2021 – A Year In Review

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It’s December 29th and we’re at the end of another long year.  It’s human nature to become introspective while reflecting on the year that’s about to end while hoping the new year will be better.  At first glance, the nicest thing many will say about 2021 was that it wasn’t 2020.  2021 picked up where the old year left off, with a group of violent protesters storming the US Capitol to protest the results of a contentious election.  It was as if 2021 said hold my beer to 2020.

Here’s what I remember for 2021:

Bernie Memes – The Presidential Inauguration differed from any in recent memory.  There was a public health crisis, national security concerns, and the threat of civil unrest following the January 6th Insurrection.  Despite this, a photo of Bernie Sanders seated wearing woolen mittens during the inauguration became an internet sensation as it was Photoshopped into funny images and memes, providing some much-needed levity.  Can you believe this picture was taken a year ago?

COVID – It’s been the elephant in the room for the past two years.  Since January 30, 2020, 5,436,109 have died of this virus globally, 842,993 in the United States, as of this morning, according to Worldometer.com.  This Pandemic affected everyone globally.  Like any virus, it has morphed and mutated into new variants, Delta, Omicron, and who knows what lies ahead of us in 2022.  A medical issue became a culture war and there seems to be no end in sight.  My family just celebrated its second Covid Christmas. I have a strong hunch we’ll have a third one next December.

Photo Steve Cornfield on Unsplash

Vaccines and Vaccinations – In the States, we started the year with three FDA-approved vaccines and a plan to get shots into arms so we could reach Herd Immunity.  For a country suffering from Pandemic Fatigue, it should have been a no-brainer. You get a quick jab, okay two jabs if you didn’t get the J&J vaccine. Our lives could return to 2019 when we could go to restaurants, ballgames, or leave the house without a mask.  Yet, like so many things in our current society, the culture war kept people away.  We are in the middle of a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated. As of this morning, 62% of the country is fully vaccinated. Our healthcare system is stretched to the breaking point,

Cristian Continues To Thrive Despite The Insanity. – It has always amazed me at a child’s ability to adapt.  It makes me long for the days when Mom and Dad had things under control. As a child, I had no idea how hard they worked to conceal the illusion.  Cristian started 2021 in a hybrid program, spending Mondays and Tuesdays at home doing remote learning, and Thursdays and Fridays at school and alternating between home and school on Wednesdays.  In April, they gave us the option of sending him back for full in-class learning. 

My wife and I agreed he should be in school with kids his age. It was better than doing his schoolwork sitting in front of a laptop.  It wasn’t always smooth sailing. His school had several Covid scares requiring him to return home temporarily.   Despite the challenges, Cristian thrived in this chaotic environment.  He’s now in a blended program where he is learning at a quicker rate. He’s also communicating more with mom and dad.

Photo iStock

Cristian Wasn’t The Only One To Return To School – I spent most of 2020 and 2021 working from home due to the pandemic. The HR Department emailed me to return to the office in the college where I work in August.  Standing on the subway platform and returning to a half-empty building was an odd feeling after working from home for 518 days.

I’m Still Working On My MemoirsI mentioned before the concept of a white-haired fifty-something man sitting at a typewriter and writing his memoirs is beyond cliché.  In January 2020, I signed up for a writing class. The group had such chemistry that we continued writing, reading, and critiquing for the past two years.  It’s been my outlet during the pandemic. 

In that time, several of our members have been published.  Two are now in grad school, and my memoir is taking form.  In fact, I’ve developed enough material for two books, and memoir, and a series of essays on parenting.  I hope for bigger things in the New Year.  

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