Month-old 2022 still promises hope


Joseph Zuloaga '23

As the first month of 2022 ends, there are still some signs of hope for the remainder of the year.

Joseph Zuloaga '23, National and World News Editor

The start of a new year always carries with it some special meaning. We don’t have to go too far back to find the epitome of this sentiment. 2020 was supposed to signify the start of a new decade, but COVID-19 decided to take us down another route: one of quarantines, masks, and tiring Zoom calls. 

We hoped that 2021 would be better than 2020 and for a return to the normal we all missed the previous year; however, Covid did not loosen its grip on society and threw in Delta and Omicron to mess with our lives even more.

After all of the twists and turns of the past two years, what will 2022 be like?

When the clock struck midnight, I did not feel the nostalgia and rush of unique energy that saying goodbye to an old year entails. Hugging family and singing “Auld Lang Syne” didn’t carry the same feeling as other years. I had been disappointed with the outcome of the past two years that my standards for 2022 were set extremely low.

As the year started, I viewed myself submerged in a volatile and rapidly changing world. We might be emerging out of the endless dark tunnel that is the pandemic with a wide vaccination rollout that continues across nations, Omicron is reaching its peak and cases are declining, and the world is returning to normalcy with students continuing to attend in-person school, among other aspects of society. I was becoming optimistic and wondering why I had such a pessimistic view of this new year. However, nearing the end of this first month, the pessimistic standard for 2022 returned as we entered into a new crisis with ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the United States being the overshadowing figure in this European conflict with global consequences.

Regardless of this, I find a little ray of hope in this already turbulent first 31 days of 2022. We are together again. Just as an example of this togetherness that affects me personally, continuing from the momentum of 2021, students are back in school learning in person. Although there have been a few hiccups along the way, we are able to see friends and interact with them like we used to. 

During the early days of the pandemic, I missed this feeling of being around these people whom I dearly love. With the change to coed and in-person learning at school, I was able to expand my network of friends, which I am certain would have never been strengthened if Covid was still rampant like back in the days of March 2020. 

This togetherness is seen on many scales, ranging from thousands of people enjoying sports games in massive stadiums packed together, to small family reunions after nearly two years of not hugging each other and simply basking in each other’s presence and being together.

For this year, my hope for society is for everyone to find peace within themselves. When we find peace in the midst of the chaos and turmoil that is our lives, it facilitates our ability to reconcile with others. And we need this power of love and healing in this world that is constantly being dominated by hate and divisions. 

I hope that these next 11 months of 2022 are ones where barriers of jealousies are torn down and that we all live in a world that embraces a policy of truth, guiding us down a path of union and continued blessings of wellbeing for all.

As the first month of 2022 ends today, Lunar New Year is tomorrow: the Year of the Tiger. A tiger in Chinese culture symbolizes strength, power, and courage. 

Let’s use that strength and confidence to power through 2022.