The holidays are here, and the new year is just around the corner. As 2020 draws to a close, most of us will look back with a shake of the head or a somber look. And that is for good reason; 2020 was a really tough year. One that should not be forgotten or sugarcoated by history. But the pandemic and the hardship that it brought isn’t the real story of 2020, or at least, not the whole story.

Amid the challenges that COVID-19 set upon this state and this country, there were moments of real progress in 2020, and real joy. As we gather (safely) with loved ones this holiday, we should take a minute to celebrate the victories that were so hard fought this year.

In April and May we watched the countless displays of gratitude for our medical professionals, from balconies in New York and on street corners in Providence. In August we saw teachers and school administrators move mountains to bring kids into their classroom remotely. Now we have been graced with a vaccine that was developed in record time and is ready to safely inoculate people all over the country.

Here at PACE, our staff have shown the resilience and drive to keep participants safe from COVID-19 and living in their homes. Our participants are among the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders, but they are working to be as independent as possible, and we are lucky to be part of their journeys. More participants can rest easy knowing that someone is thinking of them during the holidays and beyond.

These might seem like small consolations, but to the nurse walking home after a 12-hour shift and the child learning about the civil rights movement, they bring something more: Hope. The hope of a better tomorrow, better year, better future. That hope is what we must continue to look for in 2021.