The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

2022, In Review: few ups, many downs

Handful of achievements and vast variety of global crises, similar to previous years

Approaching the final weeks of 2022, the only feeling is relief. Though not as awful as many speculated, the year was a hot mess. Critical issues developed both globally and at home. Yet, intermingled between each depressing event, there were a couple tremendous successes, inspiring hope. Here is 2022 in review.



After heavy snow, the year started off with a massive traffic backup on I-95, leaving motorists stranded overnight in their cars. As freezing temperatures dropped, miscommunication from Virginia delayed vital support for clearing the situation and the distribution of food, water, aid, and gasoline. Lasting 36 hours, the situation was deeply worrying, and still is.

Story continues below advertisement



Early February, the 2022 Winter Olympics were held in Beijing. Norway received the most medals, and the games faced intense boycott due to the Hong Kong protests and Uyghur genocide. On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, the major event of the year. In the still ongoing war, tens of thousands of people have died, and beautful Ukraine has become rubble. Millions of people were forced to flee the country and escape Russia’s cruelty.



At the 94th Academy Awards, actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock, after he made fun of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, for her bald head, which she shaves due to alopecia areata. While Rock’s comment was clearly rude, Smith’s actions were deeply inappropriate, misguided, and symbolic of toxic masculinity. Smith was banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next 10 years.



On April 7, in a historic landmark, Ketanji Brown Jackson was the first Black woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. All 50 Senate Democrats voted for the Harvard graduate and former circuit court judge. Three Republicans voted to confirm her, despite her stellar qualifications, an undeniable and depressing sign of the current times. Meanwhile, the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard case began, held in Fairfax County. Heard claimed that Depp had abused her, and the case dealt with the allegations of defamation between both. The jury found that Heard had defamed Depp and awarded Depp $15 million in damages. 



On May 24, a mass shooting happened at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. An 18 year old former student entered through an unlocked door into the school and killed 19 students and two teachers, wounding 17 others, using an AR-15 style rifle. The Uvalde law enforcement was rightfully intensely criticized for their egregious response: police officers waited more than an hour before breaching the classroom the shooter was hiding in. The entire shooting, due to the systemic failure of the law enforcement, raises frightening questions, beyond the usual ones about gun violence.



On June 24th, in a historic and sweeping decision, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, reversing the 50 year old landmark piece of legislation protecting American’s right to abortion under the Constitution. Immediately following its overturning, the performing of any procedure was outlawed in numerous states across the country, undermining the decades of hard fought efforts by Americans to gain reproductive rights. Additionally, with the overturning of the case, Congress has also began the process of reconsidering other legislation, including rights to contraception access, and same-sex marriage. 



Former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was assassinated on July 8, while giving a speech. Abe was the longest serving prime minister in Japanese history, from 2006-07 and 2012-20. His assassination was shocking, as Japan is a country with very little gun violence. Additionally, in July, the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful space telescope ever, released groundbreaking images of galaxies and star clusters, many of which had never been seen before.



On August 7, the FBI raided former president Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residency. 13,000 government documents were found, many classified. The documents pertained to nuclear weapons and FBI, CIA, and NSA national security related information. August 28 marked the beginning of the academic year, the second year following online learning in 2020. The transition into in-person learning was much more efficient this year, a return to an almost normal school year, due to the almost nonexistent concern for Covid.



September 8th marked the death of Queen Elizabeth, the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch. After her 70-year reign, the queen died at 96 of old age in her Scottish Estate. Coming to the throne in 1952, she had witnessed many global turning points, and her death was mourned all across the world. 



On October 29, a crowd crush happened in Seoul, South Korea, killing 158 and injuring 196, during Halloween festivities. Most killed in the stampede were teens and young people. Meanwhile, Elon Musk faced incredible scrutiny after buying Twitter, then rampaging and completely upending the company, firing anyone who criticized him. He later issued an ultimatum requiring the remaining workers to become hardcore or leave. Many are worried that the platform is going to die.



Midterm elections were held in November, with the Democrats narrowly winning control of the Senate and the Republicans narrowly winning control of the House of Representatives, fortunately, not the “red wave” that many had expected. In what seems to be the new normal, in some races, votes were counted for up to weeks after election day. Biden also turned 80 in November. It was a cringeful moment, since he became the first octogenarian president in U.S. history. It begged the question, how old is too old? 



Early December, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Baylor University All-American basketball star Brittney Griner was returned to American soil after being held in Russian captivity for nine months. She was arrested and convicted for smuggling charges, while she was only carrying less than a gram of cannabis oil at an airport in Russia. Griner was freed in a high-profile prisoner exchange where she was swapped with notorious Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Shane Gomez
Shane Gomez, Co-Editor in Chief

Senior Shane Gomez is the Co-Editor in Chief of the A-Blast. He was Editorials Editor as a sophomore and junior and a Staff Writer as a freshman. He is pursuing the IB Diploma and he can be found frequenting clubs and organizations such as AWC, AYSO, ABC, AA, CFAC, HSC, SHF, MUN, NHS, NEHS, NSSHS, SNHS, VWA, and YMG. He likes to thrift, hangout, and watch movies. He looks forward to graduating.

Christina Abouzeki
Christina Abouzeki, Co-International Editor
Senior Christina Abouzeki is in her second year of journalism as a Co-International Editor. She loves reading, listening to music, and traveling. She plays on the varsity volleyball team and the violin in the philharmonic orchestra. Outside of school, she also likes to spend time with her friends and family.

Comments (0)

All The A-Blast Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *