- Rajani Nagesh Tadimalla
Word of the Year 2022
So here it is—the last day of the year 2022 and it will soon become a history. The year started with the hope of a thaw in United States (US)–Russia relations. However, the scenario changed swiftly in February with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This was an avoidable war and while there were numerous efforts and appeals to resolve the conflict, the war is still on and has resulted in many casualties. China's intention to take control over Taiwan is well known.
Elsewhere, there are obvious tensions in India–China, Israel-Palestine, and US-Iran relations amongst others. Military rule continues in Myanmar. The situation in Somalia is a cause of concern with its numerous challenges and fight against terror groups. Several countries in the Indian sub-continent witnessed devastating floods and some places in the world are witnessing severe winter storms. On the other hand, rainfall was below average in some African nations. Sri Lanka is dealing with one of its worst economic crises and so is Lebanon. The reconciliation exercise in Sudan provides hope. North Korea has been on an adventure trip with its missile attacks towards the Sea of Japan over the year. While the conflict in Syria continues, a possible thaw in relations with Turkey is a positive sign. There is hope in Yemen, which faces a grave humanitarian crisis, with the extended time of calm after the end of the truce in early October.
2022 was supposed to be a year of renewal for the world after the fight against Covid-19. It was indeed a year of renewal in many ways with the return to normal life, reopening of schools, restoration of travel, and normal hosting of sporting events amongst others. However, there are signs that the pandemic is not yet over. China is still grappling with Covid-19 and recent surge has rekindled the fear of renewed spread of the pandemic. While some nations are undertaking tests on arrivals from China, other nations have imposed flight restrictions. The economic impact of Covid-19, the Russia–Ukraine war, and financial speculation amongst others have led to economic crisis, disruption in supply chains, high oil prices, layoffs, and food shortage. The US Federal reserve undertook seven-rate hikes during the year to control inflation. Deforestation, air pollution, and plastic waste continue to pose threat to the environment. According to the World Meteorological Organization, while the global sea mean level rise was 3.4 ± 0.3 mm per year over the last 30 years, increasing ice melt has accelerated the rise of global sea level by 5 mm between January 2021 to August 2022. On the positive note, several nations are coming up with legislations to deal with various environmental threats. Implementation holds the key.
My choice for the word of the year is the noun 'Virulence' due to the high global inflation during the year, the recent deaths due to Covid in China, and the rising environmental concerns. My second choice for the word of the year is the phrasal verb 'Level Up', which signifies the determination of the world to tackle various challenges.