Revelers Hit the Streets of Wuhan – the Once-Epicenter of the Coronavirus – as Times Square Remained Empty

New Year's Eve 2020 Wuhan and Times Square
Getty Images, COREY SIPKIN/AFP

Partiers hit the streets of Wuhan, China — the once-epicenter of the Chinese coronavirus, which brought the world to a virtual standstill in 2020 — to ring in the new year as the streets of Times Square remained nearly empty.

Photos and videos show crowds forming in Wuhan with packed streets and balloons as merrymakers flocked to nightclubs and bars to ring in the new year.

According to Metro, “a concert took place by the city’s philharmonic orchestra, while revellers could also attend a cyberpunk electronic festival or watch a light show along the Yangtze River, which runs through the area”:

It was a drastically different scene than what gripped the city earlier this year as it shut down in January as the virus rapidly began to spread throughout the city and beyond.

In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that there was “enormous evidence” that the virus originated in the Wuhan lab rather than a wet market, which stood as one of the reigning narratives at the time.

“There’s enormous evidence that that’s where this began. We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. But I think the whole world can see now,” he said during a May appearance on ABC’s This Week.

“Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories. These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab,” he continued, repeating that there is “a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

Meanwhile, Times Square, which is traditionally packed with revelers on New Year’s Eve, remained virtually empty as officials effectively closed off the plaza to the public. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was able to dance with his wife in Times Square as the new year rolled in while the rest of the city watched from home:

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