|Revelers gather during New Years Eve celebrations in Times Square on December 31, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo / Jeenah Moon)|
Time zone, and thousands of New Years Eve celebrations stood shoulder to shoulder in a slight chill as a 6-ton sphere studded with nearly 2,700 Waterford crystals fell upon a crowd of roughly 15,000, far fewer than the many dozen thousands of night owls. .
They usually descend on the world-famous plaza to soak up the lights and excitement of the New Year’s Eve event in the nation’s marquee.
Authorities warned on Friday of expanding celebrations amid rising COVID19 infections from the Omicron variant. Last year’s ball toss was closed to the public due to 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 is a symbol of the return to normality,” he said minutes after midnight differently this year, “said his partner Brandon Allen.
We already have this sense 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 out of the year.
Confetti lit by electronic billboards swirled on a mild winter night in New York City with a gentle wind. Mary González was standing a few feet behind a crowd and wanted to stay away from anyone who unknowingly carried the virus.
“I’m glad that 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 much better than this year.
The annual fall of the ball came as the clock struck midnight and the New Year struck, an event generally remembered for the uncorking of champagne, the clink of pints, joyous hugs, and renewed hope for better times at the crossroads of the world 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 begins like the previous year, with the pandemic clouding an already uncertain future.
The question arose as to whether the city would have to cancel this year’s party, as the city had a record number of COVID-19 cases in the days leading up to it, even though some cities like Atlanta decided to cancel their own celebrations. They have reached the highest level in history, 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. Organizers initially expected more than 50,000 celebrators, but plans have been slashed due to widespread infections.