By Alex P. Vidal
“Today or any day that phone may ring and bring good news.”—Ethel Waters
IT’S not good to start the new year 2022 with utmost pessimism about the pandemic that has refused to depart after a mind-blowing 2020 assault on mankind that exacerbated in the dying weeks of 2021.
But whether we like it or don’t, the Omicron variant really became a dominant topic even before the past year bade goodbye, thus it’s unfortunate that after a not-so-festive New Year’s Eve celebration, the world immediately woke up in 2022 to again be terrorized by the report of the alarming resurgence of the pandemic that destroyed so many lives, future and economies in the past two years.
We have no choice but to accept that news about the pandemic will continue to hound us and make us jittery this year despite the booster shots that some of us have taken earlier.
We have no choice but to continue to cooperate with health experts and authorities on how to dodge if not collectively defeat the Omicron variant.
We have no choice but to accept that we will continue to live an “abnormal” life in society until the pandemic has been totally eradicated.
Media networks and newspapers were instantly filled with somber stories about the Omicron’s murderous rampage in various parts of the world, including the Philippines.
New Year’s “wishes” around the globe were awash with one common desperate message: end of COVID-19 in 2022.
Before anything else, the immediate eradication of COVID-19 from our life should be the number one and major wish of all.
We can’t enjoy 2022 if COVID-19 continues to be the Sword of Damocles in our life. We will live in fear, disbelief, shock, uncertainty, and sadness. COVID-19 must be dealt with accordingly.
The new COVID-19 Omicron variant was reported to be spreading faster than any previous strain, as confirmed earlier by the World Health Organization (WHO) and it was probably present in most countries of the world before 2022 came.
“Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Covid update in Geneva before the year 2021 closed. “Seventy-seven countries have now reported cases of omicron. And the reality is that omicron is probably in most countries, even if it hasn’t been detected yet.”
For a change, let us share some of the calendar of sports events only from January to March, which seems choc-a-block with the Winter Games in China, a football World Cup, Women’s Cricket World Cup and moreover the four tennis Grand Slams among several other international dots on the calendar in 2022, which promises to be another exciting year of sports.
These are some of the major sporting events in the upcoming year courtesy of News18.
January 9-February 6 – Africa Cup of Nations: Cameroon will host 24 teams that will vie for the continental trophy from January 9. Algeria are the defending champions (2019).
January 17-30–Australian Open: The year’s first tennis Grand Slam of 2022 kicks off on January 17. Several big names are yet to confirm their participation, as being vaccinated is a requirement to compete in Melbourne.
January 20-February 6–AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022: The continental championship will take place in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune and by virtue of being the hosts, India will participate in the event.
January 22-28 – Special Olympics World Winter Games: Kazan will host the special winter games which were postponed in 2021 due to the pandemic.
February 4-20–2022 Winter Olympics: The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will be hosted by Beijing and is the first Winter Olympics edition to be held in China. However, the mega sporting event has become one of the most controversial games in history with major powers announcing a diplomatic boycott citing widespread human rights abuses.
February 5–March 19 – Six Nations Championship: The annual European leg of the rugby calendar will be hosted across venues in the UK, UK, Ireland, France and Italy from February 5.
February 13 – Super Bowl: The SoFi Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada will host the 56th edition of the Super Bowl.
March 4-13 – Winter Paralympics: After the Winter Olympics, Beijing once again gears up to host the 2022 Paralympics Games later that month.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)