Halfway through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thanksgiving will be a time of gratitude and, for some, grief.
There have been more than 200 deaths in Greene County since the beginning of the pandemic and many more have lost loved ones who live outside the county to the virus. According to information on the Mayo Clinic website, the emotions of grieving can feel overwhelming during the holiday season. Support for those grieving is available through several local agencies and support groups.
In spite of the challenges and losses, people are finding things to be thankful for, both on a personal level and as a community. When asked what they are most thankful for, a number of Greene Countians put family and friends at the top of their gratitude list. In second and third place were being able to work and having a home. Most said that experiencing the pandemic made them more grateful or changed the way they prioritize their lives.
Community leaders expressed gratitude for a variety of things.
“There are several things I”m thankful for,” said Greeneville City Administrator Todd Smith. “One is a town that’s able to weather a global pandemic. In spite of devastating impacts of the pandemic locally we’ve managed to thrive.
“The downtown revitalization is finally underway. There is finally construction and Depot street is moving and it’s exciting to see progress in our downtown redevelopment project.
“Third, and maybe the most important, is that I’m thankful for the people in Greeneville that I get to work around. That includes the board of mayor and aldermen, the team of employees at the Town of Greeeneville, and the volunteers who serve on various boards and commission in the town that really make Greeneville the special place it is.”
Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison said, “I am truly thankful that we live in a place that the citizens support law enforcement. I am mostly thankful for the officers in this department. I think of them as family and appreciate all they do each and every day.
Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels said he believes Greeneville is “blessed as much, if not more, than a lot of communities across the country.”
“The number one thought that I have is I’m thankful that we have a living God that we can lean on and who will lead us. We are fortunate here in the United States and we should be grateful for what we have.
“I think we as individuals, we need to be kinder to one another. That, in my opinion, is the way that we are going to survive. It will make a better world.”