Here we are, on the cusp of ringing in another new year. People were, quite understandably, very happy to see the backside of 2020 a year ago and I certainly can’t see many being all that nostalgic for 2021. Now it’s 2022’s turn.
In my New Year’s Eve post from last year I focused a lot on hope. And in fairness to 2021, a lot of the hopes I mentioned came to fruition: I got vaccinated, I got back to see my family and friends in the States, I got back to the pub, and I got back to Paris. After 2020, checking those items off my 2021 list could not be taken for granted. But I think it’s safe to say that, while better in many ways, 2021 wasn’t exactly everything we (or at least I) hoped it would be.
I have had a great Christmas break at home in Buffalo, New York. Maybe it was because I had to stay in Dublin last year, but I had such an especially lovely time on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Now though, fecking Omicron has taken hold and things have gotten extremely Covidy – that’s the highly technical term my sister (the doctor) used to describe it when she cancelled New Year’s Eve dinner at her house. Here in the US, in Ireland, in France, pretty much everywhere, Omicron is rolling along like a tidal wave. Even though it appears to be a milder stain, with far fewer hospitalizations and deaths, it’s hard not to worry about Omicron.
I am currently writing this post from my sister’s basement, where I am spending the next few days. One of my nephews tested positive for covid this past Wednesday. On Tuesday evening, I’d sat across from him at dinner. So, out of an abundance of caution I left my parents’ home and took up residence here. It’s actually not that bad – sure, there are no windows and the walls are painted chroma-key green, but I’ve got the telly, wi-fi, my own private bathroom and a comfy bed. There are also frequent visits from my niece, Saige and her dog, Kalli. I’ve got a steady supply of Cote du Rhône and snacks. Is it what I envisioned for the last leg of my holiday visit? No, of course not. But things could be worse – a lot worse. I have several friends who are grieving recent losses and I found myself thinking of them often during this holiday season, knowing how hard it must have been for them and wishing I could ease their grief a bit. Knowing what those friends are dealing with, I think I can certainly deal with New Year’s Eve in a green basement.
So, 2022. I’m not sure what to expect of you. I’m not sure how I feel about you. I’m not sure what, if anything, to ask of you. You do you, I’ll do me and, I guess we’ll see. I always like to include a quote of some sort in these New Year’s posts. This year’s isn’t from a poet or an historical figure – it’s from some random someone on twitter or facebook or whatever. I honestly don’t remember where I saw it, but it perfectly sums up how I think a lot of us may be feeling as we head into another New Year in these covidy times:
‘Nobody claim 2022 as ‘your year’. We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Be cautious and respectful. Don’t touch anything.’