New Yorkers meet in Times Square to say ‘Good Riddance’ to COVID-19, Zoom calls

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A man points at a Coronavirus sign at an event to shred a document containing something that people are looking forward to saying goodbye to in the year 2020 at an event in Times Square called Good Riddance Day amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

NEW YORK – About a dozen people lined up on Monday to shred things they want to forget about 2020, including but not limited to the deadly global pandemic that swept the world, at the annual “Good Riddance Day” event in New York City’s Times Square.

Among the submissions were COVID-19 and some of the grimmer aspects of new social distancing norms and work-from-home customs compelled by the spread of the coronavirus, not least Zoom video conferencing calls.

The Times Square Alliance, which promotes local businesses, has organized the event since 2007 near where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve in the closing moments of Dec. 31. Participants are encouraged to write down the year’s unpleasant memories, to be thrown into an oversized paper shredder.

Others posed for pictures next to a “Move On 2020!” sign.

“I think of all the New Year’s Eves I’ve ever experienced, this New Year’s Eve is special,” said Jonathan Bennett, who hosted this year’s scaled-down event. “The whole world really needs this new year to come in.”

Joey Faix, a 16-year-old high-school student who stopped to watch the event, said it was a tough year.

“I think it was mentally straining for everybody,” he said. “But I think everybody is optimistic for the new year.”

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