After one of the most transformative and chaotic years in American history, many were eager to bid 2020 goodbye and ring in the new year. Instead of celebrating new beginnings with the community however, COVID-19 restrictions turned iconic annual gathering areas into ghost towns.
The insulting final page on the year came after months of restrictions from Democrats crushing small businesses and countless lives across the country.
This end-of-year shutdown was most painfully apparent in New York City’s Times Square, where fear of COVID-19 saw empty city streets as the final hours of 2020 ticked away.
The Times Square Alliance, the group that organizes the yearly New Year celebrations, confirmed the plan to keep people away from the iconic location as far back as September.
“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said in the group’s announcement. “But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences — still in development — will take place in Times Square.”
Pictures from Times Square show a haunting scene, with the iconic New York City crossroads all but abandoned except for a few key players and policemen.
— Gabe Gutierrez (@gabegutierrez) December 31, 2020
Of course, not every New Yorker was ringing in the new year from a cramped apartment.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife not only danced 2020 away in vacated Times Square, but uploaded a video of it to Twitter. Users quickly piled on to give the city leader a piece of their mind.
— NYC Mayor’s Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) January 1, 2021
The mayor enjoying a private dance party in time square, all paid for by the tax payer, while citizens told to stay in their homes and hide.
— Pre Game (@TTasticDesigns) January 1, 2021
Months ago, despite the fact that COVID-19 still surged through New York, Times Square was packed for a protest against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. Videos of this protest show packed conditions that Democratic leaders are usually terrified of.
While New Yorkers were at least allowed to leave their homes, those on the other side of the United States faced even harsher restrictions.
In California, the state’s stay-at-home order is still in effect, allowing residents to leave their house only for work, shopping or for other “allowed” purposes.
This assault on the American spirit didn’t stop for New Years, and residents were expected to follow orders and remain inside for their own safety.
Things looked wildly different in Wuhan, China, ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although this was initially where the viral pneumonia first struck, the city was electrified Thursday night as residents flooded the streets to say goodbye to 2020.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 31, 2020
With American health officials predicting the pandemic and associated restrictions to continue well into 2021, it remains to be seen if Americans will welcome 2022 in the same fearful way.
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