Every year, we expect certain things to happen around Thanksgiving. We expect the leaves to change colors. We expect to decorate our houses with pumpkins and cornucopias. We expect football on television. We expect to eat turkey and stuffing, potatoes and gravy. We expect our family to gather from near and far.
But the coronavirus pandemic – and all of the last two years, really – has turned our expectations upside down. This year, due to the Delta variant, some of us may not be able to see our parents, grandparents, or other relatives out of concern for their safety.
Like most holidays, Thanksgiving felt a lot different in 2020, and it will probably feel different in 2021, too. And yet, it’s precisely during a time like this that Thanksgiving becomes more important than ever. Because it’s when life takes certain things away that we realize what truly matters. When we learn to live without certain comforts, we learn what we couldn’t live without. We learn what we really have to be thankful for.
And, let me tell you: There are so many things we are thankful for.
First and foremost, we are thankful for our families. Not being able to see certain loved ones as often makes us realize how much they mean to us. This year, we have treasured every email and letter, Zoom® session and phone call, more than ever before.
Second, we're thankful for the technology that enables us to connect with our families, even when we’re hundreds of miles apart, or simply separated due to social distancing.
Third, we are thankful for our amazing team. Everyone's dedication, professionalism, and attitude inspire us all every day. When the markets were crashing last year, they were on the phones, working hard talking to all of you. When the lockdowns started, they worked from home without skipping a beat, working to take care of you even while they took care of their own families. When we started coming back into the office, everyone did –and continues to do – everything possible to keep each other healthy and safe.
We do what we do because their hard work empowers us all to.
Fourth, we are thankful for life’s daily luxuries that we too often take for granted. Can you imagine going through this pandemic the way people would have hundreds of years ago? The pandemic has reminded us just how accustomed we are to always having food, always having water, always having power, always having shelter. In the 21st century, we have books and games and movies to keep our minds occupied. We have pets to keep us company. When we need fun, recreational activities, we can head outdoors and ride bikes, take a hike, go skiing – all without fear of the elements or getting lost.
As difficult as it is to live with COVID-19, the modern world makes it easier than past generations could have imagined. And we're grateful for that.
Fifth, we're thankful for the men and women striving to end this pandemic. The doctors and nurses on the front lines, caring for the sick. They are literally putting their lives on the line, working from sunup till sundown. All to save lives and to reunite families. And let’s not forget the scientists and researchers, who raced against the clock to deliver the world a vaccine in record time. We could never do what they do. We're so thankful they’re doing it.
Sixth, we're thankful for the members of our community who keep our community functioning. From teachers to police officers. From grocery store baggers to truckers. From utility technicians to sanitation workers. Many are working double shifts. Others have converted their offices into makeshift bedrooms. Too often, their work goes unnoticed and unsung. But they are considered essential workers for a reason – because none of us could live without them.
Finally, we're thankful for you -- our clients. When the pandemic began, our team tried to reach as many clients as possible. Not just to talk about your investments, but to talk about you. To see how you and your family were doing. But very soon, we realized we didn’t have to call each of our clients. That’s because most of our clients were calling us! Not to ask about the markets. Not to ask about their money. But to ask about us. To check in on us. To express their appreciation for us.
There is never a day that goes by where we are not thankful for what we do – because of who we do it for.
This pandemic has changed so much. How we live, how we celebrate. But there are some things it hasn’t changed. It hasn’t changed what we care about. It hasn’t changed who we love.
It hasn’t changed how much we have to be thankful for.
So, on behalf of the entire Fidelis team, we wish you and your family a safe and joyful holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!
-Travis, David, Andrew, Sydney, and Mark