2021: A year in review

The Concordia Courier

Concordia University campus

By Owen Milligan | 1/21/2022

A change in presidency, a continuing pandemic and natural and manmade disasters shaped 2021, but there was also positive news throughout the year. Here are some of  the biggest stories of 2021.

January 6 attack on the Capitol Building: Now infamous as a dark moment in United States history, insurrection under former President Donald Trump led to the death of four. Amid unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, Trump was days away from removal from office. Many Trump supporters stormed the entrances of the Capitol Building. Capitol Police were ill-equipped to handle the mob. In the midst of panic, lawmakers inside of the Capitol were swiftly evacuated. The National Guard was called in to quell the violence. It took several hours to regain control. Prosecution of rioters is still ongoing and an investigation into the basis of the violence continues.

Visit https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2022/jan/06/two-americas-how-the-january-6th-capitol-attack-divides-still-the-us-podcast for more information.

Suez Canal blockage: On the heels of a global supply chain crisis, a container ship running through the Suez Canal became stuck as it hit the shore in March. This blockage lasted for six days, costing billions of losses in daily trade. The Egypt trading hub came to a halt as the difficult task clearing the canal led to transit halts. The MV Ever Given Panamanian ship hit land and completely blocked the entry and exit ways. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the event. Tugboats were used to refloat and reroute the ship to finally restart the typical trade traffic from Asia to Europe.

For full coverage, visit https://www.cbsnews.com/news/suez-canal-blocked-ship-mv-ever-given-stuck-sideways/.

COVID-19 vaccine roll-out: Starting with seniors, healthcare workers and “at risk” populations, COVID-19 vaccines were made available throughout the U.S. in mass by spring of 2021. The availability of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines was hindered by supply chain glitches and the politicizing of the right to receive or refuse the vaccination. Currently, 63% of the U.S. population is considered fully vaccinated.   

For a timeline of the COVID-19 vaccine: https://www.ajmc.com/view/a-timeline-of-covid-19-vaccine-developments-in-2021

SpaceX succeeds in first operational spaceflight by a private company: Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, made history with the first manned spaceflight from a private company. Four astronauts, known as the Crew Dragon, directed the first piloted water landing in 45 years following their trip. Partnering with NASA, the journey was successful. As the space race continues and becomes privatized, it is Musk’s company that will go down in the record books as pioneers.

Follow SpaceX launches on their website, https://www.spacex.com/launches/.

Summer Olympic games: The United States placed first in the Olympics, postponed from the summer of 2020 due to COVID-19. Although there were numerous coronavirus cases throughout the games, the U.S. athletes finished with 113 total medals. COVID-19 adaptations were recognized as the Olympic Village went viral for cardboard beds and social distancing. The United States had 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze medals. China followed the U.S. taking second place with 88 total medals (38 gold, 32 silver, 18 bronze). Third place went to the Russian Olympic Committee, with a total of 71 medals (20 gold, 28 silver, 23 bronze).

For the full results, visit the official Olympic site, https://olympics.com/en/olympic-games/tokyo-2020/results.

Afghanistan exit: In his first year in office, President Joseph Biden pushed to remove all American troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban quickly moved to capture the nation, seizing the capital in six days. The official collapse of the capital was August 6, 2021. Afghanistan is currently considered to be in a humanitarian crisis, worsened by harsh winter conditions.

To read more, visit https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/war-afghanistan.

Tornados in central United States: In early December, the mid and south west was devastated by a flurry of tornadoes. At least 59 tornadoes carved a path of 165 miles of destruction from December 10 to 11 in 2021. The outbreak prompted concern over changing climate in North America. Warmer temperatures led to increased thunderstorms, fueling tornadoes. Eight states experienced the disasters, with at least 80 reported dead. Humanitarian efforts are still ongoing to support the victims of the natural disasters and to rebuild communities.

For an in-depth analysis of the science behind the anomaly, visit https://www.noaa.gov/news/december-2021-tornado-outbreak-explained.

Despite controversy, 2021 showed that we, as humans, we’re resilient, gathering together to celebrate events such as the Olympics and rally against the COVID-19 pandemic. History was made in 2021 in both good and bad ways and 2022 will only continue to shape mankind’s story.

Tags: World News, Orange County, community

About Owen Milligan

Owen Milligan is Editor-in-Chief of the student-run Concordia Courier, campus newspaper for Concordia University Irvine. Owen is from Riverside, CA, currently completing a BA in Business Administration. Owen’s emphasis of study is in Finance and Business Data Analytics. He also completed a minor in Communication Studies.

In his current role, Owen oversees four coverage areas for the newspaper - campus life, sports, arts, and local and global news coverage. He also works closely with design editor, Ryann Beveridge. Owen and the Courier staff write and edit using AP Style. Owen’s role allows him to interact with community pillars, both students and faculty, in live interviews and communications with the newspaper readership upon publication.

Owen believes in both critical analysis in business, applying data to the newspaper and examining articles closely when editing. Owen also works as a Power Analyst for the community choice aggregate Silicon Valley Clean Energy.

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