at the very beginning of fighting this thing.

But the HEROES Act has been collecting dust in the legislative graveyard of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s refused to bring the bill to a vote so it can be passed into law. With a health care system and economy on the brink of potential calamity, millions of Americans plunging into poverty, and millions more unemployed because of the federal government’s inaction, apparently it’s all just a political game for McConnell, a true American villain. Every day that passes without the Senate acting, Americans suffer. Period.

As Emily Stewart of Vox writes:

The American economy can’t get completely back to normal until the virus is under control, and more intervention in the economy could help control the virus. It could also help address an unequal, K-shaped recovery where people at the top do better a lot faster than those at the bottom.

On December 26, more than 12 million workers who were receiving unemployment benefits through a pair of expanded programs under the CARES Act will lose assistance, according to an estimate. […] On December 31, renters, homeowners, and people who have student debt face a steep cliff as well. Washington is scheduled to be on recess then, too.

We can be grateful for what we have and still push for something better. America, fundamentally, is a democracy principled on always striving for something better. So let’s be grateful and determined. Thankful and focused. The coronavirus held up a mirror to societies all around the world. It exposed our flaws. Now that they’re visible, it’s time to get to work and address them.

Parting Thoughts

Football is one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Here in the U.S., American gridiron football has been played on Thanksgiving since the 19th century, when Ivy League schools had the best football teams in the world.

One thing I’ll definitely miss this Thanksgiving is watching the football games with my brother, hanging on every play with inevitable fantasy football implications as we head down the stretch of the fantasy football season.

My brother and I have had a lot of success with our respective fantasy football teams over the years, and we were the first two teams to clinch playoff berths in our home league this season with two weeks of games left before the start of the fantasy playoffs in December. Even without watching the games together this year, the banter and the competition has been fierce.

I’d say that, as a game, fantasy football is sort of like poker, in that in order to be consistently good at the game year after year, it takes both skill and luck. Some people can make their own luck, seemingly. Some might say my brother and I have found ourselves on the right side of good fortune in many seasons past, but footballs are oddly-shaped; they bounce unpredictably. You never really know how it’s going to go until it’s time to play the games. All the preparation and strategy goes out the window once the games kick off.

So I’ll watch the games tomorrow. My brother and I will text each other as the big plays happen. Hopefully, all three scheduled games go off without a hitch. That pesky coronavirus is predictably wreaking havoc across the sport.

Hopefully, come playoff time, the ball bounces our way and we can face off in the championship round against one another. In our home league’s nine-year history, it’s never been a brother vs. brother final, though the two of us have combined to win four of the first eight championships in the league’s history. He’s had the best team all season, but… maybe the ball will bounce my way.

However you spend your holidays, always appreciate the little things. These familiar comforts are worth being grateful for, even if we’re sharing these comforts in more unfamiliar ways this year. So here’s to a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and many happy/healthy days to come. Be well and be grateful.

Till next time,


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The Good Press

a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind