2022 Recap: New Year, New News


Photo from Unsplash: Andra C Taylor Jr

Iris Lee, Staff Writer

   Although it has only been less than 2 weeks since the new 2022 year began, the rollercoaster of events has made it feel like a lifetime has passed. Here is a recap of the most recent news of the new year!

Anniversary of the Capitol Riot

   The smashing of windows, the vandalism of federal offices, and the waving of the Confederate flag for the first time ever in US history. This past January 6th marks the first anniversary of the Capitol riot, where thousands of people broke into the Capitol building. “Watching the news that day felt like watching a movie,” says sophomore Hana Bushra. “It just all felt so unreal.” The events that occurred at the Capitol itself created a concrete wall between political parties, a further divide than what it was already. “I think that the whole situation was extremely disgraceful. The lack of security, the endangerment of House officials, it was so messy, and it showcased our vulnerability to the rest of the world. The disrespect that the extremists exhibited was insane to me. I’m still in shock that someone brought the Confederate flag, and that was the first time it ever flew in the Capitol,” said Leanne Sorensen.

COVID Slipping Through the Cracks

   The buzz of a notification with the bolded heading “COVID LETTER” has become all too familiar for many students at PPCHS. After winter break and the surges of the Omicron COVID variant sweeping across the country, a large number of students and staff have been quarantined or tested positive for COVID. With this huge depletion of numbers, a huge sum of students are sent to the auditorium or gym daily, sometimes without any instructional activities. As a result, PPCHS has implemented many protocols to combat the spread of COVID on campus. Contact tracing has been vital towards keeping track of potential infections, as well as the strong recommendations of wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. However, the continuing surge has contributed to many other schools opting for online school once more, leaving questions of another potential COVID shutdown. “Due to the increase in Covid cases, I think that masks should be mandatory again,” expresses sophomore Hana Bushra. 

Potential Vaccine Mandate Brought to Supreme Court

   Due to the Omicron variant sweeping across the USA, as well as heavy emphasis placed on traveling for the holidays, the country reported around 5 million cases this past Saturday. This record-breaking total is more cases in 7 days than in April, May, June, and July of 2021 combined, leaving a lasting impression as the first week of the new year (USA Today). As a result, the Biden administration is now pushing for a new vaccine mandate for large workforces and healthcare facilities. This impact is already showing, as Mayo Clinic reportedly fired 700 unvaccinated employees, about 1% of its workforce (CBS News).  However, due to its controversy, the vaccine mandate has been brought to the Supreme Court, where it is currently being hotly debated. “I think the vaccine mandate has the potential to completely shift the current status of our country as a whole. I know some clinics have already fired thousands of unvaccinated employees, and it can be predicted that those who refuse to get vaccinated will leave the healthcare workforce. This can be extremely detrimental, as many healthcare facilities are in desperate need of employees already. However, the vaccine does reduce Covid symptoms for those who do get sick, and keeps hospitals available for those who really need it, and I think that’s key to keeping everyone safe,” says Natalie Tsung, sophomore.

The Death of Bob Saget

   On January 9th, Bob Saget was found dead in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. Although the cause of death is still not known, autopsy reports are expected to be released around 10-12 weeks later. Best known as the nation’s beloved single dad Danny Tanner on “Full House”, many hearts are mourning the loss of such an influential character. Despite various controversies, it is undeniable that Bob Saget was a driving force who had tremendous power over the childhoods of many.