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New Year's Eve in Times Square reflects American suffering - 12/30/2021 - World

New Year’s Eve in Times Square reflects American suffering – 12/30/2021 – World

New York spends 2021 on a major event that marks the end of the Covid-19 era, with large crowds gathering without fear of an epidemic. The Breakthrough Party for 2022 in Times Square was a strong candidate to fulfill this iconic role. But, again, it does not match the virus.

In the first half of the year, the improvement of the vaccine in the United States created anticipation of a coveted summer. President Joe Biden said he hoped the July 4 holiday would also mark freedom from the plague. But many Americans refused the vaccine, and the disease rose again to the heights of the U.S. heat, exceeding 100,000 cases a day in early August.

That month, a concert was held in New York Central Park to celebrate the reopening. But there is no way to be quiet in the midst of an average of 145,000 daily infections in the country. The show, which was expected to last four hours, ended abruptly due to a lightning storm.

For the first time since the onset of the epidemic, the United States reaches an average of more than 300,000 new cases daily by the end of 2021 – almost 10% of them in New York City. Despite a strong increase in the number of infections, the total number of deaths in the country’s iconic city remains low – an average of 25 per day – while nationwide deaths have increased: the average is in the range of 1,500 deaths per day. .

The Christmas holiday was marked by large lines at the Govt test sites, hundreds of canceled flights and staff shortages, and shots fired after being infected with the virus. Against this backdrop, more than a dozen Broadway productions, including musicals such as “Aladdin”, “Hamilton” and “The Lion King”, were canceled due to cast infection.

Despite the bad numbers, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to have dinner on the 31st, but on a smaller scale: only 15,000 people could enter the event area. Previously, almost 60 thousand were planned. Everyone must submit proof of vaccination – or proof that they already have Govt – and wear a mask.

“New Yorkers have made tremendous progress over the past year. There is a lot to celebrate, and additional security measures will keep the fully vaccinated crowd safe as they enter the new year,” the mayor announced, reducing the banquet. .

Blasio wants to show that the city does not want to close its doors again, and seeks a compromise to control the disease without restricting (excessive) activity. The metropolis relies heavily on revenue from office rent and tourism, two sectors that could face losses if strict regulations are imposed. Before the epidemic, travelers alone brought in $ 4 billion a year to the local economy.

The Democratic mayor is in office in his last days: Saturday (January 1), with Eric Adams of the same party taking charge. He will be the second black man to head to the largest metropolis in the United States and support the decision to have a returning party.

Experts suggest that despite the excitement of the plasio, it is best to avoid large banquets. “When you talk about 30, 40, 50 people celebrating the New Year, you have no idea if they’ve been vaccinated. I strongly recommend staying away. [das festas] This year. It will take a few more years to do this, “said Anthony Fauci, a top US epidemiologist and adviser to Biden, in an interview with CNN.

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However, Blasio says he will do everything possible to avoid the new lockout, and is betting on expanding the vaccine: the city is offering $ 100 to booster dose takers and making the vaccine mandatory for both public and private sector employees. As of last Monday (27), nearly 200,000 companies in the city can no longer allow employees who have not taken the minimum 1st dose of immunization agent. Failure to comply will result in a fine of US $ 1,000.

No matter how hard you try, 19 out of 100 people in the city do not even get the first dose of the vaccine. 80.8% of the city’s residents are protected by a single dose, and 71.9% are protected by a second dose or single dose vaccine.

On the night of the 31st, the mayor will be responsible for pressing the crystal ball landing button, a symbol of the city’s turning point and more than a hundred years old. New Year’s Eve parties there began in 1904, with The New York Times organizing a way to advertise the address of its new headquarters, which was renamed Times Square (Times Square).

The descent of the ball was a way of getting around the ban on fireworks determined by the town hall, and the inspiration came from naval training at the time. Many ports, including Greenwich, had a large cylinder attached to a mast that landed every day at noon or 1 p.m. The signal could be seen from a distance and helped the ship captains set their clocks on board.

The first New Year’s ball, issued in 1907, was made of iron and wood, each with 100 lamps of 25 watts, creating a strong visual effect for that period. The sphere was completed in the following decades, now adorned with crystals and illuminated by thousands of LEDs.

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The descent lasts 60 seconds and ends when the new year begins. Prior to that, this Friday’s Feast (31) will feature six-hour performances of two singers in pop music, Carol G and Chloe, as well as two 2000s hit names LL Cool J (hip hop singer) and KT Dunstall (“Suddenly I See”), as well. Journey band popular in the 1980s for successes such as “Don’t Stop Believing”.

The scene of a small crowd, wearing masks and singing “Do not stop believing” would be a good illustration of how the second year of the epidemic ends.