Defining 2022

A 2022 Year in Review

Livy Helmuth, Editor-in-Chief

Given a massive database of over 4.5 billion words to choose from, the Collins English Dictionary revealed its 2022 word of the year to be “permacrisis.” A permacrisis is defined as an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events. With international chaos and intranational tensions, the word “permacrisis” truly summarizes the year 2022 better than any other singular word could. However, the year 2022 can be defined in a multitude of other ways. 

2022 can be defined as a year rich in global conflict. It was on February 24 that Russia had first invaded Ukraine, further escalating an ongoing war that began six years prior. The United States supported Ukrainain troops, donating $13.6 billion to military, humanitarian, and economic assistance. The civilian death toll exceeded 6,500 people, and it was not until Russia’s Kherson retreat of Nov. 14 that the invasion showed any signs of an end.

2022 can be defined as a year full of controversies. From Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy awards to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic’s unvaccinated status prohibiting him from playing in the U.S. Open, last year was jam packed with controversy after controversy. Beijing’s Winter Olympics exposed China’s human rights abuses, as well as Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s banned heart medication. Similarly, controversy surfaced around Qatar’s human rights abuses as they hosted last year’s world cup, leaving many questioning the legitimacy of FIFA’s bidding process.

Controversies of the entertainment industry included Ned Fulmer’s allegations of infidelity surfacing, leading to The Try Guys letting him go after killing his brand as a regular family man. After his face reveal amassed over 4.1 million likes, minecraft youtuber and streamer Dream faced severe backlash from his fans. In March of this year, actor Ezra Miller was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment.

2022 can be defined as a year of American political and social divergency. On June 24, the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) overturned the ruling of Roe v. Wade. The significance of the original 1973 ruling was that it legalized abortion in all 50 states, and the result of the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling effectively illegalized the procedure. The controversial ruling provoked many nationwide protests, and it would eventually lead politicians to utilize the ruling’s unpopularity for the midterm elections.

It was the Republican party that won the midterm elections, however, Republican gains were significantly smaller than predicted. In summary, the midterm elections have established a foundation for Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis’ competition for the Republican nomination in the 2024 election.

2022 can be defined as a year of international loss and hardship. England celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee (her 70th year on the throne) in February and mourned her loss in September of the same year. The Queen was 96 years old, and she was the longest acting monarch in British history.

Disaster struck the United States when, on Sept. 23, Hurricane Ian devastated the state of Florida and part of Cuba. The category four hurricane was the deadliest hurricane to strike the United States southeast since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, killing over 109 civilians.

2022 can be defined as a year of newfound hope. Our research on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and its many different strands has significantly improved this year, allowing for schools, businesses and other public spaces to reopen without the usage of masks or social distancing. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black woman appointed as an associate justice of the SCOTUS. After Justice Stephen Breyer retired in June, Jackson became the 116th justice of the Court. She was elevated to the Court by President Joe Biden from her position as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The world population officially hit eight billion people on Nov. 15, and it will only continue to grow as the years go by. The rapid growth of our population will continue to pose a threat to both our physical and social environments. A true permacrisis, the year 2022 tested our patience and tolerance of ourselves and our world, both changing at a constantly accelerating pace.

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  • Kamilia Valieva had tested positive for a heart medication banned in sports which puts her at for a four-year ineligibility for future competitions.

  • Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, escalating the Russo-Ukraine War that was initiated back in 2014. The invasion resulted in thousands of deaths and initiated Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II.

  • Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed by a bipartisan group of senators on April 7 and became the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

  • The US supreme court overturned the ruling of Roe v. Wade on June 24. The original ruling was in 1973, and it legalized the process of abortion.

  • Novak Djokovic was barred from participating in the US Open due to his vaccination status. He was ranked No. 6 at the time, down from his No. 1 ranking earlier that year.

  • Queen Elizabeth II passed away of natural causes on September 8. She was 96 years old, and was the longest acting monarch in British history.

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