Does anybody know what lies ahead? Or are we really just expressing our wishes, when it comes to predicting what one thinks will happen in the new year?
That´s what went through my mind when asked to write on the subject. In the first pandemic year, my main focus was on “normality”, since, all of a sudden, I lost the freedom to do things that I took for granted and I believe most people know what I mean, without having to go into details. The past year brought more of the same thoughts and wonts, but there was an added ingredient: frustration. I began to lose some patience, to blame governments for our predicaments, to doubt the resolve of those who are trying to steer us through this dense fog. In Portugal, although the current variant is much more contagious, I see some light in the fact that the much lower number of people succumbing from complications arising from the virus, or even in intensive care, seems to show that the vaccinations have been doing their job, although, like any other remedy, It doesn’t work for everyone.
‘Even hospitalizations are down significantly. As for blaming our fearless leaders, well, although there are many issues they need to answer for, I can´t totally blame them or their actions because, after all, as far as I know, everyone was caught relatively by surprise, (as humans we don´t heed warnings until it´s too late), and had to make many quick decisions while being pressed from every side, something governing bodies are not at all accustomed to doing. Many mistakes were made and there was no one authority to guide them, largely because no one knew exactly what was going on. Even scientific fact, albeit scarce, was rebuked by many, (and still is).
So, what about 2022? Well, the term “Endemic” is beginning to circulate and although it means we won´t rid ourselves of this virus and its family of mutations, at least we will hopefully be able to live with it and return to our old “normal”, so we may concentrate on all the other issues that have been around so long that they have become the norm.
Right now, there´s a lot going on right in front of us that we are too preoccupied to notice and that is dangerous. Again, I´m not going to pontificate on the details, there´s no excuse for anyone to claim ignorance. Unity, this is my hope that, unfortunately, can´t be fulfilled by the end of 2022. There seem to be as many people trying to tear us apart as there are trying to unify. Strength in numbers people! “Divide and conquer” has been used against us for so long that it´s a staple. Society is all about borders and different rules in different places for the same people, yeah, we´re all the same, we just happen to be born in different places with different rules, but we´re all the same.
I firmly believe, (and I dare say I´m not alone), that as a collective, we can achieve anything we strive for. This is what I hope for in 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026….