High hopes for 2022

Most of the world hoped 2021 would be a huge improvement over 2020 – which it was – it was also far from a return to normalcy.

Shortly after many had begun to get vaccination shots and were looking forward to outdoor gatherings, vacations, and dining in their favorite restaurants again without fear of infection of COVID-19, the Delta variant reared its ugly head.

In May of 2020, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center announced it had identified the first two confirmed cases of the Delta variant in north Texas and that they were “concerned” because the new strain of COVID was believed to be more contagious than the original strain.

And though we were still amid a global health pandemic, many did begin resuming regular activities such as attending concerts, parties, and sporting events; in many cases with seemingly little concern and often unmasked.

Most schools reopened to in-person learning with mask mandates in place which led to many heated discussions and debates between school officials and employees, and parents or guardians who did not agree with masking mandates.

Boosters were eventually approved for all older than 16, but the percentages of Americans who are fully vaccinated is 61 percent with Georgia falling behind that rate at only 50.4 percent according to the Mayo Clinic.

The beginning of December brought more concerns as the first known case of the more easily transmittable Omicron variant was detected in California. Within two weeks after the first case was confirmed, hospital systems in many states were exceeding capacity and had called in the National Guard to help keep hospitals functioning under the strain of record-breaking numbers of COVID cases once again.

Many major sporting events were cancelled, and states began considering options to help slow the spread of Omicron.

On Dec. 21, just days before families and friends gathered to celebrate Christmas, Pres. Joe Biden addressed the nation telling us that he has authorized federal assistance for states and communities heavily impacted by the Omicron variant.

Hopefully, 2022 will be better than 2020 and 2021; it wouldn’t take much to be an improvement. But as the last two years have demonstrated, we should be prepared for whatever may come.


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