New year feels a lot like some old ones

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

— Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Less recognizable in its original language than the Spanish “Que será será” — “Whatever will be, will be” — this French phrase might be even more well-known.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

The opening days of 2022 certainly seem to fit the bill.

High number of positive COVID-19 cases.


Disappointment over holiday plans changed or canceled due to COVID-19.


Uncertainty over what the weeks and months ahead will bring with COVID-19.


Some key differences exist from January 2021 to January 2022. A year ago we hoped the new vaccines would bring an end to COVID-19 — and they almost did. Until the Delta variant showed up. And now we’re battling Omicron.

A Monday article in the New York Times suggests there will be silver linings when the current surge recedes, namely a higher level of immunity and an increased focus on the need for booster shots.

The article also cites two new treatments expected to significantly lower the risk of hospitalization and death for those who are infected. By the end of 2022, the writers posit, COVID-19 may have transitioned from a pandemic disease to an endemic one that we learn to navigate, like the flu.

If we are lucky, we’ll also have a repeat of 2021 in February, when cases were falling, and this past spring and summer, when cases were low and much of life had returned to normal.

Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t the only area where it’s déjà vu all over again as 2022 opens.

The late-night Hinsdale High School District 86 meetings of the mid-2010s have returned, complete with emotional pleas from the public and lengthy debates over virtually any agenda item. The term “uniform grievance” is even in use again. This time the incident in question was between two board members rather than a board member and a student. We’re not sure that makes it any better.

Women continue to be under-represented on the Hinsdale Village Board. Way back in January of 2018, when the board was all male, we encouraged women to consider running for a seat in the 2019 elections. Thanks to Laurel Haarlow and Michelle Fischer, elected in 2019 and 2021, there are two women on the board. Could the next election cycle (which begins later this year) bring that number to three? Golly, we hope so.

Teardowns continue, resulting in the loss of vintage homes and the sense of history and character they embody. Although we, too, were happy to see the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Bagley House saved from demolition, we worry that other historic properties will not be so lucky as to be purchased by dedicated preservationists. We anxiously await pending recommendations on how to encourage the renovation of these treasures.

In 2018, we also said we hoped to see a plan to salvage a piece of the Hinsdale Oasis. We’re still waiting on that. And on a redevelopment proposal — or should we say an approved redevelopment proposal — for the Institute of Basic Life Principles site.

Fortunately, there are still 359 days in 2022. Here’s to some new in this new year!