The Verge calls what we've all been going through in 2020 a "psychic assault," and it's a state of mind that seems impossible to express via any existing emoji—until now. CNN Business reports that the Unicode Consortium has just given the green light to a "minor release" of more than 200 emoji in 2021. Included in this new set, as seen at emojipedia.org, are a face in the clouds (to signify confusion, a foggy feeling, or even just bliss); an exhaling face, to show relief, disappointment, or exhaustion; and a burning heart, which could stand for passionate lust or scorching a past relationship and walking away. And then there's the stand-in for 2020: the face with spiral eyes, an emoji that's swapped in swirl eyes for "X" ones, and which suggests dizziness, disorientation, or a general "WTF is happening."
The Verge describes the new emoji as "an expression of the deeper incomprehensibility of the past six months, as social isolation curdles and a surreal pageant of personal and global tragedies unfolds." In short: "In 2020, we all have spiral eyes." As for the other 200 or so new emoji coming out next year, there will now be a way to add a beard to any face emoji to represent how much we've all aged. The bulk of the emoji additions, meanwhile, are updates that allow for different-colored skin tones to be used for the existing "couple with heart" emoji and the "kiss" emoji, both of which currently have a default "yellow" skin tone. (Read more emoji stories.)