So the election came and went and here we are. While the dust is still settling, it appears we will end up with a split government, which the stock market seems to appreciate. There weren’t any riots and the President has been unusually quiet, which has provided some peace. It appears that life will go on despite what we were told before November 3.

Locally, we are experiencing our first true COVID spike and the hospitalizations are making everybody a bit nervous. I find myself constantly checking my email for news of school closures or outbreaks. Most of my meetings have either moved online or been cancelled. The line at the Mesa County Fairgrounds testing center is now around a 3-4 hour wait and every day, I know more and more people who have tested positive. I’m reminded of the column I wrote back in March that encouraged readers to go out and support our local restaurants, which were shut down by the time the column went to print 48 hours later. Its upsetting to be moving backwards instead of forwards, but as 2020 has taught us, we roll with the punches, adapt and move on.

I told myself I was not going to write about COVID this month. We’re closing in on the end of the year and between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, we still do have a lot to be grateful for. My column is supposed to be about thanks. So here goes, in no particular order:

I am thankful for our restauranteurs who continue to adapt their businesses which were designed to bring people closer together to a world that now requires social distancing.

I am thankful to our Veterans, who protect and preserve the American way of Life including the privilege of criticizing that way of life.

I am thankful that on Veterans Day, my phone and social media feeds were full of gratitude for my service. Surprisingly, the older I get, the more this means to me.

I am thankful that GJEP had a wonderful prospect in town this week and that after spending the day touring them around town and introducing them to our partners and businesses, they were excited and impressed with everything we had to offer them.

I am thankful to my Economic Development partners, who make the recruitment of new businesses to Mesa County that much easier.

I am thankful to business owners, CEOs and Presidents who have chosen to relocate their businesses to Mesa County, as well as our local companies who continue to provide good jobs and invest in our community.

I am thankful for the leadership across Mesa County who continue to show up to meetings and solve problems. This includes our municipalities, our elected officials, our health department and our schools. None of it is easy and nobody is perfect, but we’re doing pretty damn well all things considered.

I am thankful that my kids are still in school. Maybe by the time this goes to print, they won’t be. But today they are. I am especially thankful for the principals, teachers and classroom aides that continue to show up for our kids in extremely difficult circumstances.

I am thankful to janitorial staff everywhere who wipe down all of our surfaces every day to prevent the spread of germs.

I am thankful for my Enstrom Candies mask which elicits compliments everywhere I go (it goes without saying I am thankful for Enstrom Toffee).

I am thankful to all who choose to wear masks so that our businesses can stay open, our kids can stay in school and our healthcare providers have enough staff.

I am thankful that we live in a beautiful place where the sky is always changing.

I am thankful that 2020 is almost over.

On behalf of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving with less than 10 people.