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What everyone needs to know about 2021 thus far

The year 2020 posed myriad challenges for everyone and now that we have reached the mid-way point of 2021, it is clear that, although the crises are not yet fully averted, the year thus far has already boasted some encouraging events.

Politics

In January, the 46th president was inaugurated into office and since then, President Joe Biden and his administration have signed a multitude of historic executive orders, such as re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Read more about the global responsibilities for environmental protection and how global conferences, conventions, and treaties, like the Paris Climate Agreement contribute.

Afghanistan has seen longstanding conflict that featured at various points most of the world’s major powers. Afghanistan and the fate of its people has been inextricably linked to the US military presence for many years, thus the impending withdrawal of US troops by September this year has sparked conflicting opinions on what the impact of this will be on the nation.

Read more on the significance of US military presence and the recent withdrawal on this complicated nation.

  • Chapter 10: “Peace or More War?” from Afghanistan: What Everyone Needs to Know®
(Image by Jon Tyson)

COVID-19 vaccines: looking forward from the pandemic

One of the most encouraging events of the year thus far is the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out! The approved vaccines began to be administered to millions of adults worldwide and the effort is well underway to vaccinate the global population to tackle the virus which devastated the world over in 2020.

Despite the challenges of increasing vaccine hesitancy among the public, vaccines remain one of society’s most important and influential tools for promoting public health and tackling the pandemic. Successful vaccination programmes and high vaccine uptake gives hope to the reopening of pre-pandemic society.

Read more about how we might look forward from the pandemic, thanks to the vaccines.

  • Chapter nine: “On the Horizon” in Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know®

While we celebrate the success of the vaccines, we can reflect on the impact the trauma of the pandemic has had on us thus far. It is important to give trauma survivors an opportunity to emotionally process the event and to look forward from it.

Learn more about the impact of the pandemic and different ways we may need to support others in our recovery from the effects of the pandemic in the chapters below.

(Image by Torstensimon)

Climate change

As we begin to pour effort into key issues beyond the pandemic, climate change is an issue of focus, demonstrated by the recent G7 summit in Cornwall, UK. This saw government officials from around the world meeting to bring some focus back on how we can all approach the mitigation of climate change on our earth.

Read more about the impact of climate change on our world and understand why discussions such as these are so important.

(Image by Marcus Spiske)

Olympics and Paralympics

Despite some scrutiny, the Olympic games are well underway now in Tokyo and the Paralympic games are still scheduled for late August, as planned.

Many people have scrutinised the decision to hold the games from an ethical standpoint and questioned whether it was safe to allow athletes or spectators to travel to Japan from around the world and risk spread of the COVID-19 virus. Though the games are currently held with no spectators at any event, there are still concerns about the safety of the games in a nation that’s reportedly trailing behind other nations in its vaccination efforts.

Learn more about the ethics of sports in:

(Image by Braden Collum)

Featured image by Kellie Sikkema via Unsplash

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