I'm not going to sugarcoat things, but 2021 was a bad year, a sort of continuation of the bad year 2020. While there were similarities between the two years, during 2021 I never experienced the strange time dilation of Spring 2020, when the days and weeks dragged on interminably, while the months flew by. The only times I forgot what day it was this year were during the two-month stretch when I had no days off from work due to a coworker's illness.
The cruel joke of 2021 was that there was a brief respite from the pandemic during the summer, after I and my friends were fully vaccinated, and before the Delta variant cropped up. A semblance of a social life returned, though for the record, I never stopped wearing a mask while indoors. Now, with the rise of the omicron variant, this respite is over. Currently, I have five friends who are dealing with COVID (not terrible cases, because they've been vaccinated), and a coworker whose wife and daughter have it is now isolating, so I don't foresee having a day off for a week or so.
The main difference between 2020 and 2021 for me is psychological. Throughout 2020, my main feelings were sadness and horror- the Spring was characterized by a constant wail of sirens carrying doomed patients to beleaguered hospitals, and by stories of mass graves being dug in NYC's Potter's Field. For 2021, my initial feelings of hope, due to the prospect and then reality of vaccines, were replaced by anger at idiots who selfishly, and foolishly, refuse both masking and vaccination, torpedoing the possibility of an end to the pandemic. I also noted the near-annihilation of my empathy... I simply don't give two shits about the fate of anti-vaccination contrarians. I'm comfortable with the prospect of MAGA morons dying in droves, but I'm not quite comfortable with that. I console myself by reminding myself that these people would be ecstatic to harm people I care about.
I'm not optimistic about 2022. As I said, I have five good friends who are fighting COVID, and COVID is robbing me of time off from work. Omicron is raging across the nation, with the New York City metropolitan area being, once again, an epicenter of the pandemic. I'm resigned to going into 'hermit mode' for a couple of months, in the hope, perhaps misplaced, that the omicron wave will run its course, leaving a bunch of antibody-laden people in its wake.
I also feel that 2022 will be a shitshow politically, particularly with GOP primaries that see Tea Party assholes challenged by QAnon whackos. Things are going to get real stupid, real fast. I think I'm going to try to get over 2020's sadness and 2021's anger, and adopt a pose of stoic resignation for 2022. I don't know if my magnanimity has any hope of returning in the coming year.
I suspect that 2022 will be a continuation of 2020 and 2021. Wags are already terming it 2020 2, and this is one sequel that I am not too keen on. I hope that I'm wrong in my pessimism about the pandemic, it would be nice to be able to plan a huge family reunion, and to do some traveling. That being said, I think that my pessimism is a good defense mechanism... low expectations seem to be the key to maintaining one's equilibrium.