COVID-19 scrambled New Year’s Eve plans — again. And Americans aren’t happy: NPR


The 2022 sign, which lights up on the building on New Year’s Eve, is on display at Times Square in New York earlier this month.

Seth Wenig / AP

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The 2022 sign, which lights up on the building on New Year’s Eve, is on display at Times Square in New York earlier this month.

Seth Wenig / AP

When Pam Mandel received a call this week that her cousin couldn’t travel to Seattle to share New Year’s Eve, she said it felt like a low blow.

“I have to tell you, I laughed because it was so strangely predictable given how bad it was,” Mandel said.

Omicron variants make the year-end and New Year holidays difficult for millions of Americans. The celebration was canceled due to the proliferation of infectious diseases nationwide.

Omicron is spreading rapidly

The number of cases of Omicron is increasing rapidly. The average for 7 days is 240,408, an increase of 60% from last week. Although the proportion of cases requiring hospitalization or leading to death remains relatively low, the complete infectivity of the disease means that many people suffer.

“The virus has proven capable of adapting quickly and needs to be adapted,” said Dr. Rochelle Warrensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a briefing at the White House on Wednesday. Stated.

Meanwhile, the recent pandemic turmoil has hurt many Americans badly. Air travel is messed up. The college football bowl game has been scrubbed. The ball drop celebration will take place at Times Square in New York, but the crowds are much smaller and the mask rules are stricter.

For many, it will be the next best New Year’s Eve

Even in Florida, which tried to do much of the pandemic, the Miami Hurricanes was a football game. Nutcracker it was cancelled.

“We’re probably just at home,” said her husband Eric and Lara Tanmoi Das, who lives in New York City. “It’s not optimal, but it’s here.”

Das said he and his husband, both medical professionals, are planning a long-awaited vacation for a trip to Philadelphia to attend New Year’s Eve Bash and the next day’s wedding. Told.

After that, they tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Sad … I wanted to be with my friends,” Das told NPR. “So everything is canceled. The couple also postponed their wedding because so many people tested positive from their guest list.”

Experience disappointment, anger, and isolation

People told NPR that they tried to navigate Hanukkah and Christmas with a healthy, stiff upper lip. However, many said that New Year’s Eve disappointment made them angry and isolated.

“We are afraid to feel emotional about what is happening now, and it seems really unhealthy,” Mandel said. “We are navigating this incredibly difficult experience and everyone sits quietly at home alone. I often want to scream about it.”

Not only individuals are trying to balance safety and health, but there is also a sense of isolation and disappointment.

Susan Patterson has been forced to close the “First Night” festival in Saranac Lake, New York for the second year in a row.

“Usually there were hundreds of people going,” she said, saying that winters in her area north of the state are long and social gatherings are important.

Canceled celebrations may be losing momentum

“People are calling to say how sad they are,” she said. “I haven’t done it for two years, so I’m a little scared. [it], Will lose momentum and excitement. “

Living alone, Patterson said hosting festivals is also an important part of her winter, a way to connect and celebrate.

When asked what to do on New Year’s Eve, he shook his head and laughed miserably. “I don’t know. There is nothing.”

Even without a pandemic, experts say vacations can be an emotionally demanding time for many. Neuroscientist and wellness coach Magdalena Bakumayer told NPR that it was especially important to reach out and connect with others as much as possible.

“When people feel helpless in any situation, if we can’t do it alone, we should certainly reach out for help through all possible means, and ourselves. Don’t try to isolate and find yourself alone and deal with these feelings yourself, “said Bak-Meyer.

Overcoming vacations and worrying about the big picture later

She also said that it might help to focus on treating yourself right now to survive the frustrating days without worrying too much about the big picture.

“I really want people to think about how to build the next 24 hours.” she said Taking everything into account Host Elissa Nadworthy.. “How do you look forward to seeing that there is something you can regain that control?”

Meanwhile, public health officials are calling attention to those who choose to gather and celebrate, despite the increasing number of cases of Omicron.

People who have been vaccinated and have booster shots are safest. Wearing high quality masks and maintaining as much social distance as possible can also help reduce risk. At this week’s briefing, New York Governor Kathy Hokul also urged people to gather outside if the weather was nice.

“It’s a bit chilly, especially in northern New York, but it’s worth it if you have the opportunity to be with your loved ones and friends this time next year,” Hokuru said.

Officials also say that anyone who feels in the weather should definitely attend this year’s party.

“If you’re sniffing, if you feel sick, you’re just at home,” Hokuru said. “Watch the ball drop on TV, drink a glass of champagne and know you’re doing the right thing.”

COVID-19 scrambled New Year’s Eve plans — again. And Americans aren’t happy: NPR

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