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What will 2022 be like? Should we be worried?
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It is now 2022. A pandemic continues to ravage the world. War looms in Ukraine and analysts are worried about flashpoints, like China and Taiwan. The world's supply chains remain snarled, due to COVID, and inflation is rampant. Does 2022 bring with it better times, or worse? Does it matter?
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LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The world waits the first great events of 2022 with bated breath. What does this year hold for us? Will we face another year of pestilence and plague? Will the economy improve, or finally crash? There's more anxiety than optimism it seems.
The great factor in the calculus, at least so far, is COVID. The disease is surging through the population, causing many to question the efficacy of masks, vaccines, and social distancing.
COVID may either worsen or get better. The disease is prone to mutation. However, these mutations are almost always in our favor, since the vast majority of them render the virus more mild than before. In time, the global population will build resistance to COVID until it is just regarded as another flu, or even a cold for many. Indeed, many are already reporting less severe symptoms than compared to a cold.
Chances are, COVID will remain with us through 2022, but it will fade. By the summer, many restrictions and mandates may go away. It is possible that a year from now, we will return to some kind of normalcy, compared to the past two years.
As for looming conflicts, it is most likely that Russia will invade Ukraine. Regardless of the tough talk on both sides, Russia will have its way, at first, then there will likely be a long campaign of violence in the region for some time to come. We pray this will not be so.
Between China and Taiwan, while one cannot rule out the possibility of a Chinese invasion at some point, for now it does not appear imminent or even inevitable.
As for the climate, we should expect things to worsen. More extreme weather, both hot and cold will manifest. Our failure to serve as stewards of creation bring a consequence, one that will be born for many generations.
Elections in the United States will continue to be divisive. Republicans are expected to sweep into power in the House and Senate, but not until early 2023. Meanwhile, we pray the Supreme Court will put an end to abortion, or at least impose a significant limit on its use. The fight must continue until abortion is ended.
Wall Street will get richer, even if the economy crashes. But small mom-and-pop stores will struggle. This is a consequence of policies that give tax breaks and subsidies to big businesses, while small businesses are squeezed out of the market. Eventually, the public will realize, all too late, that the levers of power are being worked by a small group of people who only have profit motive in mind.
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The Church will continue to abide, as it always has. She will administer the Sacraments and lead all people to holiness. Rarely in history has there been a greater need for her moral leadership, or for the message of hope expressed in the Gospel. We are called not to live lives filled with anxiety, but with hope and joy. For we rest assured of the promises of Christ.
In short, 2022 will be difficult for political and economic reasons, but we have reason for hope. Let us pray for the conversion of hearts and the graceful confidence to face whatever challenges are presented to us in the months to come.
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