A Look on the Bright Side | Sophie Sills
Sometimes it seems that there is so much bad going on in the world that it is easy to look past all of the good. Between economic distress, seemingly daily scandals, and the looming threats of war and environmental destruction, all against the backdrop of a taxing worldwide pandemic that we just can’t seem to shake, it gets to be almost too much to handle sometimes. But we need to remember that there are still positive things going on around us every day and lots to look forward to. It may take some effort to find them, but here are some reasons to be optimistic in spring 2022.
First off, we are making leaps and bounds in terms of scientific advancements. To start, the CDC has authorized a second COVID booster, or a fourth dose, for people over the age of fifty. This means that it’ll be even safer for them to travel, see friends, and worry less while living the lives we’ve been waiting to live for the past two years. Additionally, the World Health Organization has approved a groundbreaking malaria vaccine that will undoubtedly save an astonishing number of lives, particularly those of children. Malaria is one of the main causes of death in Sub-Saharan regions of Africa, killing over 260,000 children under the age of five each year. This health crisis has stumped the WHO for years, but now they have finally made the necessary progress to save hundreds of thousands of young lives.
Not only is there good going on in the scientific community, but there is also a wide range of good news to be heard in terms of the state of the environment. Although climate change is a large detrimental factor to the health of our planet, there are some positive changes being made to counteract the negatives. First off, Swedish scientists discovered a way to store solar energy for up to 18 years, making it possible to store energy in electronics and possibly even make them self-charging. Additionally, if highly adopted, this change will create a dramatic rise in the amount of solar energy used, leading to a decrease in other, much less sustainable forms of energy. Solar energy isn’t the only way that new advancements are saving our planet though. Architect Stefano Boeri just recently finished China’s first “vertical forest city”, a stunning building that houses approximately 500 people and 5,000 trees. The building is estimated to absorb 20 tons of carbon dioxide each year, while simultaneously emitting around 10 tons of oxygen, challenging the idea that industrialization has to be detrimental to our environment.
In addition to these advancements, multiple endangered species are slowly but surely increasing in numbers. Tigers are becoming more plentiful in China and Nepal, rhinos in India and Namibia, snow leopards in Mongolia, and black-footed ferrets in the Great Plains, just to name a few.
Finally, although times may be stressful at the moment, we have many exciting things to look forward to in our personal lives. First off, the end of AP exams. Soon enough, the dreaded first two weeks of May will be behind us and it’ll be summer before we know it. Long days on the beach, spent with the people we love-- a stark contrast from droning days spent in the classroom. Additionally, in just a couple of weeks, the upperclassmen have prom to look forward to, and in just a few more, the seniors’ wait will be over as they finally graduate high school. After two years of postponed and virtual events, “normal” end-of-the-year festivities are certainly a cause for celebration.
So overall, there are many good things to focus on and look forward to amid all of the bad and all of the chaos. Even if things get tough or the weight of the world feels like too much to bear at times, remember that if you look for the good, you can always find it somewhere.