Fifty Things Denver Can Be Thankful for Even in 2020

Fifty Things Denver Can Be Thankful for Even in 2020
9News via YouTube
One thing on which the overwhelming majority of us can agree is that 2020 has been a terrible year. But even though the COVID-19 pandemic remains all too prevalent in our lives, there are still reasons for people lucky enough to live in the beautiful city of Denver to be grateful — and on the eve of Thanksgiving, we've assembled a list of the ones that keep us looking forward to tomorrow, and the days after.

Yes, we've all heard more bad news than we'd like, and unfortunately, there'll be more to come. But we hope the following fifty items will provide some perspective as we move through dark days in search of the light. They only scrape the surface when it comes to the positives that have arisen during a largely negative period. But they're a start.

On this Thanksgiving, we're thankful for....

50. The Denver residents who care as much about the well-being of others as they care about their own

49. The visitors to Denver who follow local safety protocols whether they're identical to the ones where they live or not

48. The metro area stores that require even anti-maskers to cover their faces to enter

47. The anti-maskers who cover their faces properly when entering stores without making a big deal out of it

46. The growing variety of Colorado flag masks, which allow everyone to show their home-state pride

45. The many opportunities to say hello to folks as they stroll the neighborhood they all share

44. The excitement of dogs that may have only gotten a walk a week but are now getting away from home on a daily basis

43. The safety protocols at Tattered Cover and Twist & Shout, which represent the gold standard for shopping as safely as possible in the age of COVID-19

42. The Trader Joe's outlets that continued to monitor capacity during the summer when cases were lower and have kept up the practice as they've risen

41. The joy of watching the Denver Nuggets again — and watching the team go further than anyone expected

40. The joy of watching the Colorado Avalanche again — and being psyched for how the team might perform next year

39. The (occasional) joy of watching the Denver Broncos again

38. The teens and twenty-somethings who willingly forgo attending parties and other gatherings even though the likelihood that they could suffer devastating health consequences from the virus are relatively low

37. The family members who are keeping their distance from elderly relatives if getting together might put them in danger

36. The older folks who've taken the time to learn how to use Zoom — and the mute button

35. The older folks who have now mastered FaceTime years after they insisted it was too hard to figure out

34. The friends from around the country with whom we've reconnected in ways that have strengthened ties from years gone by

33. The way local musicians have found ways to share their artistry online

32. The use of Instagram and other social media platforms to showcase Denver-area visual artists who continue to push into new and invigorating territory

31. The landlords who are working with tenants having a tough time paying rent, as opposed to simply leaving them without a roof over their head

30. The employers who've found ways to let staffers work from home for the safety of everyone

29. The spouses, roommates and others in cohabitation scenarios who have discovered that grace and patience can make relationships stronger rather than causing them to fray

28. The real estate agents who are helping people in need of more room find places they can afford even amid rising prices

27. The many gorgeous places in which to recreate after being encouraged to spend more time in the vast, great outdoors

26. The hikers who wear face coverings in areas where they encounter others and make room for them to enjoy nature, too

25. The opportunity to get that old bike out of storage and remember how much fun it was to hit the road on two wheels rather than four

24. The cyclists who let folks on trails know when they're coming and thank them for making room as they pass

23. The decision to open up more space for cyclists on busy city routes so that everyone can take to the streets safely

22. The drivers who've decided to join cyclists rather than shaking their fist at them

21. The lower traffic volume on highways, which has made the commutes for people still heading to job sites a lot more pleasant

20. The many Denver restaurants that have come up with ways to offer great dining experiences to those who will be eating at home

19. The Denver restaurants that have adapted to show that outdoor dining can be comfortable and fun even during cold weather months

18. The Denver foodies who've made supporting Denver restaurants a priority

17. The medical professionals who have dedicated so much of their time and passion to helping the ill among us in every way they can

16. The signs outside metro area homes thanking doctors and nurses for their skills and sacrifices

15. The friends, family members and loved ones willing to help folks in quarantine survive isolation with their health and sanity intact

14. The neighbors who keep an eye out for vulnerable folks next door

13. The way neighbors are keeping up with each other's lives from a few feet further apart than usual

12. The generosity of individuals and organizations donating to metro-area food banks so that hunger doesn't become another symptom of the pandemic

11. The teachers and educators who are risking their health to make sure kids attending schools that remain open for in-person education still learn

10. The teachers and educators who are using their creativity to make remote learning as productive as possible under very difficult circumstances

9. Schools, institutions and donors that are going out of their way to provide technology to low-income kids so that they won't miss out on an education because they lack the resources of some peers

8. The essential workers who do often thankless jobs every day — and who deserve to be thanked for them every day

7. The retail workers who are able to convey how much they care about helping you with only their eyes and the friendly tone of their voice

6. The growing understanding that people of color faced systemic barriers long before the pandemic and that such issues need to be addressed now

5. The empathy shown to anyone who's suffered a tragic personal loss

4. The timely and important reminder that the lives of seniors in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are valuable and important and should never be taken for granted

3. The people who've found peaceful and meaningful ways to address injustice of every variety during a period when new problems seem to pop up every day

2. The resilience of so many Coloradans, who are facing challenges every day that we never imagined

1. The fact that in just over a month, 2020 will be over
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts