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.