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OpinionEditorial

Renewed thanks in a new year

Families on Long Island and around the country

Families on Long Island and around the country are sharing plates, grasping arms, gripping backs, taking precautions where necessary — and yes, getting that big turkey. Credit: NEWSDAY/Tony Jerome

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, Thanksgiving was in many homes a sad affair, featuring small or lonely dinners, foregone turkeys, and Zoom calls with family stuck on their own.

With vaccines still months off for most, COVID-19 was a present danger.

A quarter of a million people had already died in the United States, and officials urged us to stay close to home.

Long Islanders did what they could, chasing down tests, trying to keep their families safe. And there were little victories in every masked hug or tin-foiled meal left on a doorstep.

But there is little argument that it was a diminished holiday.

This year, most New Yorkers have been vaccinated, which offers significant protection against severe illness and hospitalization. Booster shots are widely available, and take-home tests are starting to be as well.

That hasn’t meant a return to full normal, unfortunately. With the contagious delta variant and the return of cold weather and loosened restrictions, new COVID cases are jumping once again in parts of the state where there are swaths of the unvaccinated. That means some Long Islanders still have cause to be leery.

But times have changed since 12 months ago.

Vaccination provides real protection for family gatherings.

And gathering families, on Long Island and around the country, are sharing plates, grasping arms, gripping backs, taking precautions where necessary — and yes, getting that big turkey.

We are thankful for those old joys, and we hope the stories we will tell next year about COVID Thanksgivings will be from memory.

MEMBERS OF THE EDITORIAL BOARD are experienced journalists who offer reasoned opinions, based on facts, to encourage informed debate about the issues facing our community.

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