By Staff Reporter

The year 2021 brought humanity breathtakingly close to its demise.

Since 2019, mankind has lived a dreadful life, on the edge, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But it was the pandemic’s rapidly evolving variants that scared the globe in the past 12 months.

As we greet 2022, almost 9 billion Covid jabs have been administered around the world – and the number is climbing literally every second.

With this massive vaccination comes reduced lockdown regulations, decline in infection and death rates.

Also, former US crazy head of state, Donald Trump was booted out of the White House and Twitter streets.  

So, despite living in the brink, there are really great moments that happed in 2021 that are worth celebrating. Here’s our find.

In February, wired.com reported the greatest news ever.

Chloé Zhao, winner of the best director and best picture Oscars in 2021 for Nomadland. Matt Petit_A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

“There’s almost no evidence that cheese causes weight gain – and in fact, there’s evidence that it’s neutral at worst.”

How about that?!

Scientists gave us a reason to keep going. Speaking out against unfounded rumours that cheese is an evil, murderous dairy product.  

Still on matters scientific, CNN reported that a UK-based company developed drones that can clean plastic from the ocean.

Philosophers might ask, “Is it really good news to say we’ve developed a small solution to a huge and terrible ongoing problem that we created ourselves?

Is it really something to celebrate?” To which we say: Just give us this one, please, philosophers, it’s all we’ve got.

Throughout 2021, UK-based start-up Ellipsis Earth has been mapping the scale of the world’s plastic pollution with camera-equipped drones that are able to (sometimes) identify the exact origin of the trash.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) works tirelessly to help eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online

Input Mag reports that researchers at Brown University successfully transmitted brain signals wirelessly to a computer for the first time – the move is a breakthrough for paralysed people, as the removal of cumbersome wires takes this tech one step closer to being available for home use.

Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) have been used to help people type, use robotic prostheses, and even move their own limbs in the past, but for the first-time participants in these studies, they can use this technology in their homes, rather than in a laboratory setting.

Another health breakthrough is that in June, the World Health Organisation declared China free of malaria after “decades of targeted and sustained action” against the disease.

In the 1940s, China reported 30 million malaria cases annually, in 2020, the country reported four consecutive years of zero indigenous cases, paving the way for WHO to declare it malaria-free in 2021. In April, WHO launched a campaign to rid 25 more countries of malaria by 2025.

The world might just be a better place without child abuse predators. Wired.com reported that a team at Internet Watch Foundation in Cambridgeshire have a tireless job: They spend hours trawling through the Internet for child sexual abuse images and categorising them to help countries crack down on offenders. The team rebuilt their hashing software so that the data shared with law enforcement agencies across the world is relevant to their localities, meaning they can prioritize the most serious images, more easily remove and block the content, and bring offenders to justice.

Thanks to the inherently non-socially-distanced nature of queues, restaurants, entertainment establishments, theme parks around the world decided to shake up the centuries-old habit by starting a virtual queue revolution.

By allowing us to queue with a couple of taps of our finger, instead of our feet, virtual queues have reduced the pain associated with waiting (and waiting, and waiting) in line, wired.com has reported.

We also saw the world’s first 3D-printed school open Its doors here in Africa. In less than 24 hours—15 to be precise—affordable housing group 14Trees built an entire school in Malawi this July using 3D printing technology.

It is hoped that similar initiatives will help to combat the classroom shortfall in the country, as well as the rest of Africa, enabling children to travel shorter distances to school and enable teachers to work under better conditions.

Women and children sang and danced in front of the new school to celebrate its opening, reported Reuters.

On the entertainment front, the Oscars had their most diverse year ever! When it comes to celebrities, 2021 already topped 2020 by default – no one tried to sing “imagine” at us when we were locked inside our homes.

But there was also progress elsewhere, namely at the Oscars, where years of backlash and a much-needed broadening of voters finally resulted in a diverse line-up of nominees, including the first Asian American ever nominated for best actor. When the ceremony took place, Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win best director, for Nomadland; while Yuh-jung Youn became the first Korean actor to win an Oscar.  Variety reported.

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