Tuesday, June 22

A quiet, unusual end to a tumultuous year


2020 has been a rough year, and it’s coming to a close amid a flurry of news both good and bad– vaccines are finally arriving, but a more infectious strain of Covid-19 is starting to spread. The year is finally coming to an end, but it’s doing it in the weird way that’s so characteristic of 2020.

Safer at home

Safety precautions need to persist even on holidays, and that’ll be true even as 2020 gives way to 2021. Social distancing and wearing masks are still the keys to keeping coronavirus spread low. Check out our article from Christmas Eve for information on how important taking both measures can be.

Though a few countries were able to keep Covid-19 contained enough for limited celebration, others are clamping down hard to stamp out any chance of community spread. Germany and the Netherlands have banned even private fireworks, and here in the US, bars and restaurants remain shuttered except for take-out service in many areas. Public health experts stress the importance of staying safe and staying home, but that doesn’t mean all chances for fun have to go away.

Bring celebrations home on video

Videoconferencing has really come into its own in 2020, and it’s only fitting that it can play a big role in closing the year out. Since we can’t be together in-person, we can come together on video for virtual toasts and parties — just like for work or, for many, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In many places, the usual fireworks, ball drops, and other public festivities have been scaled back or cancelled. Celebrations are moving online so you can view the festivities live on video, with even the Times Square celebration — where, for the first time since 1904, the public can’t gather to ring in the new year– being streamed instead.

Live music fans can look forward to a wide variety of programs both free and paid throughout New Year’s Eve and into New Years Day.

Making the most of what we have

In the wake of 2020, many are choosing not to celebrate at all. For others, the new year is an opportunity for some low-key, socially-distanced communal celebration. In a cul-de-sac across the pond, people are breaking out fire pits and celebrating from their separate properties. “If all we can do is toast each other and shout across the road, that’s what we’re going to do.” Janet, a resident of that community, told The Guardian. “I will bring champagne and my husband will have a glass of red wine.” That’s an idea many can share– as long as you have a fire pit, a space heater, or a heavy coat to keep warm with and an outdoor patio, yard, balcony, or deck to enjoy it on.

There’s a lot you can do for fun even within your pandemic pod. Fireworks, where legal, can be a private affair instead of the massive public displays you’d visit in a normal year. It’s also a great chance to stay in for a movie night, or even to enjoy some of the same things people are experiencing at Disney World this year– playing some board games with your group over recordings of previous fireworks displays.

The take home

Even with pandemic restrictions, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and enjoy the end of a tumultuous year. Celebrating safely can help keep cases low until the vaccine supply is ready for everyone and we can put the pandemic, like 2020, behind us.

Sean Marsala is a health writer based in Philadelphia, Pa. Passionate about technology, he can usually be found reading, browsing the internet and exploring virtual worlds.





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