Restarted my machine and 2021 now runs and my actions and brushes appear to still be there.
crisis sort of over.
Still 2 weird things:
The icon for the Photoshop Program Files folder is not customized as photoshop's icon like it was before.
Photoshop 2021 no longer shows up when I hit the windows 10 button and type "ph..." it used to show up right away after I typed those letters. now 2021 doesn't show up at all in the start menu. But if I start "2020" then 2021 opens. smh