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Editorial: A time to reflect on the positives

It may not have seemed like it but still much to be thankful for
Thanksgiving turkey
Thanksgiving is more than a turkey dinner.
YORKTON - Monday was of course Thanksgiving, a day that should be about more than eating too much turkey and watching Canadian Football League games on television. 

It should have been a time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for, although this year that might have seemed like a most daunting task. 

We have gone through a year where often things seem to be nothing but bad news. 

The recent federal election, as an example, has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Saskatchewan voters, who happened to have backed the Conservatives, only to see the Liberals hold on to power for another term. 

There is a rather distinct dislike out there for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and his return as PM has ramped up that dislike a notch or two farther, to the point we see an occasional flag flying with some rather stark words directed at Trudeau. The flags don’t really add anything to the conversation about the PM’s job, but they do show the disquiet some feel. 

So, maybe Monday we might have taken a moment to be thankful we still live in a democracy where we might not always be happy with the outcome of an election, but we can be happy we had the chance to vote. Not every country enjoys that freedom. 

And we can fly flags of protest too. In some countries, that act might have you thrown in a very dark cell, for a very long time. 

We can also be thankful to those marked on banners in our city at present for helping ensure those freedoms we now often forget are precious. 

Then there is the dry conditions of summer to lament, which hit farmers hard. No rain hurts crop yields, but a little silver lining to be thankful for has to be the outstanding fall that had harvest complete for most weeks ahead of normal. 

We might also want to lament the continued impact of COVID-19 too. Worldwide we are approaching 5 million deaths – more than the population of neighbouring Alberta for comparison. 

In Canada more than 28,000 are dead, or roughly everyone in Estevan and Yorkton. 

In Saskatchewan we have now seen the death toll climb part 750, or the equivalent of everyone in Sturgis, SK. and about 100 more. 

And while the number of infections are as high as they have been at any time during the pandemic, there are at least vaccines available.

Vaccines were key in dealing with world health issues such as tuberculosis and smallpox and if our health care system doesn’t collapse under the weight of those needing intensive care first it is to be hoped vaccinations will help us get through COVID-19 too. 

So as rocky as the road has been in recent months, as many issues we have faced, Canada is still better than most places to live and we still have much we should have paused Monday to be thankful for.