On this day after Thanksgiving, and after sharing with our families all we are thankful for, it is appropriate to share with everyone things for which we are grateful.

In some ways, 2020 may have masked the good things, keeping us from recognizing them. COVID-19, politics and the elections, and confusion in schools have made it difficult to see what is right. But those things can be seen once we clear away the fog of despair this year has had hanging over it.

The pandemic threw most of everyone’s lives into turmoil. People forced themselves into quarantine for weeks at a time, lives were lost in droves with thousands dying at a time, and schools were closed and businesses shut down, which forced the loss of jobs. In the early days, many families reveled in the chance to spend more time together. But that silver lining didn’t take too long to tarnish.

However, the jobs started to return as the coronavirus brought families from many households together. People who did not speak for years were reaching out to each other through social media, email and telephone. Before the pandemic, “Zoom” was a children-created PBS show starting in the early ’70s or the word appearing on the TV screen when Batman and Robin went chasing out after their archrivals. Now it is a popular video conferencing tool that allows multiple people to come together at one time. Recently, I was on a Zoom call with nearly a dozen family members, some of whom I had not seen in three years. It was terrific and something so many of us are thankful for.

At times this past year, politics and the elections left many people with headaches and sour tastes in their mouths. Locally, an election won in March was challenged for the next six months, without any change, other than angst felt on both sides: those supporting and opposing the candidate.

On the national level, the fights in the campaign and those on the streets raised the anxiety of most and fear of others.

Mercifully, as the year progressed, the elections came and went. Even though the result of the White House election remains in the courts, our democratic process has allowed for a smooth transfer of power, for which we should all be thankful.

Finally, the mess in Wayne County Public Schools seemed it would never clear. A missing $5 million and the schools’ superintendent’s resignation kicked off the year’s problem. The COVID problems had the schools closed and then reopened in a variety of ways that left students and their parents confused.

The reason for the missing $5 million was explained but still not publicly accepted. And it seemed that children would suffer for an entire school year without advancing their education. Fortunately, the schools seemed to overcome their problems and willing to continue to work out their problems. We should all be thankful that the schools continue to improve, programs will not falter, and that the administration properly balances its checkbook before overspending again.

Hopefully, we can make a suggestion that comes from the works of Charles Dickens: We’ve seen the worst of times and now look forward to the best of times.

Contact Duke Conover, News Argus editor, at dconover@newsargus.com or call 919-739-7840.