The Year in Review

Written by:Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

Content warning: contains mentions of distressing content

From the rising of prices due to inflation, to the onslaught of a major catastrophic invasion, 2022 has been a year plagued with tragedy and chaos. 2022 contained some of the most destructive events in recent history — a result of humanity at its lowest point. 

In early January 2022, it was revealed that the United States had reached a new record of COVID-19 cases. Omicron, the most prevalent COVID variant thus far, accounted for 95% of such COVID cases. 

However, it was not until Jan. 31 that omicron was officially declared a health emergency, forcing many countries to enforce restrictive steps.

February saw Russian troops entering Ukrainian territory for a “special military operation,” acting on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Two days later, on Feb. 24, Russian missiles and airstrikes hit Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as well as several other Ukrainian cities. 

On that same day, Feb. 24, the U.S. and its allies came to the decision to impose strict sanctions against Russia — with the aim to cut off their economy from the world.

Frustrated with the results of their Ukraine invasion, Russian troops took to a different military approach— targeting civilian areas. As of early 2023, the conflict in Ukraine has yet to be resolved.

On Mar. 7, more heartbreaking news came to light. The global death toll for COVID surpassed six million.

In April, two years after the pandemic was originally declared, the U.S. finally left the pandemic stage. 

The month of May left millions across the country angry and heartbroken. On May 14, a gunman shot 13 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten and wounding three. Merely ten days later, a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers.

Then, just as the world began to feel the loosening restraints of the COVID pandemic, the United States saw prices hit by inflation, with food and fuel accounting for over half of inflation. Accelerating inflation was a tight labor market, a result of lingering COVID health risks. In June, inflation peaked at a record high of 9.1%.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade made history in June of 2022, reversing the landmark piece of legislation that guaranteed federal rights to abortions, and consequently creating a tremulous political and societal shift amid rising tensions.

In July, the World Health Organization, also known as WHO, officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency, leaving national media and the public in a state of panic. Later, the death of Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri — who aided in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks —  was announced to the public. 

Former president Donald Trump was subjected to an FBI search of his Mar-A-Lago, Florida home on Aug. 8, seizing multiple boxes of classified materials. Meanwhile, in the White House, President Joe Biden announced his plans to forgive a large majority of student loan debt.

On Sept. 8, the death of British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was announced, sending a ripple of shock both nationally and internationally. The Queen was 96 years old.

On Sept. 17, civil rights protests erupted in Iran as a response to the death of Masha Imini, a woman detained by Iran’s morality police after allegedly wearing her hijab in an “inappropriate” manner. 

In the midst of inflation and unemployment, October saw Elon Musk taking over Twitter, followed by a giant round of layoffs and societal backlash.

The small college town of Moscow, Idaho was left reeling after four University of Idaho students were found murdered in their home on Nov. 13. It would take nearly two months, on Dec. 31, for the police to identify and arrest suspect Bryan Kohberger and charge him with four counts of first-degree murder.

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