Being Thankful in the Face of a Pandemic

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Being Thankful in the Face of a Pandemic

Karen DiDonato ⋅ November 24, 2020

The year 2020 has been a challenge for most, that’s for sure. But here we are in November, rounding the corner to Thanksgiving Day. With this gastronomic holiday comes time to reflect on the past year: remembering people we have lost, conversations we have had, and giving thanks for who we are, what we have, events that happened, etc.

In our HCI family, we typically enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving lunch in our office while laughing and telling stories. This year’s celebration will be different, just like most American’s.

Instead of celebrating while sitting shoulder to shoulder, this Thanksgiving we celebrate via video chats, discussions over the phone, email, and texts. But regardless of those changes, we’re still celebrating together, and for that we are so thankful.

The word thanksgiving with a turkey, acorns, leaves and a bird

Here’s what we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving:


I am thankful for my fiance and my family!
~ Jason Malone, Recruiter


There are so many things that I’m grateful for: God; health; family; friends; my job; and Tiffany, my late Shih Tzu, who I had in my life for 13 years. If I continue, my list will be very long!
~ Mercedes Nin, Administrative Assistant


I am thankful for many things. 1) All of us still having employment through COVID-19 where a lot of people are out of work. 2) My mom, who is in a nursing home where they have had numerous cases of COVID-19 yet she has remained negative. 3) My wife who has not contacted it despite working in the ICU.
~ Antwan Spivey, Recruiter


I am thankful for being able to work during the pandemic; that my family is safe and doing well; and I am very thankful I met my girlfriend two weeks before the pandemic started.
~ Antone Bouche, Social Media Coordinator


I am thankful for being able to be part of staffing laboratories during the pandemic. I feel I am contributing. I am grateful that profession is around for me to do that.
~ Donato Valera-Teano, Recruiter

I am very thankful to be alive.
~ Gene Marks, Senior Recruiter


I am thankful for my job during COVID.
~ Jolynn Augustine, Recruiter


I am so thankful that my family is healthy and we all have jobs–especially during this year.
~ Meida Ayala, Administrative Assistant

Happy thanksgiving written in front of watercolor leaves in fall colors

I am thankful for my family, which includes my work family as well as Lucci, my son’s long-haired chihuahua. I am also thankful for my job.
~ Kelly Bajusz, Account Executive


Thanksgiving is somewhat of a new holiday for me; I only started celebrating after arriving from Argentina 20 years ago. Even if I did not grow up with the history lesson, I feel a special connection to its meaning of being thankful. This year has been very difficult for a lot of people, so this year I am very thankful for having a job.
~ Paula Smith, Controller


This time last year we could never have imagined the crisis we find ourselves facing today. With so much sadness, loss and financial despair across the country, Thanksgiving seems unimportant. However, when I was asked what I am thankful for, I realized I still have much to be very thankful and grateful for, even during these times. Most important is the health of my loved ones. I had five close family members who had COVID–some more severe than others–but thank God all five are doing well now. I am also thankful the doors at HCI are still open and we have jobs that allow us the basics that we may once have taken for granted: paying bills and putting food on our tables. We are fortunate as so many people are struggling. I also have to say I am thankful for all the medical professionals and first responders who have gone above and beyond. I think we can all agree on that. Health is everything, as long as we have that we can all be thankful for something this season.
~ Catherine Schreck, President


There is not much to be thankful for specific to 2020, but a constant I am always eternally thankful and grateful for are: my beautiful wife of 30 years Debbie DeQuarto; my three adult children, Andres, Courtney, and Alexis; my five grandchildren, Andres Jr., Christian, Reef, Joey, and little Desi; my two dogs, Brutus and Bide; and two cats, Clancy and Sabastian. I am thankful we are all healthy. I am also thankful I have awesome bosses, Catherine Schreck and Donna Mainini, and that I still have my job. Lastly I am thankful every day to have God in my life.
~ Michael DeQuarto, Recruiter

Hand-drawn turkeys wear masks and pilgrim hats

Check out these stories remembered from Thanksgivings past:

I am constantly reminded of my first thanksgiving with my soon-to-be mother-in-law. We had just sat down to our Thanksgiving meal when I got up, grabbed a banana, peeled it and put it on my plate. Everyone was staring at me. What they didn’t yet know was that growing up in Cuba food was very limited, but bananas were abundant and cheap. My father would buy a whole cluster of bananas and hang them in my room for the whole family. Whenever I was hungry, which was often as a growing young boy, I would eat a banana or two. Despite moving away from food insecurity, I kept my banana habit. Now at every Thanksgiving my mother-in-law will remember that first holiday by asking, “Hey, you are forgetting your banana?”
~ Joel Trujillo, Communication & Marketing Administrator


My mom was never able to put out the entire dinner hot at the same time. My fondest memory was when she handed the Thanksgiving tradition to me. I cooked for the entire family (15 to 20 people), which allowed my mom to sit, relax, and enjoy her Thanksgiving. I felt so proud when I put the entire meal out piping hot.
~ Jeb Parichy, Recruiter


Whenever people came over my father would wash all the windows–inside and out. Thanksgiving was no different. Staying out of the way while the final preparations were made, my friend and I played upstairs until we heard a crash sound. Turns out, everyone but my friend’s younger sister realized Dad’s tradition. She attempted to run straight through the closed, spotless glass door. We found her stunned flat on the floor and my dad’s sliding glass door with a smudge of grease at forehead level.
~ Lindsay Adeimy, Recruiter/Account Executive

If you are looking for a new position in the field of clinical or anatomic pathology, we would be happy to help. Take a look through our open positions or give us a call. We are thankful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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Author: Karen DiDonatoKaren, our content marketing strategist, has worked with HCI since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in communications. In her free time she enjoys baking, gardening, running, and all things Peloton-related.