“Unpredictable” or “uncertain” might be the best words to describe the new 2022. It would be hard to go wrong using such terms since the two prior years contained events that could hardly be expected or predicted in advance.
Just taking our most recent history with COVID-19 as one example, who could have foretold that, once we began coming out of the shadows and socializing again, yet another variant would strike sending us back to our virtual meetings, conferences and workplaces? Two years ago we would not have known what the word “variant” meant. So anyone attempting to say they know the future now may be viewed with suspicion.
As a consequence I will not even attempt to predict this year’s future. We might finally wave goodbye and shout “good riddance” to COVID and its Greek letter variants – or not – or maybe come to terms with living with it/them and experience the symptoms -in particular for those who have been fully vaccinated and boostered – as nothing more than the common cold – or not. Alternatively we might be up to sigma or omega in the Greek alphabet. We may have some choices here if we pay attention and listen to informed medical advice to make the difference.
Hopefully children will be in school this year or most of it – the in person school, not the virtual one – and safe. Hopefully mask wearing will not be a source for conflict for the future. How hard is it to wear a mask if needed?
We might lose our democratically elected form of government – or not – and hopefully everyone in our saner moments realizes how important our democracy is to us. Poll workers should be treated with respect if not awe for the remarkable work they do under intensely stressful conditions remembering they are in fact volunteers. Add to that commendation, of course, health care workers and anyone who works in the public sector or deals with the public in controversial areas – which by the way seems to be about everything these days.
Jobs that were difficult pre-COVID became more difficult. Jobs that might in the past have seemed routine became subject to controversy. I would not predict any election one way or another. That would be sheer foolishness but I hope and believe we can work toward building that eventual future that would have us working together as best we can again. We can do this. Listening, by the way, should not be viewed as a fatal flaw but as a valued asset although recognizing it can sometimes be hard to listen when someone is shouting.
There is work to be done to bring down the volume and intensity of conflict and hopefully we will eventually realize as one person put it “if we are not all in the same boat we are all dealing with the same ocean.” I do miss sanity very much. That is not a prediction but a hope.
We have the ability now to shoot a telescope into space to view much of the universe and to develop vaccines that prevent the most devastating diseases. These are things our ancestors could only dream of. Our science, used properly, can make us better and the lives of our children and future generations. We just need to pay attention.
Next year we will be struggling through mistakes and complexities of this year and the last. I am certain of it. As one example, one lawyers’ organization I belong to recently listed my office as being in White Plains, New York. On a follow up phone call I learned every attorney had been listed as being in White Plains. I have received several emails inviting me to online meetings to take place on dates that have already passed. The month was wrong. Recently I was behind a car in traffic that signaled a left turn. It proceeded to pass through a concrete divider into the only right lane, then made a u turn to turn left. A hearing notice acknowledgement from a party to an action was returned to us close to six weeks after the hearing date no doubt due to slow postal delivery. We need a little compassion – for ourselves also.
If our best selves make it through this we can wake up some morning and rejoice with the new sun rising. Meanwhile we trudge through this all and live -hopefully joyfully – one day at a time.
Esquire, Colliton Law Associates, P.C. Janet Colliton has practiced law for over 38 years, 37 of them in Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Her practice, Colliton Law Associates, PC, is limited to elder law, Medicaid, including advice, applications and appeals, and other benefits planning including Veterans benefits, life care and special needs planning, guardianships, retirement, and estate planning and administration.