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Collegian staff predictions for 2021

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Okay, so let’s face it, 2020 majorly sucked for just about all of us. We here at the Collegian have the greatest hopes that 2021 will be a drastic improvement, but we still harbor a certain amount of trepidation. We shall have to wait and see. 

But hey! Did you know that the Collegian staff are all clairvoyants? No, really, it’s true! Well, at least our Collegian newsroom mascot Rossa the dog thinks so, because we always know when she wants treats (which is always, duh). We have embraced our journalistic powers of extrasensory perception, with all their burdens and responsibility. And we, out of deep generosity of spirit and benevolent intention, have decided to give you a leg up on 2021 by affording you the fruits of our shadowy visions. May they guide you on your way and light the dark corners of the future unknown. 

If the apocalypse happens, don’t forget that we foretold it first. One of these damn predictions has to be right, right? How’s that for breaking news, huh? And they say journalists are all crackpots. What rubbish...

A rogue space spider slipped into Trump’s leather flesh suit back in August, wearing it like a jumpsuit. Nobody fucking noticed. Subsequently, the spider laid multiple eggs in the gooey brain-flesh of fellow politicians. Fascinatingly, the egg sacs are imperceptible to the human eye, but once hatched the spiders grow exponentially with monstrous appetites to match. Which means that by May the world will be littered with drained human flesh sacs wrapped in glittering extraterrestrial silk. It will be quite beautiful, but the smell of foot flakes and dried blood will permeate everything. The only, and I mean ONLY way to escape your innards melting into a meaty gelatinous curd and being sucked out of your eye sockets by a mega-spider is to wear a fucking mask. Wear. a fucking. Mask.

    -Harlow Poffenberger, editor

Things will generally and objectively become “worse” in terms of COVID-related cases, unemployment, the wealth gap and utter reliance on technology as a means to live and interact with one another. All of these harsh transitions will lead many to continue to question their stance and place in the world and explore possibilities that allow them to endure, overcome and improve upon their relative situation that will, in turn, continue to bridge gaps of knowledge and compassion.

    -Jordan Somers, photographer

Since almost the entire 2020 year has been hit by the pandemic, I believe the coming year will still be rough for a while till all of us are vaccinated. People remain in dark mode, dealing with the second, third, or whatever wave of the virus. Small businesses continue to suffer while big businesses swallow the market shares because they are more prepared and better funded. Traveling industry is left hopeless. The rich are richer, the poor are poorer. Climate change and trash problems become the last things we will consider because it’s not yet obviously urgent. There will be much more trash produced from our current lifestyle and necessary products – delivery packages, masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, wipes, produce bags, etc. Short-lived items but long-term environmental damage are now inevitable. It’s going to be a long journey for humans, animals, and the planet to be recovered and there is no guarantee that everything will be.

-Gift Homsaen, web manager

In 2021, we will begin to truly see the full impact and consequences of COVID-19 on our economy, social functioning, national debt, institutions and systems, cultural awareness, housing market, mental health, addiction patterns, legal system, marginalized communities, technology, etc. Many believe that we will recover swiftly once the vaccine is disseminated throughout the nation and the economy reopens, but I disagree. I do not think we have even begun to see the problematic repercussions. The housing and unhoused crises will balloon, economic disparities will widen, credit scores will mean less than they ever have, social unrest and dissatisfaction with the status quo will continue to rise, and our governments will see unprecedented challenges they will be ill-equipped to ameliorate. Political polarization and its correlating flight-or-flight responses will cause further chaos, fear, and paranoia. Ideological differences and factionalism will set otherwise peaceful citizens against one another, and the revolution will continue, and it will be televised. The recent outcries for justice, equity and inclusion will only gain in momentum and volume, and the old “normal” will be rejected as the flawed and dysfunctional modus operandi that it is. We will be challenged to examine and alter the very fabric of our social functioning in order to adjust and evolve, and our societies will be forever changed by the effects. Sounds fun.

-Astro Pittman, editor-in-chief

I believe we will find a way to force open the old avenues we once achieved “normalcy” with, but not actually achieve anything with it – or worse, things will get worse as we continue to live as though things are “normal”. I think we will celebrate at some point and we will open back up, that we will go to clubs and bars and restaurants and everything else, but we will still see the gaping cracks in our society’s foundations just as we did in the West Seattle bridge – another situation we ignored until it was too late.

-Danny Barber, managing editor

2021 is going to come with a lot of hopes and promises, but it is highly doubtful whether all of them are going to happen. A rough recovery in all fields is foreseeable with scars that will be etched in our souls for many years to come. Eventually, we will be able to move on and the world will go back to “normal”, but our cautious attitude will not change and it will affect our perceptions in the future. These perceptions will have strong effects as people will be determined to make them happen, setting up the new “normal” in societies. 

    -Thang Nguyen, staff writer

Due to the pandemic, I would not expect anything returning to ”normal” until next fall. We would still go through waves of the country being forced to shut down for a month or two. Additionally, speaking about the continuing wave of COVID-19 cases, there is still a chance of a significant jump in the unemployment rate as more schools and businesses close and the consumer spending falls. But when the lockdown lifts, the economy will burst out fast, millions of people will come back to working grounds and the demand for “normal” products and services will rise rapidly in the first month. 

    -Smile Tongkaw, staff writer

My apartment overlooks the crossing of an arterial and a residential street on Capitol Hill. A few days before New Year’s Eve, my dog and I heard what sounded like gunshots outside our building. Fine-tuned from months of violence in our neighborhood, we hit the deck. One of us barked. When we stood up and looked out the window, we saw two cars in the parking lot across the street. One of them had plowed into the bus stop. We saw deployed airbags, steam rising from the cars and a few people staggering around in circles. As neighbors poured out of their buildings to offer assistance, we called 911. Soon we heard sirens as the fire department, two ambulances, and eight police cars hit the scene. As we assessed the carnage, we saw the drivers of the respective vehicles carted into the ambulances. My prediction for 2021 is really a wish. As our nation’s drivers speed into the intersection this month, I hope that the rest of us survive relatively unscathed.

    -Johnny Horton, faculty advisor

The clock strikes twelve, bringing everything to a standstill. The earth stops on its axis and our orbit around a fiery star discontinues. The words ‘Happy New Year’ die on everyone’s tongues as every wrong begins to right itself. The world cools down on a global scale, rendering climate change nonexistent. In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the infected recover and the healthy become immune. The wrongly incarcerated are set free and the death penalty is outlawed. The killings of innocent people from marginalized communities cease. Any person regardless of their race, sexual and gender orientation or ability is free from discrimination. But alas, the moment passes and time resumes. Everything returns to how it was and the reality that there must be collective effort in order for anything to change remains lost. Humanity ultimately continues its path into ominous uncertainty. 

    -Alex Su, staff writer

What are your predictions for 2021? We would love to hear from you! Please share in the comments section below.

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Everything is fine. Wear a freakin’ mask!

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