2021: The Year of Trauma
This year was rough and next year will be rough too. Don’t give up.
Over 800,000 Americans are dead from a global health pandemic. Twenty-five percent of the American population still refuses to be vaccinated. A violent attempt to overthrow the government left five people dead. A once-in-a-century fire season. A once-in-a-century tornado outbreak. Mass shootings on the rise. Over 400 voter suppression laws on the books. Book burning is back. Republican members of Congress openly threatening violence against their Democratic colleagues is now the norm.
This is America at the end of 2021.
We are a nation amid a very real existential crisis. Following the carnage that was collectively experienced in 2020, from the health pandemic to a racial reckoning, many of us wanted to believe that following the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris we could take a deep breath and turn our attention back to the mundanity of daily life. We were assured that we wouldn’t have to frantically check Twitter to make sure Trump hadn’t tweeted us into war or launched nukes via nastygram. We had faith that with a resounding rebuke of his presidency through our votes, the message would be clear: American authoritarianism is not welcomed or wanted here.
Sadly, that has not been the case. 2021 packed the same unrelenting punch as 2020 did. We now have not one but two hyperactive and new Covid-19 variants, parents have taken to threatening school board members over mask mandates to keep their children safe and school shootings are back in the headlines. Suicide attempts among America’s teens are up a staggering 50% and Roe v. Wade, the 48-year-old law that protected a person’s right to an abortion, is now hanging in the balance until the Supreme Court makes their decision in June 2022. America is in a full-blown meltdown.
All any of us can think about as we close out this grueling year is what is coming next? Usually, the end of the year offers a time for us to reflect, recharge and reconnect with our loved ones. Except as we reflect on the whirlwind that was 2021, it’s hard to think about anything other than fear of things getting even worse than they are now. 2022 is an election year. And while every election year…