It’s not just the surreal effects of ‘pandemic time’ – another year is steadily drawing to a close.
Much like 2020’s, the events of 2021 have largely been dwarfed by the ongoing Covid crisis. The second year of the global pandemic challenged the globe with more overwhelming loss, restriction and separation. Glimmers of normal life appeared after heroic mass vaccination campaigns, but with 5.2 million deaths and another variant on the loose, it seems our old ‘normal’ is retreating ever further in the distance.
But despite our focus firmly set on the pandemic, somehow there was also time for other major newsworthy events - the Capitol riots, Biden’s inauguration and first year, the Olympics, the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the G7, COP26, a WHO-approved malaria vaccine, and the first small steps of billionaire-funded space tourism.
Are we any further forward on global emergencies like climate change and inequality, or has Covid seen our goals become more distant and our problems more entrenched? What can we learn from a year like 2021, and what will 2022 likely hold?