Revellers gather during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square on Dec. 31, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
New York City welcomed the New Year and said goodbye to 2021 as confetti and cheers swept across Times Square as the New Year’s Eve tradition returned to a city ravaged by a global pandemic.
Time zone, and thousands of New Years Eve celebrations stood shoulder to shoulder in a slight chill to see a 6 ton sphere studded with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals tumble down on a crowd of about 15,000, far fewer than the many Dozen of thousands of night owls.
They usually descend into the world famous square to soak up the lights and excitement of the New Year’s Eve event in the nation’s marquee.
The authorities warned on Friday of sprawling celebrations amid rising COVID19 infections of the Omicron variant. Last year’s ball throw was closed to the public because of the pandemic.
As the ball fell and euphoria filled the streets, Maya Scharm, a visiting dog trainer from New Jersey, felt the year 2021 slip away. “It’s a symbol of the return to normal,” he said minutes past midnight different this year, ”said his partner Brandon Allen.
We already have this feeling of stability. We know what’s going on, there’s a new variety floating around now, but it’s like we’ve been through it for two years a year.
Confetti lit by electronic billboards swirled in on a mild winter night in New York City a light wind. Mary González was standing a few meters behind a crowd and wanted to keep her distance from anyone who was unwittingly carrying the virus.
“I’m glad 2021 is over because it caused a lot of problems for everyone,” said González, who was visiting from Mexico City and wanted to enjoy an American tradition. “We hope that 2022 will be a lot better than this year.
The annual fall of the ball occurred as the clock struck midnight and the New Year rang in, an event generally remembered by the uncorking of champagne, the clink of pints, joyful hugs, and renewed hope for better times at the world’s crossroads, and city officials insisted on holding the New Year’s Eve event to demonstrate the city’s resilience even amid a coronavirus resurgence, but 2022 starts just like the year before, with the pandemic clouding an already uncertain future.
The question arose of whether the city would have to cancel this year’s party as the city had record numbers of COVID-19 cases in the days leading up to it, despite some cities like Atlanta having decided to cancel their own celebrations. They have risen to the highest level ever, averaging more than 265,000 per day. New York City reported a record number of new confirmed cases, nearly 44,000, on Wednesday and in a similar year.
According to New York State, officials demanded masks and proof of vaccination from visitors. The organizers initially expected more than 50,000 celebrants, but plans have been cut sharply due to widespread infections.