The President who encouraged the spread of Covid-19 has good reason to be smug while
Next week's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square will be "scaled back," with fewer revelers and everyone required to wear a mask, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said Thursday.
The celebration in Times Square typically holds around 58,000 people in viewing areas, but this year it will be limited to 15,000 people and visitors will not be allowed entry into the area until 3 p.m., the office said in a news release.
Additionally, everyone will be required to wear a mask and show photo identification at the fully outdoor event, de Blasio's office said.
As previously announced, all visitors to the Times Square celebration are required to show proof of vaccination if they are older than 5. Any unvaccinated children younger than 5 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult to attend, the mayor's office said.
Proof of vaccination will be required- notwithstanding forgeries and the exception made for handicapped persons. Everyone will be required to wear a mask- although if an individual takes off a mask after entry, there is little chance of any sanction. Moreover, the 15,000 people will not be typically landing in Manhattan, going to Times Square, and returning immediately afterward. Restaurants and bars will not want for customers.
The partygoers who catch a Covid-19 variant won't be keeping it to themselves. They'll be taking it back to family and friends in the city, in the New York suburbs, to adjoining areas in Connecticut, to northern New Jersey, and to more far-flung locales. When the asymptomatic return to work next week, many of them in Manhattan, their colleagues commuting in from Connecticut and New Jersey will be treated to an unwelcome, in some cases undetected, surprise.
It is not essential work being conducted Friday night, but rather something Americans seem unable to resist: a party. The "tsunami is here," Dr. Atul Gawande observes. First, however, there is fun to be had, perhaps most egregiously at the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl festivities on December 31.
The fault lies not only with authorities in New York City and the accessories to the death and disease they is encouraging. There probably would be few if any celebrations without cheerleading from Inside Edition and others in the popular media who, whatever their remarks about mask wearing or social distancing, are thoroughly upbeat about the arrival of the new year and the celebrations which, apparently, must accompany it.
The price will be paid but only after the eating, drinking, shouts of unbridled joy, and hugging of the "holiday season" end. With January 2 a Sunday, it will begin on January 3, with little acknowledgment, and even less regret, that we knew in late December what would await us in January of 2022.
We have a bad several weeks ahead, however optimistic we might be about the months to follow.— Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) December 31, 2021