How has your 2022 been thus far? It’s a phatic question, a conversation-starter and an email-booster, but this year I find that I actually care about the answer. My 2022 (thanks for asking, dear reader) has not been great so far. I find myself in the throes of a property dispute. Members of my family face various crises, from hospitalisation for Covid-19-related complications to debilitating anxiety. I’ll be glad when January is behind me.

But what then? What if it the advent of Omicron does not, in fact, signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic — what if February and March 2022 start feeling like 2021 or 2020 all over again? What if, Covid-19 or no, this becomes the year that the Cold War (which never really got cooler than lukewarm) gets hotter, as Russia remains belligerent in Ukraine and Kazakhstan? What if that minor heat is the least of our concerns, as global warming is aggravated and climate catastrophe nears? ..

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