It’s been a tough year but there’s still so much to be thankful for.

It might be difficult for some to find things to be thankful for in the craziest that the year 2020 has brought.

All of us have been covering the coronavirus pandemic since the very start. We’ve seen what it’s done to people and their families. 

Here at KREM, most of us have been lucky to have stayed healthy but we’ve been through a lot. Some of us have shifted to working from home, while others have been in the station. Even some of our personal lives have been impacted by the coronavirus.  

Those who are in the station have limited interactions with each other and that’s just not how a newsroom is on a normal day. We all miss seeing each other but we’ve made it work. It’s something this team has shown we can do day-in and day-out.

Two of KREM’s senior digital producers are at home, one reporter/digital producer is in the office and our digital director is also at home.  

So, most of what you see on is created in living rooms and basements in three different households in Spokane. None of us ever thought we’d be doing the news this way. 

I think I can speak for many of my co-workers when I say that they are just some of the people that are helping me through this pandemic.

On this day before Thanksgiving, my boss (who you’ll hear from later) said, “Lets make this a fun day.” So I thought I’d ask my team what they were thankful for this year. They didn’t disappoint. 

Megan Carroll – Senior Digital Producer

In 2020, I am especially thankful for my health and a place to call home. I also have to give a big shout-out to my husband, Ian, our dog, my awesome friends, family and coworkers, books and takeout from my favorite local restaurants for getting me through this whirlwind of a year. 

I’m grateful for people who love and support each other fiercely in a time of pandemic and the ability to offer that same love in return. Though Zoom hasn’t replaced hugging all of my favorite people in-person, it’s been such a blessing to see their faces and immediately feel comfort. This year, I am genuinely thankful for the small things — and the gift of being alive when so many have had loved ones unexpectedly ripped away from them by coronavirus. 

I’m thankful for the Spokane community and its members who have lifted one another up for the past eight months.

Sara Roth – Digital Director

As I write this, I sit in my basement, in my makeshift home office that has become my permanent home office this year. I can hear my young children running (and rather frequently, falling) on the floor above. My husband, whose job as an event producer is on indefinite hold, runs after them all day long, every day. Instead of organizing festivals and concerts, he answers our 3 year old’s “What’s that?” questions all day long while our 11-month-old future Olympic gymnast climbs to the top of our furniture and hurls herself onto the ground (another loud fall above me).

All this to say, I feel very lucky. And that’s what I’m thankful for this year. We are healthy, and together – more so than we planned, but this bonding time is a gift that we will remember as we get older and our children grow up and away from our insular family life. Our world is so small right now but in some ways, richer than ever. We grew closer with our neighbors and friends. And we grew closer with each other. Although I look forward to the day I can take off my mask, board a plane and truly get away, I know I will look back fondly on this time when we had so much time for each other. 

Ian Smay – Investigative Reporter & Digital Producer

I’m thankful for a lot of things this year. While it hasn’t been a normal year by anyone’s measure, one thing has been a constant in my life: my family.

I haven’t been able to see them as much as I’d like this year but their support has helped me get through these past few months. They live in Southeast Washington, so they can watch KREM, and watch (or at least try to watch) all of my work. Being able to talk to them and tell them I love them via call and text since the pandemic started has been more helpful than they could imagine.

Through all of this, I have also been thankful for my friends. They’ve helped make sure I keep it light outside of work and even though I also have barely seen them in person, it still feels like we’re as close as ever.

Another thing I am thankful for is my hometown of Dayton. The support they’ve given me since I started at KREM was something I couldn’t have imagined and the same goes for 2020. I grew up watching KREM, so its cool to be on TV in your hometown.

Finally, my co-workers have been so incredible this year and throughout my time at KREM. While the past few months haven’t been easy, its made a lot easier with such a great group of colleagues to have your back along the way.

One last thing – I’ve been thankful for the great distraction that my Cougs have provided, as well as the entertainment my (although still not good) New York Knicks will here in a few weeks.

Kaitlin Riordan – Senior Digital Producer

In 2020, my husband and I started our family. In early April, right at the start of the pandemic, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Lucy.

It was a rough go at first, as it is for most first-time parents, but I am so thankful for this time I’ve had with my husband and daughter.

I’m thankful for my job. I feel a sense of purpose and responsibility in giving people important facts that can help them navigate life in a pandemic. 

I get to work from home and have an AMAZING babysitter who helps me out during the day. I’m getting the opportunity to see my baby grow while I’m at work and that’s something a lot of working mothers before me haven’t been able to do. The first time Lucy rolled over was during one of my lunch breaks. 

I’m thankful for all my coworkers. Some brought me food after I had our daughter. Some texted or called to check in on us. Some have left gifts on my doorstep. I’m forever in awe of their kindness and selflessness.

On a lighter note, I’m thankful for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and my cable and internet provider. All these platforms and services are keeping my brain engaged and making life easier. 

Also a shout out to all delivery drivers, grocery store workers and healthcare professionals. You all are the real MVPs of this pandemic. Thank you all for helping this family stay healthy and safe.  

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