While 2020 gave us at least two weeks of relative sanity before COVID-19 struck, 2021 started out in utter chaos.
Despite New Year's Day being relatively quiet for the American people, a break from the madness would turn out to be short lived. Here's a look at what the new year has brought so far:
On day two of the new year, University of Texas fans got news that Head Football Coach Tom Herman had been fired. And only moments later, it was announced that Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian would replace Herman as head coach.
The announcement came as a shock to many after they just watched the Texas Longhorns beat the Colorado Buffalos in a 55-23 bowl victory and finished the season with a 7-3 record. In December, Texas Athletics Director Chris Del Conte had also confirmed Herman would keep his job.
https://t.co/w0BcDoAJXM https://t.co/fqLa3dr1E0— Chris Del Conte (@Chris Del Conte)1609605906.0
On Jan. 4, the city experienced the second-highest levels of cedar pollen in the past 25 years. This can be stressful because, while there are some key differences—primarily the lack of fever in the so-called "cedar fever"—pollen allergies and COVID-19 have similar symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, headache, fatigue and change in smell or taste.
In week one of the new year, the U.S. has experienced massive spikes in positive covid cases. Hospitals are maxing out their ICU beds, a joint statement from Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David's HealthCare revealed on Tuesday said that 2,473 staffed beds within all three healthcare systems are 79% occupied, and the 483 ICU beds are 88% occupied.
Congress' met to certify the election results with some senators prepared to claim voter fraud, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Trump supporters descended upon Washington D.C. in the thousands for the "Save America" rally at The Ellipse where President Donald Trump told the crowd to march down the road to the nation's Capitol building.
Protesters across the country gathered in front of their own state Capitol buildings, including hundreds of people who congregated in front of the Texas Capitol chanting, "Stop the steal!"
Signs from the Trump rally at the Texas Capitol on Jan 6.Christa McWhirter
By mid-afternoon, the U.S. Capitol building was breached for the first time since 1812 by protesters in D.C. in what is being labeled by lawmakers across the country as an insurrection. Four people were killed in the riot—including one Capitol building police officer.
Austin's Ending Community Homelessness Coalition announced they would not move forward with the homeless count for this year, following many other cities that have cited COVID-19 concerns.
Also on Jan. 7, the U.S. recorded for the first time a one-day death count of 4,000 due to COVID-19. In Texas, the first case of the more contagious COVID-19 strain was identified in a Harris County resident.
Despite so much chaos at the beginning of 2021, one new Austinite seems to be doing well for himself. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was officially named the richest man in the world. The South African entrepreneur recently surpassed Jeff Bezos' worth of $187 billion when his worth rose to $188.5 billion.
@teslaownersSV How strange— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1610033547.0
Some say it feels like 2020 never ended with all that's happened in just one full week of the new year.
In what was called the "Dodge Bowl" among fans and the media, Coach Todd Dodge adds to the Chaparrals' trophy case by bringing home the State Championship for Westlake High School a second time. Westlake was able to hold off the Southlake Carroll Dragons, winning 52-34 and becoming back-to-back State Champions for the first time in school history.
Increased police, an adjourned Legislature and boarded-up storefronts: Austin preps for Inauguration Day protests
After supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot last week, the FBI circulated an internal bulletin warning of armed protests being held at all 50 state capitols at least until Inauguration Day.
Here in Austin, local and state law enforcement officials have ramped up security around the Texas Capitol, the Texas Legislature has adjourned until Jan. 26 and downtown businesses have boarded up their storefronts—again.
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COVID-19 is still raging on, reaching the Texas House earlier this week, but Austin's tech sector is booming.
Here are some of Austin's most breaking stories, broken down into bite-size pieces, so you can be informed quickly.