The COVID pandemic has had a large impact on the entire world and one way this can be seen is through strange stats resulting from the effects of the pandemic. Various statistics such as employment statistics, spending power, holiday miles, pet ownerships, births (or at least conceptions) and — naturally — deaths may have been either grossly suppressed/increased for the majority of 2020, and for 2021 may have hardly recovered, partially recovered, renormalised, bounced back with a vengeance or be over-compensated for in the effort to catch up.
It is hard to know what 2022 might be like. Nothing (at the time of this comic being published) is exactly back to normal and proper recovery or the resulting compensatory readjustment may not have concluded in time for 2022 to reflect the trends expected based upon pre-2020 figures, and the additional further years that future statistics will record.
As an example, the cycles of Summer Olympics/Paralympics and Winter Olympics has been disrupted due to the 2020 Summer Olympics being postponed to 2021, thus causing the next Winter Olympics to be only 1 year away (in 2022) and the next Summer Olympics/Paralympics to be 3 years away (in 2024). This has not occurred since the 1990s (when the all the Winter games were shifted away from the Summer Games' years), the 1960s (the start of the Summer Paralympics) or the 1940s (the last major interruption in the main Summer Olympic cycle).
Sometimes punctuation such as an asterisk (*) or a dagger (†, also called an obelisk) is used to denote an unusual entry in a table to be explained in a footnote with a matching symbol. Common symbols that are used if the first two are taken include multiple asterisks (such as ** or ***), or a series of further symbols such as a double dagger (‡), the section symbol/silcrow (§), the parallel/double-pipe (‖) and the paragraph symbol/pilcrow ( ¶ ) and numbers (123).
The author, however, seems to have forgotten the potential monkey's paw nature of his wish. Relative is a relative term. It could well be that the whole pandemic thing becomes the new normal, thus removing the necessity of using symbols to delineate such years.
When we all rely on a BOT, we don't know how to do simple things like create new comic explanation pages manually anymore. 8-)
I really hope he's right about 2022... Orion205 (talk) 00:23, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
- The DgbrtBOT... Why's it broken?? --18.104.22.168 04:22, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
- It looks likely it was being run on a computer by the author, and the computer hiccuped. Nobody has notified the author, who doesn't come here much anymore. The bot is also linked from its page for others to run it. Baffo32 (talk) 09:39, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
- Are there any active admins to add bot permissions if anyone wants to run that bot? theusaf (talk) 05:08, 18 August 2021 (UTC)
- Asterix and Obelix
Fun fact: comic strip characters Asterix and Obelix were named after these symbols . Frank 22.214.171.124 10:12, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
- That's interesting. I never knew that. Thanks, random stranger! theusaf (talk) 05:06, 18 August 2021 (UTC)
- New Normal
I personally am getting very tired of anyone expecting CoViD '19 to be "over" or anxious to "get back to normal". With '19, Delta, Gamma, & Lambda, all making the rounds (& those are just the lineage names; each already has dozens of minor variants, as coronavirus carries over minor variations from each host), & dogs, cats, & deer all showing signs of community-wide infection as well, it seems pretty obvious even to a non epidemiologist, that we've long since reached a state of effectively ubiquitous exposure. Couple this with air quality in increasing decline across multiple factors (rapidly climbing CO2, increasing rates of emissions of microparticulate, the only-just-beginning-&-already-most-of-the-dust-we-breathe breakdown of plastic microfibers, rare volatiles, take your pick, levels of each are accelerating precipitously) & we should all just collectively expect everyone "at risk" of respiratory illness to be suffering or dying on increasingly regular basis, until we all collectively change our lifestyles considerably more than we have so far. Heck, if we continue trying to get "back to normal" we may all die off entirely much sooner than even most of our concerned "experts" seem to think, because of the sheer number of contributing factors compounding each other at unprecedented rates of increase. In my view (seemed obvious since last August) CoViD itself is clearly here to stay, & even with booster shots, we should expect dangerous new variants to crop up. We live in an increasingly dense society (& that isn't a euphemism referring to effects of CO2 buildup) & higher density means more disease exposure; so we will all need to take steps to minimize these exposure risks & keep that up forever (or at least until population density or travel wane dramatically). We might even have to stop living like the future is disposable.
ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:12, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
- Yes, my reaction to 2022 in this comic was, "I appreciate his optimism, but I don't think it's actually warranted, and I think it's the double dagger symbol that comes next." I do hope we'll ultimately ease into a bit of a smoother and somewhat less oppressive (new) 'normal' than 2020~21 represent, but even in that scenario 2021 definitely seems a bit too soon to expect the current aberrations to reach an end. Regarding lifestyle changes, more than that I think it's largely voting patterns that would need to change (in countries where that applies), since many of the changes needed require large-scale collective coordination (i.e. infrastructure, commercial/industrial regulation, etc. etc.), in other words government level action, rather than just lifestyle changes at the individual level, even if universally applied. But I agree, a willingness to change lifestyles may be required for those kinds of voting patterns to occur. Of course a large span of human history was permeated by a lot of suffering, conflict, and death that probably most of us can't relate to today. On the other hand though, nowadays there's 7B of us and counting to experience the full joys of everything you're describing =/. 126.96.36.199 20:06, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
- Did you seriously implied covid is made dangerous by global warming? Despite climbing CO2, the air quality - meaning, how good it is for people - is getting BETTER thanks to factory emissions being regulated compared to previous century. At least in Europe and US, it may still be bad in China, Beijing's smog is legendary. Of course, that's not related to Covid, which does seem to be here to stay and the best we can hope in is that thanks to combination of vaccine and mutations it gets closer to flu in dangerousness (which would still means tens of thousands of deaths every year, in EU or US). -- Hkmaly (talk) 01:10, 15 August 2021 (UTC)
- The observed raise of atmospheric CO2 concentration may cause various changes in climate dynamics, but has no direct effect on human respiration and health. Sitting in a poorly ventilated room causes much, much higher rise (just because you're exhaling CO2), even causing mild, but passing, somatic effects (headaches etc.) -- 188.8.131.52 08:13, 16 August 2021 (UTC)
I'm thinking the next best option after the asterisk and dagger would probably be the section sign (§) — RAGBRAIvet (talk) 23:04, 15 August 2021 (UTC) 22:23, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
Is there a triangle symbol? That seems like it would be the best, if 2022 was mainly Delta
- It's likely Delta will be connected to THIS year (2021) and next year will have another variant as dominant. There might even be enough time left in this year to replace Lambda as well, or maybe Lambda will be connected with winter 2021/22 and we get another for summer 2022. -- Hkmaly (talk) 01:10, 15 August 2021 (UTC)
- I just want to say out loud (sic!) what I've been thinking for a while now... People will definitely be uncomfortable with the situation once they have to identify something as the Omega Strain... For a number of reasons. 184.108.40.206 11:34, 15 August 2021 (UTC)
2022 should have the ‡-symbol, double dagger - Checkmate!
The star and dagger could also be read as star and cross as seen on some tomb stones. They are used to denote birth and death. This could explain the comment about not being sure what the next symbol would be.
See example here https://www.serafinum.de/media/image/product/8219/lg/zeitloser-granit-grabstein-in-schwarz-einzelgrab-philium~2.jpg
Ray (talk) 08:36, 16 August 2021 (UTC)
In genealogical records, such as family trees, the dagger is used to indicate the death, or the unnatural death, of a person. Similarly, in biology, it is used to note the extinction of a species, genus, etc... Species that are possibly extinct are indicated with an asterisk and finally double asterisks indicate taxa believed to be extinct in the wild but known to be extant in cultivation.
The title text says "I'm hoping 2022 is relatively normal ..."
Soylent Green is set in 2022. The movie shows pollution, global warming, riots, a sharp divide between rich and poor, ... and a tasty new food product. Totally fictional, ummm, kind of, sort of. Oh never mind. How do I buy a ticket for a Mars rocket? 220.127.116.11 19:11, 16 August 2021 (UTC)
I think the picture is an excerpt of a scientific paper, so those symbols are the footnote symbols used to explain the anomalies. Here's the list:
1 asterisk *
2 dagger †
3 double dagger ‡
4 section symbol §
5 paragraph ¶
6 parallel lines ‖
7 two asterisks **
8 two daggers ††
9 two double daggers ‡‡
As a result, all Randall has to do is this:
--I. (talk) 16:11, 16 August 2021 (UTC)