Obvious personal reasons for gratitude include life, health, having a device to read this on, and the list goes on. This article covers none of those apparent reasons. Instead, we share ten indistinct things to be thankful for in 2022.
Norman Vincent Peale famously said, “No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities —always see them, for they’re always there.”
The converse is also true—if you reflect, you’ll find plenty of reasons to be grateful, even if you’ve had a challenging year.
Below are ten indistinct happenings in 2022 that we all should be grateful for.
1. A continued decline in COVID-19-related deaths
Two years ago, the COVID-19 virus held the world to ransom. Countries were locked down, infected folks were isolated from their loved ones, and more than 6.6 million people have died.
Today, the battle is still far from over. However, cases and deaths are declining globally, according to the WHO. That’s one thing to be thankful for.
2. Scientists may have cured HIV in a woman for the first time
In February 2022, a U.S. patient became the third person in the world and the first woman to be cured of HIV— the deadly virus that’s claimed about 40.1 million lives since it first broke out in 1981.
She had received a stem cell transplant to treat her leukemia, but the treatment also cured her HIV. At the time of the report, she’d been HIV-free for 14 months! A widely administrable cure remains unavailable. However, these cases of full recovery suggest a breakthrough is imminent.
3. 13 African immigrants won legislative Seats at midterm elections
The election of this large number of African Diaspora into the American cabinet is a huge win for inclusion and diversity. Though the challenges of racial discrimination are far from over, this is a big step in the right direction. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and other heroes of the Civil Rights Movement would be proud of their sacrifice.
4. Maya Angelou became the first black woman featured on the U.S. quarter.
Prolific poet and activist Maya Angelou died in 2014. But in 2022, the United States honored her legacy by featuring her likeness on the 25-cent coin.
The Angelou coin is the first in the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters™ Program— a program “dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” according to Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson.
5. U.S. Men’s And Women’s Soccer Teams sign equal-pay agreements
After years of fighting for equal pay and treatment, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that it had signed a contract to equalize the pay structure for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams. The federation also agreed to pay the women’s team $22 million in back pay.
6. 523 Acres of California Redwood Forest Returned To Indigenous Tribes
Generations ago, a group of Native Tribes was forcibly removed from the redwood forest by European settlers.
The property was purchased in 2020 by Save the Redwoods League, a nonprofit focused on protecting and restoring redwood forests. And in January 2022, the league announced it had donated the property to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a consortium of 10 federally recognized northern California tribal nations.
7. Denver’s Non-police Crisis Response Program has proven successful and is being expanded.
In June 2020, Denver announced its Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program, which dispatched mental health teams instead of cops on certain (nonviolent) 911 calls.
The result? Low-level reported crimes dropped by 34% in the first six months of the program’s launch, according to a Stanford University study. The program has been so successful that, in February 2022, the Denver City Council approved $1.4 million to aid its expansion.
The demand for Non-police Crisis Response such as STAR had grown since the death of George Floyd, who was suffering from mental health challenges, when he died in police custody in 2020.
8. A new Lyme disease vaccine is now in the final phase of its clinical trial
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S., infecting about 476,000 annually, according to the CDC’s estimates. For a disease this common, we need more than just a cure. We need a vaccine. And thankfully, we have one underway.
The new vaccine, called VLA15, was developed by Valneva and Pfizer and is currently in the third phase of its human trials. If the trials are successful, the vaccine could be available by 2025.
9. Stanford Engineers invent solar panels that work at night
A team of engineers at Stanford, developed solar panels that could generate electricity at night. This invention could bring green, low-cost energy to off-grid locations, especially in rural Africa, where electricity remains a considerable concern.
Furthermore, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis emphasizes that the U.S. must wean itself of a dependency on hostile nations for energy needs. The growth in alternative energy sources helps accelerate that process.
10. Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black female Supreme Court Justice.
In June 2022, Ketanji Brown Jackson made history— she was sworn in as associate justice of the Supreme Court, making her the first black woman ever to hold the position. Many young women will undoubtedly follow in her footprints in the years to come.
“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we’ve made it,” Jackson remarked.
And that’s a wrap. Go ahead and type in the comments the things you’re thankful for in 2022.
- WHO: WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard
- Wikipedia: Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
- The Culture Tube: Elections Special: The Africans in Office
- BBC: HIV: First woman in world believed to be cured of virus
- United States Mint: United States Mint Begins Shipping First American Women Quarters™ Program Coins
- NPR: The U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams will be paid equally under a new deal
- NPR: A California redwood forest has officially been returned to a group of Native tribes
- The Denver Post: Thousands of calls later, Denver’s acclaimed program that provides an alternative to police response is expanding
- Stanford: A new Stanford study shows benefits to dispatching mental health specialists in nonviolent 911 emergencies
- CDC: Lyme Disease
- CDC: Lyme Disease | Data and Surveillance
- NPR: A vaccine for Lyme disease is in its final clinical trial
- CNET: Solar Panels That Work at Night Developed at Stanford
- NPR: Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as first Black woman on the Supreme Court