I feel like I begin a lot of articles with the general tone of “2020 has been awful.”

To be quite clear: it HAS been awful.

COVID-19 has changed the way the United States has operated for the last eight months. Ever since the first cases started appearing west of the Atlantic, life has slowly shifted from being out and about to being cooped up indoors for much of the year. This was always going to be a necessary evil to get rid of the virus or at least limit its effects. Some have taken up the cry for social distancing. Others have not, and here we are.

Now, as many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, it’s important to try and stay positive for what has been a difficult time for many people. Most are refraining from traveling in order to stay safe and protect loved ones, despite the yearning to be with those closest who could make such a painful shared experience more palatable. That is the most vicious part of this virus: the effect that it has on family.

I have been fortunate enough (well, unfortunate from what I believed at the start of this pandemic) to be marooned on my desert island at home with my mom, dad, brother, and our family cat. We had family members come by occasionally, but since March, it really has just been the four of us (five if you ask my mom) trying to survive together. My job as site manager makes it relatively easy to work wherever I need to work, and my brother is doing remote learning from UCLA. Still, it’s a normal house, and after a long time staying inside and avoiding the outdoors like the plague for awhile, it began to feel like a mental prison as much as it did a physical one.

And yet, despite all of the whining and complaining, we’ve made it through to Thanksgiving. Some of our extended family members are irritated with us taking extreme precaution—despite the need for extreme precaution in such a difficult time—and we won’t be seeing them during the holiday. It’s difficult, but this is the process. It was always going to be a pain but was always going to be a means to an end if executed correctly.

I’ve grown closer to my family and my younger brother especially. That is something I will always be thankful for. We have been fortunate enough to not have any sickness in our immediate group, and I plan to keep it that way for however long is necessary. Both of my parents are considered at-risk to COVID, as are several members of my extended family. The best way to celebrate with family this year is to keep their health and safety at the forefront. Being kind, considerate, and empathetic are traits that are often lost when discussing personal happiness and potential infringement. It’s important to keep those traits in mind when thinking of the 262,000 who have died to COVID in the United States and the 1.42 million who have died worldwide.

It’s a tough place to be right now, but the only solace that can be taken is that we’ve all undergone the same difficulties, the same traumas. Everyone has a quarantine story now. Everyone has a favorite show that they wouldn’t have watched if they weren’t stuck at home (I loved The Queen’s Gambit).

Denver Nuggets fans are used to trauma. That’s NuggLife. If NuggLife was a year, it would be 2020. The Nuggets had maybe their most incredible season in franchise history and the most important moments took place in a bubble in Orlando. THAT is the definition of NuggLife.

Be thankful that even with all of the difficulty society continues to endure that the NBA is still having a season. In fact, training camp starts in five days. Nuggets fans will be able to follow along as Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokić lead the pack, as Gary Harris and Will Barton look to get back on track, and as Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol look to become a bigger part of things. The 2020-21 season promises to be an entertaining one for Nuggets fans, and that’s definitely something to be thankful for.

So, as you get settled in to have Thanksgiving with your family and friends, keep in mind what other Nuggets fans are going through. Keep in mind what other sports fans are doing today. Keep in mind that almost everyone you know has had a really awful year for the same reason. Keep in mind that, despite all of the pain and suffering caused, you’re here, and tomorrow can be better than yesterday if you choose to make it so.

Be kind everyone. I hope your Thanksgiving is happy, safe, and therapeutic during this time.