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The Maastricht Diplomat

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A world of magic and tragedy

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

The first week of the new year has come and gone. To me, the start of a new year feels always a bit odd. The start of a new year is generally accompanied by high hopes and newly established ambitions to become a better version of oneself. I stopped doing it a long time ago because I never followed through on the goals I set for myself anyway. Ignoring the start of a new year and dismissing it as something ordinary, on the other hand, strikes me as wrong. Optimism is always a good remedy to start the new year with. This is especially important for someone like me, a dreamer who is a hopeless romantic, nostalgic, and yearns for the magical aspect in life. It has been a struggle the past couple of years with staying grounded and keeping mental health up with all of the ‘negative’ mass media headlines overflowing our news feed we have been constantly seeing these past years. Whether it be over politicians, sex trafficking, or Covid cases skyrocketing through the roof.

With each passing year, the world is constantly changing, at different rates around the planet. For example, In Kazakhstan, the protests spurred by rising petrol costs have morphed into a broader anti-corruption and anti-inequality rally. The demonstrations began last weekend, sparked by rising petrol costs, but have now turned into anti-government rioting (including the dismissal and imprisonment of the previous anti-terror commander), feeding off hatred of ex-President Nursultan Nazarbayev's more than three decades of reign. As of right now, the overall death toll on both sides is believed to be above 160. President Tokayev’s office has recently stated that the country has taken control of the situation and regained control of administrative buildings that were taken over by protestors, some of which were set on fire.

On the other side of the world, The US News and World report indicate that the unfair distribution of vaccines around the world will continue into 2022. The term ‘Vaccine apartheid’ has been used to describe the situation. Referring and relating to the institutionalized racial segregation seen in South Africa. The term describes the inequality from the world’s richest and poorest countries different access to the vaccination. Poorer countries are failing to get enough vaccines for their citizens, while countries like the US have more than enough, and are trying to convince people who do not want the vaccine to take it, while other countries cannot even get them for those who are willing and want to get the vaccine. This has made civilians in other countries feel like ‘second class’.

With all the different news we are constantly bombarded with, this Sunday summary should act as a mental health reminder as well as inform us of current events in the world. Finding the balance between staying informed and staying sane is monumental in the world we live in today. While it is necessary to keep up with what is going on in the world, it is equally crucial to remember that going for a walk, appreciating the simple things, and not missing out on the magic that is occurring right in front of us may be just as significant as any other current event.

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