It was a lurching, stammering year that began in hope, flirted with whiplash, and shuddered to a halt. In 2021, miraculously effective vaccines showed up, a new President promised unity, and a jury convicted the man who killed George Floyd. It was also the year that supporters of the losing candidate took over the U.S. Capitol, Asian-Americans were given new reason to fear for their lives, and COVID-19 people killed Americans at a faster rate than before free, life-preserving injections were available across the land. Is it any wonder that, from Naomi Osaka to Simone Biles, the deliberate preservation of mental health–resilience was a major theme?
But resilience was everywhere. The world emerging from the worst of the pandemic focused a new concentration on the intolerable inequities brought into high relief by lockdown, and climate change that made itself more evident by the day. If social media thrives on the strife that now defines our politics, we still know how to recognize the best in one another. The mantra of 2020 after all, was, “things will never be the same.” The work continues.
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