Here we are again—looking at 2021 in our rear view mirrors while getting ready to navigate 2022.

As to be expected, the last 12 months were still largely defined by the pandemic. For a few brief months this spring and summer, the transmission rates were extremely low and so many events that define that time on the calendar—fairs and festivals—were able to return. On either end of that relatively normal period of time were and continue to be COVID case surges. While we try to go about our day, we know that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are struggling to treat those who become very ill.

While the case numbers ebb and flow, our communities and businesses continue to deal with the after effects of the pandemic’s initial impacts—everything from finding sufficient staff and supply chain shortages to recovering from learning loss and addressing mental health needs.

For the most part, we didn’t know the kind of impact COVID-19 would have on 2021 and it feels like we’re in the same boat again with 2022 just around the bend.

Amidst all of that, other major events were occurring around us too. Major manufacturers closed, heated debates ensued about the future of law enforcement in Imlay City and tragic accidents took lives too soon.

In contrast, the happy news felt exceedingly good this year—the generosity that organizations showed to those in need; the ability for teachers and students to return to the classroom in the fall and the numerous accomplishments of individuals who call the Tri-City area home.

Obviously we can’t predict what the next 12 months will bring but maybe we’re getting better at dealing with uncertainty. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been reminded recently of the strong support systems within our communities that are quick to take action and help those who need it—pandemic or otherwise.

As we take time this week to reflect on 2021 and the news that helped define it, we hope our readers also take the time to reflect on what the last 12 months meant to them and prepare for 2022 with the sense of security that a caring community offers.