The close of 2020 is almost here and we wish this pandemic year good riddance with a vaccine now being distributed. Normally in this space we review our prior year’s predictions for accuracy and offer new ones for the coming year.

We’ll deviate from that course this year though to recognize that despite how horrific and unprecedented this year became in midwinter, a lot of good things happened.

Locally, folks stepped up as soon as COVID hit. Educators managed the fastest turnaround from in-person to remote learning possible and school food service personnel kept pace with them, churning out local meals for anyone under 18 in our district all the way until schools reopened in September. That was epic.

Still more folks stepped up. Volunteer seamstresses from one end of The Valley to the other gathered their tools and made masks along with Product Think Tank and delivered those masks to those in need.

Joining them were the folks at Mad River Distillers who began producing hand sanitizer when it was still scarce and made weekly treks to the shopping center to distribute it to the rest of us.

And don’t forget the makers of The Valley who took it upon themselves to research and produce and then organize, collect and transport 3D printed plastic face shields for the Central Vermont Medical Center and later, frontline workers who needed them.

Speaking of frontline workers, we all owe a debt of gratitude to them for making sure we had food and hardware and pet supplies.

There are some unspoken heroes too. As we prepared this Year in Review issue going through all the stories about the people and businesses in our community, it brought home again just how engaged people are in this community. In a year when we’ve been so distant from each other, we’ve remained incredibly connected.

Restaurateurs pivoted and donated meals to the Mad River Valley Food Shelf. The Mad River Valley Community Fund paid for meals for local restaurants to donate. People created art and prayer flags and music for all of us. People supported each other and continue to do so with MRVAS volunteers at Waitsfield & Champlain Valley Telecom administering COVID tests.

Thanks to all who stepped up. Here’s to 2021 and please stay safe.