2021: The year of ____

All the ways we tried to summarize 2021

Figures of 2021.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

We said 2020 was the longest year ever, but 2021 somehow felt even longer. One year ago today, most of America was still in the grips of a grim, pre-vaccination winter; the Capitol had not yet been stormed, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had not yet pulled on his little mittens, and no one could have predicted a container ship would become the main character for a week.

But with the U.S. shattering the daily record for COVID-19 cases in the last week of 2021, it also feels a bit like we're back where we began. Here's how we've tried to sum up this rollercoaster of a year.

2021 was the...

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Year of the jab

Year of the vaccine

Year of the mask

Year of healing

Year of the 'new norm'

Year of sweet, sweet delayed gratification

Year of the rainbow after a storm

Year of recovery and renewal

Year of resilience and uncertainty

Year of surviving and thriving

Year of the party tent

Year of restaurant revamps

Year for space exploration

Year of Latinos

Year of the deep dive

Year of Marvel

Year of the multiverse

Year of too much metaverse

Year of the narrator

Year of the time loop story

Year of Lady Dimitrescu

Year of Novak Djokovic

Year of Olivias

Year of Britney Spears' freedom

Year of the breakup album

Year of excessive celebrity PDA

Year of dubious characters and dark drama

Year of Balenciaga

Year of dress-down, sex-up, jeans, and jewelry

Year of the 'haves and have-nots'

Year of stimulus checks and Let's Go Brandon

Year of the 'cucks box,' MAGA anthrax attacks, and a dubious Biden-hating falconer

Year of garbage internet trends

Year of consent for digital media

Year of the worker

Year of supply chains

Year of the electrified trucks

Year of the hertz

Year of monster AI models

Year of ESG investing

Year of IPOs

Year of the NFT

Year of cryptocurrency

Year of the altcoin

Year of baseball's first bitcoin team

Year of fintech failure

Year of the great (inflationary) reset

Year of inflation infamy

Year of high prices

Year of the quit

Year of trauma

Year of extremes

Year of climate change

Year of the coup

Year of the 2020 election

Year of evictions

Year of losing friends

Year of coronavirus variants

Year of worst-case scenarios

Year of living unreasonably

Year of living dangerously

Year we lost hope

Year of denial

Year of gray hair

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