Photos of New Year’s Eve in packed streets of Wuhan NOT putting Americans in a celebratory mood

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While New York City streets were devoid of the oceans of revelers normally ushering in a new year, the scene playing out in the city of Wuhan, China was a startling contrast.

In the city once seen as the epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of residents packed the streets to ring in 2021. Meanwhile, for the first time in over a century, New York’s Times Square was not open to all who wanted to personally see the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball make its descent at midnight.

The stark difference between the two scenes made for outraged comments on social media where many saw the Chinese celebration as proof that Americans are “being played” on the coronavirus pandemic.

The sparkling Waterford Crystal ball in New York City still made its traditional “drop” beginning at 11:59 p.m., but gone were the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds of New Yorkers who spent hours waiting in freezing temperatures to mark the end of the year.

The New York City streets were described as “eerily quiet” by CBS News and New York  City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea described the scene as “surreal.” A few VIP guests and only about 40 local frontline workers along with their families were allowed to participate in the festivities in person, socially distanced and wearing masks, of course.

“Don’t believe any ‘Doubting Thomases’ that say because there’s not going to be a million people or more in Times Square, it’s not going to be special. It’s going to be actually, arguably, the most special,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on New Year’s Eve. “We are going to be honoring our health care heroes, first responders and folks who did amazing work this year.”

New York was once seen as the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., and it ushered in 2021 with subdued celebrations. But over in China, where the first COVID-19 mutation case was recently reported, images emerged of a very different vibe.

In Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported, residents gathered to release balloons at midnight.

The striking difference between the Wuhan celebration and those in other cities still under protective lockdowns was not lost on social media users.

Journalist Luke Rudkowski juxtaposed the images of Wuhan and New York City in one tweet, asking: “What kind of message does this send to the world.”

Twitter users had thoughts:

Frieda Powers

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