Giving Thanks for Little Things

Photo: Stephen Travarca

What have you been doing to get through it all?

In my neighborhood, we broke out the chalk. Kids and grown-ups alike got in on the fun. We drew colorful pictures and hopscotch boards on the pavement. We wrote pick-me-up messages (e.g. “Have a Smile Today!”). We scrawled an invitation for passersby to stop and do “The Chicken Dance” — and a few brave souls even obliged.

People appreciated these simple gestures. They told us how much our chalk creations lifted their spirits. They brought our little community closer together, even as social distancing kept us apart.

The warmth of a smile. A phone call to a friend, just because. A quick text to let someone know that you’re thinking about them. Now more than ever, it’s the little things that seem to mean the most, maybe because we’ve come to appreciate that the so-called little things really aren’t so little.

Our cover story in this issue is titled “Care 2.0.” It’s about how patient care at Cleveland Clinic has evolved over the course of this extraordinary year to meet the challenges of coexisting with COVID-19. As Beri Ridgeway, MD, Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s OB/GYN & Women’s Health Institute, puts it: “The pandemic has demonstrated how committed we are to doing the right thing for our patients and for each other.”

In this season of giving thanks, I’m thankful for each and every one of you, whose support is the lifeblood that allows Cleveland Clinic to make a profound difference in so many lives. I’m thankful for our caregivers, especially the heroes on the front lines of this global crisis, from the physicians and nurses in the ICU to the valets who sanitize the cars of hospital visitors. And I’m thankful for the little things that keep hope alive and keep us connected.