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Joy and grief in 2021, captured in viral videos. Watch

Year-ender 2021: Here are a few viral videos that caught the internet's attention in 2021

December 31, 2021 / 12:47 PM IST
2021 viral videos: The beginning of the vaccination drive and the

2021 viral videos: The beginning of the vaccination drive and the "Rasputin Challenge" are among moments that brought us joy and hope.


The year 2021, much like 2020, was plagued by Covid, with India facing its worst public health crisis during the second wave of the pandemic as people struggled to find hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. But the year also did throw up some moments of triumph, such as those from Tokyo Olympics as well as videos that lifted our spirits and made us smile.

India’s first Covid vaccination

India’s mega vaccination drive against COVID-19, a landmark step in fighting the pandemic, began with Manish Kumar, a frontline sanitation worker who received the first shot of the vaccine. Kumar, a sanitation worker, became the first person in India to get the COVID-19 vaccine shot at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on January 16.

Deadly second wave

A devastating surge in coronavirus infections took a toll on India’s health infrastructure in the summer of 2021. One of the big challenges was deep shortage of oxygen, a key treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients, and hospital ICU beds.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Neeraj Chopra’s winning moment at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Neeraj Chopra on August 7 won a historic gold medal in athletics event at the Tokyo Olympic Games as he topped the men’s javelin throw final. He has become India's first Olympic medalist from athletics in the finals of the men's javelin throw at Tokyo Olympics 2020.


"Rasputin" Challenge

Two medical students at Kerala’s at Thrissur Medical College, Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, shared a video of them dancing to Boney M’s hit track “Rasputin”. The video of them dancing in their scrubs, in the corridor of their institute brought became an instant hit. However, their attempt to spread some cheer as medical workers tirelessly worked during the devastating second wave of COVID-19 also received hate, with trolls giving it a communal angle. The students received huge support too, as medical students across Kerala joined the challenge and posted their own videos of them dancing to “Rasputin”.


Tourist influx in Manali
The horrific memories of the devastating second wave did not daunt people from flouting Covid norms. Just days after the Himachal Pradesh government relaxed Covid-related restrictions, the state saw a massive influx of tourists in July. Viral videos showed a huge influx of visitors in the streets of the hill town.

People fall off plane in Afghanistan

Thousands of Afghans scrambled to board flights at the Kabul airport in a desperate bid to get out of Afghanistan, following the Taliban toppling of the government led by President Ashraf Ghani. Three persons who allegedly held on to a US Air Force plane in their attempt to escape from the country fell to death from the sky soon after the plane took off, according to video clips posted by a local news agency. The video became a defining image of the humanitarian crisis in the crisis-ridden country.

"Pawri Ho Rahi Hai"

The “Pawri ho rahi hai” meme set social media on fire after Dananeer Mobeen, a Pakistan-based Instagram influencer, put out a video, speaking in a heavily-accented tone as she stood partying with some friends with their car parked on a road. "Ye humari car hai, ye hum hain aur ye humari pawri (party) ho rahi hai," she says in the video on Instagram, which transcended the country's borders for its fun quotient.

Lawyer attends Zoom hearing with cat filter on

In a bizarre or rather ap’paw’lling' incident, a Texas lawyer accidentally showed up to a video court hearing unable to remove the cat filter on his Zoom account. The hearing took a hilarious turn when the judge addressed the cat filter situation to lawyer Rod Ponton who was struggling to remove the filter. "Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings," the judge can be heard saying in the video. However, this did not stop Ponton from carrying on with his work as other lawyers in the hearing smiled. "I'm prepared to go forward with it. I'm here to live, I'm not a cat," Ponton said.

Shweta, your mic is on

A woman named Shweta had apparently forgotten to put herself on mute during a call with more than 100 participants. As a result, the participants heard a personal conversation that she was having with a friend while also being logged on to the Zoom call. The chat continued for a few minutes even as the participants told her "your mic is on". The gaffe caught the attention of social media users and #Shweta became a top trend online. Many users shared memes about it.
first published: Dec 31, 2021 12:32 pm
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