Editorials, Opinion

Optimistic start to the new year

Recently, the internet — home to pessimists and cynics galore — reminded us that 2022 is pronounced “2020, too.”

If you’ve suddenly found your shoulders somewhere around your ears and a heavy pit of dread in your stomach after reading that, you are not alone. The thought of repeating 2020 yet again leaves us all a little nauseated.

First, relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw and your fists. It’s a new year and we want to start it off on the right foot. (Or maybe we should try starting on the left foot this year …)

With that in mind, we’re going to play devil’s optimist. Here are our (likely far-fetched) hopes for 2022:

  • President Joe Biden’s promise to make 500 million at-home tests available for free will encourage manufacturers to ramp up production. Tests’ ubiquitousness will curb the spread of COVID-19 as people quickly realize their infected status and self-isolate accordingly.
  • After a full year of COVID-19 vaccine availability, remaining hold-outs will see that people who have been vaccinated have not suffered significant or severe long-term side effects and will, therefore, decide to become vaccinated against the coronavirus.
  • By Christmas this year, COVID-19 will be equivalent to the yearly flu: something to be aware of and cautious of, but not something that poses a substantial threat to the majority of people.
  • Former President Donald Trump will realize that politics are not, in fact, for him, and he will instead dedicate his time to perfecting his golf game and successfully managing his businesses.
  • At the end of this, once mid-term elections are over, we will see a sudden burst of visible bipartisanship in the U.S. Congress, and both parties will pass a flurry of legislation that benefits the majority of Americans.
  • On a smaller scale, school board meetings will no longer be a battlefield. The polarizing non-issues that have caused such rancor and violence will once again fade back into obscurity. Then students, parents, teachers and school board members can go back to arguing about real problems facing education, such as chronic lack of funding, poor test scores  and whether  students are adequately prepared for post-school life.
  • In West Virginia, state and local governments will work with businesses to bring new industries to the state, stopping our brain drain and diversifying our economy without sacrificing environmental standards and much-needed tax revenue.
  • Mental health centers across the Mountain State, and particularly at our universities, will receive ample funding and will be able to provide full support and care to every person who needs assistance, regardless of insurance coverage.
  • A higher court will overturn the ruling that is blocking Morgantown Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board. Or, the local police and the city council will reach a compromise that allows the board to convene in such a manner that it can complete its stated purpose without “overreaching.”

Overall, 2022 will be better than the past two years: Major problems, nationally and internationally, will be resolved, and our personal lives will settle into a blissfully boring normal.