I’ve been a professional harpist for three decades. For me, December is always a whirlwind of music from the Nutcracker and the Holiday Harp Extravaganza, to corporate events and intimate gatherings. This year has been entirely different, with the risks of illness and the prohibition of large public gatherings. My heart goes out to my many musician friends who are trying to weather this COVID storm with remote teaching, virtual concerts, and unemployment–when they can get it. So many are like the mother I spoke with today who is struggling to pay her rent and utilities, and is worried about gifts for her children. Far too many are struggling. Today is the time for those with the ability to give, to “count their blessings” and share with those who are less fortunate.
I am grateful for many things. I am grateful for our Founding Fathers and Mothers who braved the unknown and sought guidance from an Almighty God. I am grateful for Capitalism, which has raised more people out of poverty than any other system in the history of the world. I am grateful for modern conveniences: electric lights, clean running water, paved roads that can take me anywhere in this great country, and inventions such as the cell phone, computers, and airplanes.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community on the City Council. I was appointed to the Simi Valley City Council in February 2019. I am very appreciative of the renewed faith and trust placed in me by the voters this past November, allowing me to serve on the City Council for four more years.
I am thankful the small business I run with my husband has been deemed “essential” (we print business and payroll checks). The risk of COVID-19 has affected our work environment (thermometer testing, masks, constant hand washing). And of course, the national response to the virus has adversely impacted the demand for our product, as it has for so many others. But, we are still operating. Let me state clearly: I think using the term essential versus nonessential is arbitrary, inaccurate and inappropriate. Any job that provides a person’s livelihood is essential!
In Ventura County, COVID-19 infection counts are climbing. The County has long been committed to making testing readily available for all residents, even as the large number of tests being administered produces more infection identifications. When I contracted COVID-19 I was fearful that I might have unknowingly infected others. I was also concerned that following my quarantine period, associates might be afraid to interact with me in person if they knew I had contracted the “plague.” None of my fears were realized. I am also thankful my symptoms were relatively mild. I am very aware that many who have battled or are battling this disease are not so fortunate. Many have lost loved ones.
The human spirit is resilient. While we have been asked not to gather in large groups, to social distance and wear masks, we can still do much to lift the burdens and lighten the load and worries of so many others.
This Holiday Season, may we find ways to love, live and celebrate our health, the contributions of humanity, and the possibilities within our great nation! May we seek and find joy and happiness. May this season be a time to treasure what we do have, and remember what is truly important in our lives. In the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone!”