New York City's famous Time Square is usually bustling with tourists from all around the world, who come to the city on New Year's Eve to see the ball drop. This year is very different.
Due to the coronavirus and related citywide lockdowns, this once densely packed area of the city, is all but desolate. New York City has been a critical hotspot for the spread of the coronavirus, begetting some of the strictest lockdown and quarantine mandates in the entire United States.
NBC news is broadcasting a live stream of the eerily empty city square on New Year's Eve.
New York Governor Chris Cuomo, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are responsible for the strict shutdown of business as usual in New York. Small businesses are being crippled by new coronavirus mandates, limiting legal business operation to designated "essential" businesses as well as placing arbitrary restrictions on indoor dining capacities for service industry businesses.
Due to the new atmosphere, residents are fleeing the city in droves, leaving once sky high rent prices plummeting to unheard of lows. The New York Post reported roughly 300,000 change of address request from city residence as of November. The outlet notes that each request could represent multiple individuals sharing a residence to include and entire family household, putting the real number far above 300,000 New Yorkers who have fled the city.
New York City has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus pandemic from all angles, and the harsh conditions appear as though they will extend indefinitely into the new year.