Subdued New Year’s Eve celebrations

My idea of a great New Year’s eve is to spend it at home and go to bed at the usual time. On a few occasions I have been invited to a friend’s house for a party and everyone was given a pointy hat and noisemaker and all watched the TV and waited for the clock to run down and the ball to drop before letting out a cheer and then going around wishing everyone. I took part in these because the people are nice and I did not want to be a grouch but it all seemed so strained and artificial.

This year it looks like much of the world will be cutting back on such celebrations. France has banned gatherings and has assigned 100,000 police to break up parties and enforce a curfew. New York City has announced that Times Square, where revelers usually gather, has been closed and the traditional ball drop has been canceled.

But other places are going ahead with plans for parties.

Word of planned New Year’s Eve parties in Los Angeles spurred immense backlash as the area has been devastated by Covid-19.

Elsewhere, others appear poised to make the most of less restrictive rules. There are numerous listings for parties across the US. Some hotel-based events are even advertising buffets.

I will be really glad to see the end of this year. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve out of the way, there will be no more reason for crowds to travel and gather and, with increased vaccinations, we can finally hope to see a reduction in infections and deaths. But given that the rate of infections peak about two weeks after superspreader occasions and deaths peak about three weeks after that, we will have to wait until February to see the numbers start to come down.


  1. says

    Because the German government has banned the sale of fireworks, New Year’s Eve here is a lot quieter than usual.
    Wishing everyone here a healthy 2021!

  2. says

    It was amazingly quiet when midnight came three hours ago. The fireworks lasted barely thirty minutes.

    It wasn’t just the new mask requirement and cancellation of events that did it. The cold snap also kept people home, temperatures as low as 3C tonight, and snow predicted over 2000 metres. As mentioned elsewhere, it was five years ago that 85 people died from the cold.

  3. billseymour says

    Mano’s plan is mine as well, and I’m no fun at parties anyway. 😎  With any luck, there won’t be lots of loud bangs keeping me awake tonight.

    New York City has announced that … the traditional ball drop has been canceled.

    I’ve heard that it’ll still happen, and you’ll be able to watch it on TV, but you won’t be allowed in Times Square without a special invitation.

    Jörg @2:  I wish the best for all folks, even those that I don’t necessarily want to be around.  I also wish that they’d pay no attention to QAnon, et al.:  they’d probably be a whole lot happier.  The increased happiness for the rest of us would be icing on the cake.

  4. Jazzlet says

    There have been a few fireworks here already with another four hours to go until midnight -- I don’t understand why peoople let them off early at all -- but I think less than in previous years. I’m hping th relative quiet continues.

  5. blf says

    There were some noisy people out-and-about at c.9pm, an hour after the start of the 8pm curfew (which is not suspended for tonight (it was suspended on Dec 24th)), but they seem to have gone away. Haven’t heard a single firework, excuse, single signal flare to the police, Here Be Eejits ! Hopefully the present quiet will continue…

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    … there will be no more reason for crowds to travel and gather…

    I note with relief that the local MLK Day parade organizers’ F’book page says they “have no future events planned”.

  7. says

    Half of January 1 2021 is over for me already, I didn’t stay up late and as if by magic, the calendar year changed without my watching it closely. No-one on our street had a party loud enough to disturb my slumber. Just a few yokels let off illegal fireworks down in the city, sparking the odd grass fire as here it’s summer and everything is quite dry. Reading the news to see that most of the world is still suffering much much more than us in quiet, sunny South Australia.

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