Sign reading Happy Thanksgiving with medical mask hanging from the corner.By Kevin White, AICP

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday by far. Good food, time together with family, reflecting on what we are thankful for, and giving back to others who need a boost. With COVID-19 cases rising again after a turbulent year, this Thanksgiving will take on a new meaning and will look a lot different. Families—mine included—are scaling back celebrations and gatherings.

What a year it’s been. A year of utter upheaval, of devastating loss of human life, loss of jobs and businesses, and a year of racial reckoning. This year has been exhausting and trying for many of us, both mentally and physically.

And yet, as we approach Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for the scientists, the public health workers, the doctors, nurses, and health care workers. I am thankful for teachers, and countless other essential workers fighting this crisis, caring for us, teaching us, developing vaccines, and maintaining our society’s essential systems and institutions. I am thankful for those fighting for equity for all.

I am thankful for my family and the slower pace this pandemic has brought, providing an opportunity to reflect on how to improve myself personally and professionally, and providing time to re-connect (virtually) with industry friends and colleagues. The parking and mobility industry is comprised of an amazing set of industry professionals, and I’m thankful this year has afforded me the opportunity through virtual conferences, Shoptalks, virtual happy hours, and other means to connect with new professionals, re-connect with old contacts, learn, and share ideas on how to move our important work into the post-COVID future.

Better days are ahead. May you have a peaceful, safe, and reflective Thanksgiving.

Kevin White, AICP, is a parking and mobility consultant with Walker Consultants.