Thanksgiving this year will certainly look and feel different from anything most of us have ever known – and being thankful may be a struggle for some.
Relatives lost — to the pandemic or otherwise – will sadly be absent from the holiday table. Large Thanksgiving gatherings will give way to more pared down, nuclear family celebrations. And a virus-weary nation will reflect back on a horrific year of fear, fatigue, turmoil and trepidation.
Yes, it has been a historically tough year. And yet, there is still so much for which to be thankful.
I am thankful that vaccine development and testing, a process that often takes more than a decade, has progressed at such breakneck speed that COVID immunizations should begin before the end of the year. I applaud the drug companies in their race to save lives.
I am thankful for the medical frontline – doctors, nurses, EMTs and others – who have risked their own health daily as the fierce pandemic warriors that they are. I am thankful for the other, often-unacknowledged, hospital staff like screeners, transporters, housekeepers and dishwashers. I am thankful for an always evolving healthcare system that continues to hold its ground in this epic battle for life. I salute you all.
I am thankful for businesses, from mom-and-pop shops to massive corporations, many of which continue to weather the uncertain storm. I am thankful to those businesses who perhaps were less fortunate, or who simply had to throw in the towel, for swinging away for as long as they could.
I am thankful for teachers, professors and schools who have pivoted over and over again to maintain a culture of education and community in a mostly online learning environment. I am thankful for the students – those incredibly resilient kids – who despite having their young lives turned upside-down, continue to show up and engage. Rock stars, every one of them.
I am thankful for the essential workers, who can never be accused of being overpaid and who also never really had the choice to Stay Safer at Home. Bus drivers, grocery clerks, postal carriers, janitors. The folks who just kept things moving for all of us, in one or way or another.
And I am so thankful for the cybersecurity industry, of which I am incredibly proud to be a part. I am truly in awe of the vastness of protective measures, fortifications and safety nets that have allowed businesses to safely conduct their business. I am constantly amazed at how smart, creative minds are able to meet all these cyber threats we are faced with – and the industry’s constant innovations in creating new approaches and applying cutting-edge technologies to enhance our ability to detect these threats, defend quickly and sort through the vast amounts of data in which the bad guys hide.
Finally, I am incredibly thankful for my family, who I love, who loves me back and who continues to inspire me greatly.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Ravdal, Inc.
Stig Ravdal is the President & Founder of Ravdal, Inc., a leading cybersecurity strategy and solutions company. He is widely considered an expert in the field and is available for speaking engagements.