Submitted by Jill Fratto
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how COVID-19 has changed so many norms for the long term. Some activities that were suspended because of Covid never came back. Working at home has become more standard for many companies. Certain business practices, even simple ones like having fresh lemon available at Panera Bread for tea, have gone away and are no longer viewed as healthy practices. Handshaking is another example of something that may never come back to its full pre-Covid glory. I could talk for a long time about the two sides of the Covid coin, but what I have noticed in December is that holiday traditions stand the test of time.
During the holidays, we put aside our differences and relish in tradition. We enjoy activities like parades, parties, and street festivals in the name of peace, good cheer, and holiday tidings. Being in a small state and community gives us even more opportunities than people in larger metropolitan areas to truly connect with one another and help those in need. If you have always lived in Harrison County or surrounding communities, you may notice how much giving really takes place here. No matter how tight things get, or how the economy can challenge us, we always find ways to give. I believe that is part of living in a small town, and it also contributes to a feeling of wellness and connectedness between neighbors.
As I look around our community, I am thankful for everyone’s contributions for making this a wonderful place to live, work, and play. That includes everyone from school personnel who teach our kids, transport them, feed and keep them safe to small business owners making a living from their passions to medical professionals, engineers, and retirees. Living in a small town, we have the privilege of knowing each other, our children, our parents, and even those who came before us. It is easy at times to take this for granted, so I wanted to take this time to say thank you to each and every one of you. Together, we are building a community that is thriving. Together, we support each other and hold each other up in difficult times. Together, we are raising and educating our children.
I hope that the coming year brings even more connectedness, good health, and prosperity to our community. I am grateful to live in a small town, in a small state, where we are united in purpose and passion. Here’s to a great 2022 and an even better 2023.