A quiet, uncommon finish to a tumultuous 12 months

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A quiet, unusual end to a tumultuous year

2020 has been a tough year and it's coming to an end amid a barrage of good and bad news – vaccines are finally coming, but a more contagious strain of Covid-19 is starting to spread. The year is finally coming to an end, but it does it in the weird way that 2020 is so characteristic.

Safer at home

Security must remain in place on public holidays, even if 2020-2021 makes way. Social distancing and wearing masks are still key to keeping the spread of coronavirus down. Our Christmas Eve article tells you how important it can be to take both steps.

While some countries have been able to contain Covid-19 adequately for limited celebrations, others are pushing hard to stamp out the possibility of community expansion. Germany and the Netherlands have even banned private fireworks, and here in the US bars and restaurants are closed in many areas except for the take-out service. Public health experts emphasize the importance of staying safe and staying at home, but that doesn't mean that all chances of having fun have to be gone.

Bring celebrations into your home on video

Video conferencing has really proven its worth in 2020, and it is only fitting that it can play a huge role in closing the year. Since we can't be together in person, we can meet on video for virtual toasts and parties – just like at work or for lots of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In many places the usual fireworks, ball drops and other public festivals have been cut back or canceled. The celebrations will take place online so you can watch the celebrations live on video. Instead, it streamed the Times Square celebration, which for the first time since 1904, the public could not gather to ring in the New Year.

Live music fans can look forward to a variety of programs that are free and paid on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Make the most of what we have

After 2020, many choose not to party at all. For others, the New Year is an opportunity for a low-key, socially distant community celebration. In a cul-de-sac across the pond, people break out fire pits and party from their separate lots. "If we can just bump into each other and scream across the street, we will." Janet, a resident of that ward, told The Guardian. "I'll bring champagne and my husband will have a glass of red wine." This idea can be shared by many – as long as you have a fire pit, space heater, or a thick coat to keep you warm, and an outdoor deck, garden, balcony, or patio to enjoy.

Even in your pandemic capsule, there is plenty you can do for fun. Fireworks, where it's legal, can be a private affair rather than the massive public displays you would visit in a normal year. It's also a great opportunity to have a movie night, or even enjoy some of the same things people experience at Disney World this year – playing some board games with your group over footage of previous fireworks.

Take them home

Even with pandemic restrictions, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and enjoy the end of a turbulent year. Celebrating safely can help keep cases low until vaccine supplies are ready for everyone and we can move out of the pandemic like 2020.

Sean Marsala is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based health journalist. He loves technology, usually reads, surfs the internet, and explores virtual worlds.

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